Tryon Concert Association presents Calmus

Published 3:31 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Tryon Concert Association is pleased to present Calmus, the German vocal ensemble, which will perform “Christmas A Cappella” at the Tryon Fine Arts Center on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, at 8 p.m. The program will include traditional German carols, sacred medieval melodies, and contemporary Christmas music. While many of the pieces will be familiar to listeners, others will reflect the rich traditions of diverse Christian cultures.

Calmus, known for its precision, lightness, wit, and blend of sound, is one of the most successful singing groups in Germany. The a capella ensemble embraces many forms of music, including Renaissance, Baroque, and Romantic as well as contemporary pop, folk, and jazz, and performs throughout Europe and the Americas. The presentation of Christmas music at TFAC promises to display the high level of musical achievement and joy of performing that have won Calmus numerous awards. The group has been described as singing with “wonderful lyricism and exquisite expressiveness.”

The ensemble is a unique combination of five voices: one soprano and four male voices ranging from countertenor to bass.

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Soprano Isabel Jantschek studied at the Musikhochschule in Dresden with Hendrikje Wangemann and KS Olaf Bär. Her specialty is Baroque music, and she performs regularly as a soloist with the Dresdner Kammerchor. She has appeared with many outstanding conductors and is delighted to appear with Calmus this year while Anja Pöche, who joined Calmus in 2001, is on maternity leave.

Countertenor Sebastian Krause became a member of the Thomanerchor (St. Thomas Choir of Leipzig) at age 9, where he also gained experience as a conductor. In 1999, he became a co-founder of the ensemble. He arranges music for Calmus as well as other ensembles and choirs.

Tobias Pöche, tenor, joined Calmus in 2006. He studied with Kammersänger Rudolf Riemer at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” Leipzig and has sung with a wide variety of groups in Europe. Having performed with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle and Riccardo Chailly, he appears as a soloist in opera and operetta productions in German companies. 

Baritone Ludwig Böhme, also a co-founder of Calmus, is a singer, conductor, lecturer, and arranger whose work includes collaboration with baroque orchestras. A member of the St. Thomas Boys Choir in Leipzig, he studied choral conducting with Georg Christoph Biller at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” Leipzig. When not busy with Calmus, he works as the conductor of the Leipzig chamber choir “Josquin des Préz,” which specializes in Renaissance music.

Manuel Helmeke, bass, was a prizewinner of the national music competition “Jugend Musiziert” for young adults. With a degree in singing and music education, he has performed as a soloist with organizations such as the Leipziger Gewandhaus. He is the group’s most recent member.

Together, the five singers achieve exquisitely blended sound with perfectly meshed vocal timbres.

Information about the concert series at TFAC is available through the Tryon Concert Association,
P. O. Box 32, Tryon, NC 28782. For more information, visit

– submitted by Anne De Sutter