Our Values…

  • Are rooted in our kaleidoscope of heritages in the Desert Southwest
  • Are united in the ideal that choral music is a cherished legacy and fully relevant today to the development and enrichment of the cultural life of our immediate and extended communities
  • Demonstrate that the choral arts apply to members of every age group and every cultural heritage
  • Believe in the uniting power of choral music through focused attention, creative curation and thoughtful education that strives to maximize artistic value, relevant meaning and passionate performance resulting in transformative experiences

Arts in the Desert Southwest

The Arizona Cantilena Chorale and our communities have a proud heritage. We live in the Desert Southwest, one of the most dramatic and contrasting landscapes in the world. The rugged mountains give way to arid desert crisscrossed with dramatically carved washes, gullies and canyons. It does not apologize for its abrupt changes and rugged individualism and radical contrasts. It is not the controlled, pastoral, languid and serene landscape of rural England. But, the interesting thing is, a single delicate bloom that is highlighted in its isolation displays more beauty in its rarity than a whole field of blooms elsewhere. As you pass through the austere and inaccessible searing heat of the desert mountains, your path is punctuated with the stark relief of breathtakingly beautiful lush pockets of refreshing green and shady landscapes with dancing waters and sparkling color that seem to laugh at the foreboding surroundings. Then your path breaks out into the astonishing broadness of expansive vistas that take your breath away. As evening approaches, the desert recesses into deep purples and layered horizons, giving one last hurrah as it yields its brilliant blue sky to a rich and powerful sunset as if to say, “Now this is life!”. Then it settles into a mysterious calm that is punctuated by the occasional call of a coyote in the distance.

The Members of the Arizona Cantilena Chorale and our communities are people that, like our desert surroundings, have experienced the austere and the rugged, and we have been shaped by the challenging contrasts of life around us. We can leverage the lessons of our Desert Southwest and not shy away from the challenges, but instead, celebrate the foreboding austerity by dwelling on the uniquely stirring delicateness of each and every precious moment that arises in stark contrast. We don’t need to conform to the pastoral and controlled expression of centuries of tradition, and we don’t need to pine in the starkness of the artistic desert of the Phoenix area. The Arizona Cantilena Chorale, and our vibrant community of contrasting cultures that surround us, can experience the euphoria of ending our day in a brilliant sunset of well-crafted song and say, “Now this is life!”. You can bet that those that traverse our bleak cultural landscape will find our pocket of exquisite expression of beautifully contrasting artistry. They will discover and experience the broad horizons of enveloping sound, experiencing the same delight as those who encounter pockets of refreshing, shady green and the vast vistas, seemingly hidden in our Desert Southwest. Let’s build a powerfully contrasting voice that truly embraces the starkness of our heritage with powerful optimism and the tuned sensitivity of cultivated joy. This is the heart and passion of the Arizona Cantilena Chorale!

Brief History

Arizona Cantilena Chorale was established by Dr. Glenn Bennett in the late summer of 2005 by bringing together the vocal talents of students and friends from past and current performing groups who have demonstrated both a passion and a talent for developing superior musical results in an increasingly visible fashion, and who understand and value the teamwork that it takes to create a homogeneous vocal blend. This seminal group of seasoned musicians has continued to grow in number and artistic excellence.

Arizona Cantilena Chorale’s repertoire ranges from classical to contemporary choral works. They have collaborated with other local arts organizations, such as symphony orchestras and other choral institutions. This enabled them to produce exciting and surprising results through performing major works, such as Handel’s “Messiah”, the “Messa di Gloria” by Puccini, and supporting touring arts organizations, such as the “Video Games Live” extravaganza and productions of Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors”.

Through these efforts, Arizona Cantilena Chorale has established a growing following in the Valley of the Sun and made substantial contributions to the choral arts in the Greater Phoenix Area.