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About Calliope

Sharing the joy of music through passionate collaboration between singers and instrumentalists.

Audiences benefit from collaboration between instrumentalists and singers, resulting in deeper understanding and performance of the music

  • Providing excellent music to the community of Greater Boston via a new, more inclusive method of rehearsal and performance
  • Capitalizing on the power of music to contribute toward social improvement via one benefit concert each season for an organization whose mission is reflected in our programming for that performance
  • Cultivating high school artists and their supporters for the future through our mentoring scholarship program

—John Verkuilen,
Interim Artistic Director

Calliope is a nonprofit volunteer music organization, serving the Boston community. Our auditioned volunteer membership includes approximately 40 singers, 30 instrumentalists, and several nonperforming members. Currently, we perform two full ensemble concerts and one Ensemble-in-Residence performance each year.

Our services are multilevel, and allow us to meet several layers of need. We provide to the Boston community quality music, done authentically and creatively at affordable prices. We provide collaborative experience for musicians, where their previous and current culture is blended and shared with one another. As a result of collaboration, all musicians come away with a greater sense of their own musicianship, and skills and understanding that can be shared with other music organizations they may participate in. Sensitivity to the “home” organizations that the musicians are active in calls us to have the flexibility with our “nonpeak season” structure. They can maintain other memberships and return to them with a fuller, richer offering to be shared with their colleagues. We provide two mentoring scholarships for one singer and one instrumentalist from Boston area schools for young artists that would otherwise not have this opportunity.

Rehearsals are Tuesday evenings, 7-9:30 pm, June - September and November - February at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street, Boston.

Our History

The group takes its name from the eldest of the nine Muses, Calliope, whose name means “Beautiful Voice”.

Expression in instrumental music is a combination of purity of tone, a palette of color, fine tuning, and purposeful line. The most significant difference between music executed by instruments and that which is executed by the voice is the addition of words. Composers and singers use the text, in combination with the instrumental qualities, to drive the musical expression.

Calliope, therefore, as Muse of eloquence and epic verse, not only illustrates our goal to express with “beautiful voice”, but to do so with the lucid poetry of song.

Many music organizations do not rehearse or perform in the summer months. During that time, musicians often look for a place to express themselves through a musical outlet, share camaraderie, or improve their technique. Out of this passion, Calliope was established, and in the summer of 2006, our pilot season and performance took place.  It was very successful, and the decision was made to formally incorporate, define specific goals and a mission, and move forward.

One aspect of our mission is that at least seventy-five percent of our membership is involved in another music organization, thereby sharing the collaborative experience and knowledge gained through an expanded network of “home” organizations. Tonight’s performance includes musicians from the following organizations: Back Bay Chorale; Berkshire Choral Festival; Boston Latin School; Brookline Chorus; Cambridge Community Chorus; Cambridge Symphony Orchestra; Civic Symphony; Commonwealth School Orchestra, Charles River Wind Ensemble; Chorus and Chorale; Dedham Choral Society; Devil Music Ensemble; Elizabeth Seton Academy; Greater Boston Flute Consortium; Masterworks Chorale; Metropolitan Wind Symphony; New England Conservatory; Newton Choral Society; Northeaster Choral Consortium; OperaHub; Oriana Consort;  Sharon Community Chamber Orchestra; Tanglewood Festival Chorus; The Jumblies; Willow Flute Ensemble.

For more information about the organization
For specific concert information click here
For Board of Directors bios click here


Website photos courtesy of ASA Photographic

Video and PodCasts courtesy of Tenor Technologies