Cantabile, pronounced ‘‘kanta-bi-la’’, is an Italian music term referring to a singing style — but for one group of Central Otago women, it means so much more.
The Cantabile Women’s Choir started with eight women in September 2020 and quickly grew to about 25 to 30.
The choir began to sing in rest-homes throughout the region, but Covid restrictions put a hold on events and public performances.
That has now changed and the choir is settling into a new groove, with its second major performance, Autumn Soiree, at Central Stories tonight.
Choir director and founder Carole Chetwin-Randall said while the women were passionate about singing, they also gained a unique sense of community and connection.
‘‘I think singing is one of the best interests that brings people together because you are singing a lot of text and words that come from the heart — you’re not just playing an instrument.’’
No stranger to the world of choir, Chetwin-Randall has music in her veins.
‘‘Singing has been in my life, nurtured from my parents,’’ she said.
Father Maurice Chetwin was a choir conductor while mother Isabel was a soloist who used to do radio broadcasting.
Previously a music lecturer with the College of Education, Chetwin-Randall sang with the Dunedin City Choir, and also had her own choir, the Dunedin Star Singers, before moving to Clyde.
Semi-retired, she now works with the New Zealand Secondary Schools Choir providing logistical and pastoral care support, a role she has held for 11 years.
Tonight’s performance at Central Stories features Central Otago musicians — folk singer Martin Curtis, pianist Alistair Monteath, vocalist and pianist Libby Hamilton and Dunstan High School year 13 pupil and vocalist Connor McDowell.
Chetwin-Randall said the group felt it was important to perform at Central Stories, and proceeds from door sales would go towards supporting the museum and art gallery.
The performance starts at 5.30pm. Door sales are $20 and include a glass of wine/juice and platters.