Conductor

Choral conducting is an area of rapid growth in Cherwyn’s musical path. Cherwyn has conducted choirs for much of her adult life. Her teaching is characterized by humor, patience, musical instinctiveness, and an understanding of how to work effectively with singers to free the voice and spirit…Her conducting style reflects passion, clarity of gesture, and attentiveness to the impulse of the music to elicit a spellbinding performance.

 

Cherwyn conducts the following choral ensembles:

 

        * Zephyr Vocal Ensemble, an auditioned 16-member, primarily a cappella, professional-level singing group which Cherwyn founded in summer of 2010 and which débuted in concert on April 2, 2011 to a wildly enthusiastic crowd of 260. Zephyr offers entrancing music in an eclectic variety of musical genres including world music, classical, jazz, pop, rock, spirituals, Broadway, and folk music. Performances, which are not conducted, utilize dance and direct eye contact with the audience to foster intimacy. Zephyr presents the finest in vocal entertainment and in the a cappella choral art in the region to our listeners! Zephyr performs throughout the northern NJ region, as well as in Rockland and Orange Counties, NY. In addition to our concerts, as an a cappella group, we possess the mobility to bring our music to where the community is, singing at such events as tree-lighting ceremonies, community festivals, and other informal appearances. Zephyr is composed of highly-trained choral singers, primarily who are professional musicians. Please visit our website, www.zephyrve.org, for more information and a schedule of our upcoming performances!

 

(See a newspaper’s feature article on Zephyr and on one of our Zephyr tenors, Mike Yannuzzi:

http://www.northjersey.com/community/102410079_Michael_Yannuzzi_breezes_into_a_cappella_singing_with_Zephyr_Ensemble.html?c=y&page=1)

 

 

       *  Jefferson Township Community Chorus, a chorus serving Jefferson Twp., NJ, and surrounding towns. This talented chorus has open enrollment but produces music at a high level – and we also have fun, too! In this group, we present a spring concert which includes contemporary and classical music, showtunes, and other music, and we sing our annual festive holiday concert. Every spring we also produce a collaborative and hilarious variety show together with the Jefferson Township Band and the Jefferson Township Jazz Band. We sing also for festival-goers at Jefferson Township Day in the month of July. Jefferson Township nurtures the arts and is extremely proud of its arts program, which enriches the community and provides fulfillment for those who seek an outlet through which to share their music. Please come try us out at a Tuesday evening rehearsal; you’ll find our joy in singing and our music-producing to be infectious!

 

              “Cherwyn, the ‘Heavens at the Holidays’ was a most enjoyable holiday concert filled with a variety of

music that truly exhibited everyone in the chorus’ talents. Your guidance and expertise allowed them to

shine and provided a wonderful afternoon of entertainment to usher in the Christmas season. Thank you

for all your hard work these past few months, and I look forward to the future of the Community Chorus

with you at the helm. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!”

                                                     ~ Carol Punturieri, president of the Jefferson Arts Committee, in a

note the day after our first concert, Dec. 5th, 2010

 

Bill Child, longtime JTCC member, sent the following after our first rehearsal with Cherwyn as

director: “Let me say that I think it’s going to be a wonderful time working with you as our new

director. You know so much about music, and your voice is beautiful! (Sure you don’t want a dual

position with the chorus – singer and leader?). You have so much energy and it is contagious. I was

amazed how you had us into three songs on our first practice and they went pretty well…I just really

think we’ll all have a fantastic time singing and growing as a group. Thank you for taking the job.”

 

              

        * The Senior Choir of Calvary Baptist Church, Warwick, NY, which ministers in the traditional worship service and offers special music in addition to assisting with the worship of God’s people through the singing of the hymns with the congregation. We sing all varieties of music: contemporary, traditional, gospel, folk, country, classical, even some rock and jazz and some Gregorian chant! We also present an annual Easter cantata to enrich our congregation’s worship and connection with God on Resurrection Day. Past cantatas have included a 55-minute cantata with seven dramatic speakers, two narrators, soloists and small ensembles, and choir, with accompanying DVD and congregational singing included. We always present special and meaningful selections at our Christmas Eve service and also at the Good Friday service, sometimes in conjunction with our church’s Children’s Choir. The emphasis is on our spiritual contributions to the service and finding God there.

 

               Pastor Craig Adams shares this about Cherwyn’s direction: “Cherwyn’s love for people and music

helped bring the choir together. She has done amazing things with the group of people she had. She is

gifted beyond belief in music. She understands music and music theory enough that she can explain it to

others so that they understand.

 

“She is able to challenge people to expand their capabilities and their confidence. She gets more out of

people than they think they are capable of giving. Her gentle spirit creates a relaxed environment where

people are free to learn better. She is able to do that and to keep order at the same time. She is willing to

work with individuals so they are confident in what is required of them. She pours herself into everything

she does.”    ~ letter of recommendation, June 2008

 

 

Prior experience in choral conducting includes:

 

* Sonlight, an extra-curricular chorus at Tufts University which was an extension of the outreach of the Tufts Christian Fellowship. Sonlight sang at a variety of churches in the university’s locale, and was invited to sing in the university interfaith worship services and Catholic masses.

 

       * the Adult Choir of Grace Evangelical Free Church in Greenhills, Ohio, a choir which ministered in the worship service and presented a Christmas cantata

 

       * the elementary school choirs at Marshall Hill School in West Milford, NJ, where Cherwyn taught vocal music. The choral concerts during Cherwyn’s tenure there are described by her principal, Michael McCormick, in this way:

                “Mrs. Ambuter’s choral concerts and school performances were exceptional. Every selection was appropriate

and meaningful. Students were actively involved in the performances with props, costumes, and movements.

Her efforts won the praise of all who enjoyed her performances. She won the respect of parents, students,

and her colleagues…She is one of the most dedicated, hard-working, and creative music teachers with whom I

have had the pleasure of working.”     ~ letter of recommendation, July 2009

 

 

Cherwyn is a member of the ACDA as well as Chorus America and is an active participant in ChoralNet, the worldwide online resource forum for choral directors found in every sphere of choral conducting.