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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world. To listen to KPAC 88.3 FM, simply open the player in the gray ribbon at the top of this page and choose KPAC: Classical Music.

Conspirare Presents A Choral Pilgrimage At Laurel Heights Methodist

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Conspirare
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Conspirare Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson.

Conspirare is a choral group that works out of Austin and a few times a year they make it to San Antonio. But calling them an Austin choral group though isn’t entirely accurate..

"Actually only a small number of the singers are here in Austin," said Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson. "This is an ensemble of singers from around the country, really. Each of them is a soloist in their own right. They may be performing art songs, or operatically, or on Broadway, or in faculty positions, and yet come together and form a choir of soloists, in a sense."

They have far-flung careers and homes, but a few times a year they gather for rehearsal and performances. Thursday night’s event at Laurel Heights Methodist Church is a very popular concept piece called "Path of Miracles."

"'Path of Miracles' is based in the pilgrimage route, the famous St. James Way, El Camino de Santiago, in Spain and a little bit of France, and this is something of a musical depiction in four movements," Johnson said.

It’s a story told by way of choral music -- the story of that pilgrimage.

"Pilgrims are met by demons -- whether they’re inner demons or challenges on the road or illness -- so there is a lot of rhythmic characterization. Just as a listener it’s great earplay," Johnson said.

"This doesn’t sound so much like an evening out as it does an experience," I said.

"Yeah, beautiful, that’s right," Johnson replied. "It’s a full experience but it’s really not so long. It’s about 65minutes as a complete piece, and this’ll be the only thing on the program."

Conspirare performs next Thursday at Laurel Heights.