Culture Connect Featured Event

Exsultemus: Renaissance Vocal Performance
Ticket Price: Free
For Tickets, Contact: Venue

Renaissance Ensemble to Perform at Taft

The Taft School Music for a While performance series continues on Friday, January 27 with a performance by acclaimed period vocal ensemble Exsultemus. The concert begins at 7 p.m. in Woodward Chapel, 25 The Green, Watertown. It is free and open to the public.

Declared “unquestionably in the top-tier of Renaissance vocal ensembles in the Northeast” by Boston Musical Intelligencer and hailed for its “stunningly unified ensemble sound,” Exsultemus was founded in 2003 to explore remarkable but seldom-performed Renaissance and Baroque vocal works. The Boston-based ensemble features extraordinary soloists and reflects the use of the most recent research into historically-informed performance. Exsultemus has performed more than three dozen original programs, from liturgical reconstructions of Renaissance Vespers services to Telemann’s St. John Passion of 1737. Taking its name from the Latin for “let us rejoice,” Exsultemus is modeled after small estate and chapel choirs with musicians performing one on a part and without conductor, working rather as a chamber ensemble than a traditional choir and offering audiences vibrant and engaging performances.

Since its founding by soprano and Andover native Shannon Canavin, Exsultemus has presented an annual concert series at the First Lutheran Church of Boston, where it is Ensemble-in-Residence, and in various locations throughout Greater Boston, as well as appearances in Germany and Belgium. Exsultemus dedicates an annual concert to music of the Iberian Peninsula and the New World that include free community outreach concerts. Their 2011 collaboration with Newton Baroque to present Georg Philipp Telemann’s 1726 liturgical cantata cycle Harmonischer Gottesdienst was hailed by the Boston Globe as “especially welcome” and heralded by the Boston Musical Intelligencer as “an intimate and joyful musical experience.” Exsultemus has appeared with Connecticut Early Music Festival, Society for Historically Informed Performance, Clark Art Institute, WHRB, WGBH, and WCRB, and was featured on audio tours at the Wadsworth Athenaeum (Worcester, MA) and the Folger Shakespeare Library (Washington, DC).

At Taft, Exsultemus will perform “Music for Voices and Brass from Italy and Germany.” The concert features the grand sonorities of cornetti, sackbuts, and organ mingled with the exquisite voices of Exsultemus. The ensemble will take listeners on journey of music for voices and brass from Italy over the mountains to Germany and Eastern Europe. Tickets are not required. For more information on the event, call the Taft School box office at 860-945-7898, or visit For more information about the artists, visit