Courtesy Bion Cantorum

More than half of the musical numbers for “Fresh Aires,” the April 7, 2019 concert by Bion Cantorum, are new to the ensemble.  And for new singers with the choral group, all of them are new.  So the concert is aptly named. Concert location is the First Presbyterian Church of Punta Gorda, located at 25250 Airport Road, Punta Gorda, FL 33950.

A group of American spirituals will be highlighted.  Jester Hairston provides us with “Live A-Humble,” and another famous arranger Andre Thomas provided the setting for the slave song, “Keep Your Lamps.”

Robert DeCormier arranged the spiritual, “Walk Together, Children” for two solo voices   and choir.

Bion’s artistic director has arranged Margaret Pleasant Douroux’s exciting “Home Over the Mountain,” in which a bass solo leads the ensemble. Mr. Engler also arranged Johnson & Johnson’s “Dry Bones”, in which scattered bones in the desert become an army when God intervenes.

Also derived from a Biblical text is “The Paper Reeds by the Brooks,” as set by Randall Thompson for his The Peaceable Kingdom.

Other American or Canadian pieces include works by Randall Thompson, John Leavitt, Daniel Elder, Karl Jenkins, and Morten Lauridsen.

English poets provide the texts for David Dickau’s “If Music Be the Food of Love,” and Thompson’s “The Best of Rooms.” A Rudyard Kipling poem inspired Thompson’s “The Seal Lullaby.”

Also on the program are the “In Paradisum” from Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, Lauridsen’s  “Dirait-on” from his Chansons des Roses, and a new piece by the young Canadian composer, Mark Sirett, “Ce Beau Printemps.” 

Tickets are available through or by calling 941.206.2071. Adult tickets are $15.00 and juniors under 15 years of age are $10 when accompanied by an adult. Tickets should also be available at the door, cash only. Two free tickets to this concert were awarded through a random drawing to Nancy L. Smith, who completed our short feedback questionnaire with other December concert guests.