Brandon Chism

The Arkansas Valley Chamber will perform Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” as well as a selection of secular and sacred holiday music, in a choral and orchestral concert livestreamed from ClearView Community Church

“Hopefully it’ll be a nice, diverse program, featuring the Vivaldi as the main work we’re presenting,” said director Brandon Chism.

The Arkansas Valley Chamber is something of a local choral supergroup formed as many choirs canceled their performances due to COVID-19.

“Coming into this, as all the larger choral ensembles in the valley were setting aside their fall seasons, including the (Collegiate Peaks Chorale), I started to think through how we could still provide a performance in the middle of the pandemic, where we’re not able to have large crowds gathered and things like that,” said Chism, the director of the Collegiate Peaks Chorale, as well as the worship pastor at ClearView. “We had already some basic systems set up in the sanctuary there for livestreaming our services on Sunday, and we were able to invest a little bit more this year right after the pandemic hit to be able to upgrade some camera systems, audio systems and lighting, things like that.”

The performance will spread the singers and musicians throughout the Clearview sanctuary and “basically it’s going to be a simple TV studio, is what we’re going to set it up as,” Chism said.

“Really, this group is trying to fill the gap where large ensembles wouldn’t have been able to function,” Chism said. “One of the big burdens on my heart was looking into the fall and seeing that a lot of the difficulties with the pandemic were still going to continue into the fall and maybe into the new year, and I think one of the significant losses from the virus has been the performing arts.

“Music and other performing arts can provide, I think, a lot of joy, healing, even a refocusing of society.”

The centerpiece of December’s performance is a 25-minute performance of Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi’s 17th arrangement of the ancient hymn Gloria in Exelsis Deo.

The Arkansas Valley Chamber brings together musicians from Summit County, Park County, and even as far as the Front Range, as well as local vocalists from groups like the Noteables and You’ve Got Male.

Instrumental guests include Cedra Kuehn, a cellist who performs with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and trumpetist Beth Steele, the director of the Alpine Orchestra.

“The performing arts, that can be a place where people of significant differences can come together and not just tolerate each other, but really support each other and help us focus on what’s most important,” Chism said. “If there was ever a time we needed a performance like this concert, I believe it’s now.”

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