Happily, I was able to make it to my first Piccolo event Saturday afternoon. Trust me when I say — from long experience — that Spoleto USA’s little-sister festival consistently manages to attract quite a few world-class acts in all areas of the performing arts, and yesterday’s performers fall into that exalted category.
Antioch is a fabulous New Jersey-based professional mini-chamber choir (12 voices) that’s been performing in Piccolo’s generally excellent Spotlight on the Art of Choral Music Series for years. I first heard them here a few years back, and have been looking for a chance ever since to again wallow in their sweet sonorities and relish anew their rare choral artistry.
Perhaps the most revealing thing I can tell you about the ensemble’s quality is that about half of its members are alumni of the vaunted Westminster Choir, Spoleto USA’s world-famous resident chorus. Their appearance at St. Philip’s Church offered a winning array of mostly a cappella choral classics, both ancient and modern, plus some really cool jazz.