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Dr. Deborah Simpkin King and "An Ember December"

Dr. King
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Deborah Simpkin King, Ph.D. is a visionary choral conductor, new music advocate and master teacher who has been thrilling audiences in New York and New Jersey for many years. 

Her semi-professional choral ensemble Ember of Schola Cantorum on Hudson is presenting a concert "An Ember December" this Sunday, December 8 at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church at 94 Pine Street in Montclair, New Jersey.

The famous conductor also leads the choir of the Presbyterian Church of Chatham Township and is the host of public radio's Sounds Choral.

Dr. King sat down recently with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle to talk about the upcoming concert and her incredible career serving the national and international music community through her guest conducting and body of published work.

Dr. King, founder and artistic director of Schola Cantorum on Hudson is thrilled to be celebrating the choral arts group's 25th anniversary.

Schola Cantorum on Hudson is the home of Ember.

Dr. King says their holiday concert is not the norm.  

"We will not be having  Santa Claus coming down the middle aisle nor will we have jingle balls.  We will however have bells and we will have a flute and we'll have wonderful voices.  Ours is not so much a holiday spirit rah-rah now go out and shop sort of concert.  Our is more along the lines of relief from that."

Dr. King
Credit Schola Cantorum on Hudson
Schola Cantorum on Hudson is the home of "Ember" and was founded by Dr. King in August of 1994

Dr. King says her selections for this annual traditional choral event are chosen with care.

"It's always our belief in singing and in our programming that there are basic human needs that the choral art can meet in very unique ways.  Yes, we can be very joyful and outwardly so, we can also have that internal hallelujah that I think these few weeks before Christmas and many holidays from different faith orientations that are celebrated during this time, and our time of preparation going into such marvelous feast celebrations can be a time of reflection and introspection of coming together as a community. Certainly a choir of voices represents I think kind of a unique paradigm of what society or community can be.  And so we seek to speak from that voice of community.  One of calm, one of peace, one of invitation and warmth."

For more information about December 8 concert and upcoming events you can go to www.emberensemble.org.

Click above to hear the entire conversation with Dr. Deborah Simpkin King.

Doug Doyle has been News Director at WBGO since 1998 and has taken his department to new heights in coverage and recognition. Doug and his staff have received more than 200 awards from organizations like PRNDI, AP, New York Association of Black Journalists, Garden State Association of Black Journalists and the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists.