NAVE will perform in P’burgh, Saranac Lake

The Northern Adirondack Vocal Ensemble has teamed together with The Four Winds recorder consort for two performances of “Madrigals, Motets, and Merriment,” a lively program of renaissance musical delights.

-Saturday, June 1 at 7:30 pm at St. Peter’s Church in Plattsburgh

-Sunday, June 2 at 7:30 pm at St. Bernard’s Church in Saranac Lake

The Northern Adirondack Vocal Ensemble, directed by Andrew Benware, is a select chamber choir of professional and experienced amateur singers.

Twenty members -?soprano, alto, tenor, and bass -?represent a cross-section of the region, hailing from points in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties. Similarly, The Four Winds ensemble brings together four masterly recorder players from the Adirondacks and Quebec – Christopher Barry, Anne Paulson, Veronique Ttrault, and Lynn Waickman, each capable of playing all the instruments in the recorder “family,” from the highest little sopranino to the lowest large contrabass.

The concert program features both ensembles separately and together. NAVE will perform a cappella vocal works?- madrigals and motets – including many favorites, such as Morley’s “Now is the Month,” “April is in my Mistress’ Face,” “My Bonny Lass,” and Orlando di Lasso’s “Matona mia cara” and “O occhi, manza mia.” Less familiar perhaps will be madrigals by John Bennett and John Farmer and the motets “Sicut Cervus” of Palestrina and “Ave Verum Corpus” of William Byrd.

The Four Winds will be featured as a solo guest ensemble, performing purely instrumental works typical renaissance forms such as a fantasia by Orlando Gibbons, a ricercar by Luigi Mazzi, and a canzona by Gasparo Pietragrua, as well as dance sets by Michael Praetorius and Tielman Susato. The Four Winds will also join together with NAVE on several numbers at key points in the program. A climactic moment will be Jacob Handl’s “Alleluia” for double choir, where both ensembles perform antiphonally.

“Madrigals, Motets, and Merriment” offers a choice sampling of short vocal and instrumental works that express the full range of human emotions. Little vignettes, both secular and sacred, capture the essence of a mood or state, each dealing with an aspect of earthly or divine love. Coquetry, passion, lust, loss, and despair, as well as spiritual longing, fervor and joy are all depicted in a perfect marriage of words and music.

Admission is a $10 suggested donation at the door.

For more information, call 518-293-7613 or send a message by e-mail to

About the conductor

Andrew M. Benware is currently the director of choral activities at Saranac Lake High School, where he conducts the Festival Chorus, Concert Choir, Men’s Ensemble, Women’s Ensemble, and teaches small group vocal instruction.

He also serves as the Music Director for the annual musical theater production and maintains a small private piano studio.

Benware is also the founding artistic director and conductor of the Northern Adirondack Vocal Ensemble, a highly selective chamber choir which operates under the umbrella of Hill and Hollow Music in Saranac.

Additionally, Benware serves as lecturer in the field of music education at the Ithaca College School of Music in Ithaca,, where he teaches summer graduate courses in band methods and conducts the Summer Graduate Choir and Band. He previously held full-term employment as assistant professor of Music Education at the College, instructing wind instrument pedagogy, instrumental conducting, and secondary instrument methods. Additionally, he has supervised student teachers, conducted the Brass Choir and served as a sabbatical leave replacement as conductor of the Concert Band. He also served as accompanist and guest conductor for the Campus Chorale and accompanist and collaborative instructor for the Musical Theater Workshop.

Benware has been a member of the inaugural and subsequent faculties of the Ithaca College Summer Music Academy, an intensive college-preparatory music program at the School of Music where he has held various instructional roles in the fields of conducting, musical theater preparation, music fundamentals, and conducted the selective choral ensemble.

He is a native of Northern New York state, where he has served several years as a public school music educator, both as Director of Instrumental Music at Saranac Lake High School and as director of choral activities at the Peru Middle/High School.

Benware is active as a lecturer and clinician, having recently presented at the NYSSMA Winter Conference in Rochester,, and is in frequent demand as a guest conductor for honors ensembles (both instrumental and choral) throughout New York State. He is also active as a performer, taking part in the Upstate New York Chorus (UNYC) under the direction of Dr. Janet Galvan, and as a church musician, holding positions at both St. Bernard’s and St. Agnes Catholic Churches in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, respectively. He holds both a Bachelor of Music degree in music education with a concentration on the trumpet and a master of music degree in choral conducting from the Ithaca College School of Music.