Ensemble Altera is dedicated to the mission of bringing to both the local and global community a greater awareness of – and engagement with – choral music and group singing in all its forms. To that end, we will present physical and virtual concerts; record audio and video albums; perform educational outreach in schools, at conferences and through broadcasts; as well as tour throughout the United States and globally. Our work aims to raise the standards of execution and understanding among artists, but, more generally, to advocate for greater exposure to and appreciation for the indispensable and ennobling beauty and healing power of the choral arts.
Fast-rising ENSEMBLE ALTERA was founded to be the beating heart of professional choral music in the United States. Led by internationally celebrated countertenor Christopher Lowrey, the group is dedicated to bringing thoughtful, engaging, and relevant programs to in-person and digital audiences at home and around the world. The group is versatile, working on multiple scales, in a wide range of idioms, across the full range of medieval to modern to music being written today.
Over the past few years, Ensemble Altera has presented concerts both in person in New England and virtually to audiences around the world. Recent programs include The Lamb's Journey, drawing on many periods and styles to depict the Christ narrative, We Watch & Welcome: Feminine Voices at Christmas, featuring works by seven female composers for treble voices arrayed around Britten's Ceremony of Carols, and We Remember, a musical journey of healing and reflection in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout its short history, Altera has received universally rave reviews, creating "some of the best choral singing by an American choir". Upcoming projects include a boldly reimagined chamber version of Handel's Messiah, co-presented with Newport Classical, as well as Dazzling Light, a meditation on illumination in the natural and metaphysical worlds. Deeply committed to championing new works and lifting up new voices, over the past few seasons Altera has premiered works by Joanna Marsh, Daniel Gledhill, Zuzanna Koziej, and Michael Garrepy.
In addition to performing, Ensemble Altera undertakes an extensive education and outreach program. Such activities include interactive presentations with school students in a variety of settings, with a particular focus on opening musical horizons to those from underserved backgrounds. Additionally, Altera has a profound faith in the healing power of music both in and out of the concert hall, and is proud to offer its complete recorded music library free of charge in collaboration with select partners in music therapy.
"The Lamb’s Journey' was sublime. Impeccable blending, perfectly in tune, and a rich and diverse repertoire featuring a great mix of composers both ancient and contemporary. This choir is going places. I’ll never miss a concert!"
- Audience Member
Director / Countertenor
Director Christopher Lowrey was born and raised in Johnston, RI, and trained at Brown University, the University of Cambridge, where he sang under Stephen Layton with Trinity College Choir, and the Royal College of Music. In addition to conducting, he enjoys a dynamic international solo career as a countertenor, working at some of the world’s leading opera houses and concert platforms, including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, the Philharmonie de Paris, The London Symphony Orchestra, and this season he will be making his debuts with Oper Frankurt and the Bayerishce Staatsoper in Munich.
Agnes Coakley Cox
Andrew Leslie Cooper
Jacob Perry Jr.
Michael Garrepy, Warwick, RI, Artistic Advisor
Tim Harbold, Boston, MA
Simon Holt, Stonington, CT, Chair
Phyllis Hoffman, Boston, MA
Jennifer Ritvo Hughes, Needham, MA, Vice Chair
Gregory J. King, Baltimore, MD
Jared Kornblatt, Boston, MA
Christopher Lowrey, Johnston, RI, Artistic Director
Donna Lowrey, Johnston, RI, Secretary
Mark Meyer, Dallas, TX
Trevor S. Neal, Newport, RI
Reverend Janet Cooper Nelson, Providence, RI
Bob Nolan, Warwick, RI, Associate Treasurer
Charles Oliver, Attleboro, MA, Treasurer
Dwight E. Porter, Stoneham, MA
Camilla de Rochambeau, North Kingstown, RI
Reverend Benjamin Straley, Providence, RI
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