Spem in Alium

Local early music choirs Gallimaufry and Tactus form the core of three community-driven, pop-up performances, of Thomas Tallis’ frequently-cited, but not-often-performed 40-part motet Spem in Alium, which has its 452th birthday this year. This spectacular composition, originally slated to be conducted by Phoebe Rosquist, will now be conducted by David Morris, and performed at the following times:

  • Friday, June 10 at 5:30 p.m. (outdoors in front of Lions Hall [Exhibition site], St. Mark’s Episcopal Church)
  • Friday, June 10 at 7:30 p.m. (before the Chanticleer concert; outside at First Church Berkeley UCC)
  • Saturday, June 11 at 9:30 p.m. (after the ARTEK concert; outside at First Church Berkeley UCC)
  • Saturday, June 11 at 9:45 p.m. (before the Fire & Grace & Ash concert; outside at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church)

There are two tutti rehearsals, and all singers would need to be at one minimum (locations TBA, in the East Bay):

  • Saturday, June 4: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 5: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Thomas Tallis

If you are interested in participating, please email Shira Kammen with the subject line SPEM2022. Include your preferred voice part, and which performances you could sing in. If you don’t use that subject line you might fall through an email black hole and never be found again.

Shira will then be in touch to assign singers to one of the eight choirs of five voices. Each will have its own co-director—if you are or know anyone who would like to be a sub-conductor for this, holler immediately—we need a few more! Ideally, each of the five-voice choirs would be able to arrange to get together as a unit one time before we all meet for the tutti rehearsals.

Phoebe and Shira recognize that not everyone is likely to be able to sing in all three performances, so we are doubling or tripling voices depending on availability. Singers are expected to come to the tutti rehearsals with notes learned.

And of course, while there are rehearsals beforehand, those who show up with their own score will be lost in the fray and likely never get caught.