Ensemble Companio's mission is to build bridges between people through authentic, inspiring performances of the finest choral music.
Now in its eighth season and directed by Erik Peregine, Ensemble Companio was founded in 2011 by director emeritus Joseph Gregorio and is an award-winning volunteer chamber choir comprised of members who hail from across the Eastern seaboard and perform together throughout the Eastern United States.
The group takes its name from a Latin form of "companion", the historical meaning of which is "one with whom one shares bread." The name reflects the musicians' belief that sharing in choral music, like the sharing of food, is an essential, nourishing, and healing experience.
Ensemble Companio typically presents three full-length concerts per season, as well as several shorter and more informal performances. Its repertoire spans centuries and has included, among other things, Gregorian chant, sacred and secular works of the Renaissance, Baroque, and Romantic eras, modern and contemporary compositions, and arrangements of spirituals, popular songs, and folk music from around the world.
The chorus gives consistently memorized, polished, and engaging performances. On the strength of a recording of its inaugural performance in 2012, Ensemble Companio was awarded the 2012 American Prize in Choral Performance (Community Chorus division). It performed at the 2013 Fall Conference of the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, has received a grant from ACDA-PA, and has hosted such luminaries as composer/conductor Alice Parker, Matthew Oltman, director emeritus of Chanticleer, and Jameson Marvin, professor emeritus of choral music at Harvard University.
Ensemble Companio was also invited to present at the 2016 Chorus America conference on the uniquely accessible community chorus model its members created to allow ambitious, working young professionals to perform in an elite chamber choir. In 2016, with a supporting grant from Awesome Without Borders, Ensemble Companio recorded its first studio album.
This season's program, Failed Saints, grapples with what it means to be human in a time of inhumanity, exploring our mortal imperfections, our shared divinity, and ultimately our power to co-create the world as we wish it existed. Featuring choral music that holds space for rage, grief, transformation, and healing, this program includes the world premiere of two movements from Sarah Rimkus's eponymous Failed Saints, Alberto Ginastera's Lamentations of Jeremiah (his only composition for unaccompanied chorus), and Saunder Choi's The New Colossus as well as works by Dunphy, Guillaume, Valverde, Runestad, Barnett, Paulus, and others.