SALT LAKE CITY — The Madeleine Festival of the Arts & Humanities, now in its 31st year, will kick off Sunday, April 28 with the Cantorum Chamber Choir in the Cathedral of the Madeleine.
The Cantorum Chamber Choir, directed by Steve Durtschi, is comprised of 49 singers from diverse musical backgrounds; more than half of Cantorum members are professional music educators and soloists. The choir, which began at Brigham Young University as an early music ensemble, is considered one of the premier non-collegiate chamber groups in the Western United States. Cantorum sings predominantly Christian music.
The second festival concert on Sunday, May 5 will feature Te’ Azul, a jazz quartet. The quartet is made up of Flavia Cervino-Wood, violinist; Steve Lindeman, piano; Geoffrey Miller, guitar; and Harold Carr, bass. The members of the quartet have performed with many renowned musicians and musical groups.
On Sunday, May 12, concert pianist Mary Anne Huntsman will be featured. She made her debut as a soloist at Carnegie Hall in January 2014. In June 2015 she performed with the China Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Long Yu in Beijing. She has performed in Europe, the U.S. and Asia.
The Choir of the Cathedral will perform on Sunday, May 19. Established in 1909, the choir, consisting of adult members and choristers from the choir school, sings a wide variety of liturgical music spanning every period in music history-from Gregorian chant to present day music. The choir has been on three international tours that have included performances in Rome, Assisi, Florence, Paris, Brussels and Aachen. The choir, which has recorded three CDs, also broadcasts on radio and television, airing both concert and liturgical performances.
The festival will conclude with a Sunday, May 26 performance by singer/songwriter Maxine Soakai, who began singing at the age of 5 and later taught herself how to play the piano and guitar. While studying music at Brigham Young University, Soakai recorded a Christian album called “The Light Of Christ,” which has led to airplay on several local Christian radio stations and many live performances at a variety of venues.
The Madeleine Festival was founded in 1988 by Monsignor M. Francis Mannion, who was then rector of the cathedral.
“When the cathedral was renovated, we determined that it was not just going to be a nice museum,” Msgr. Mannion said. “We wanted it to be a place of worship, education, arts, charity and so forth. In the tradition of cathedrals we established the festival that would be to the highest standard, to present performances that were consistent with the nature of a cathedral and that had some connection to faith and to the arts in general.”
All performances are at 8 p.m. and are free and open to the public. The cathedral is located at 309 E. North Temple, Salt Lake City.
The 2019 Madeleine Arts and Humanities Award winners, University of Utah English Professor Jeff Metcalf and art dealer and consultant Bonnie Phillips, will be honored at a dinner Sunday, June 2 at The Grand America Hotel, 555 Main St., Salt Lake City.