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Can you SPY what we did last summer?


Almost exactly one year ago, Cantate Carlisle members poured themselves into truly evaluating the group’s mission and formulated a new mission statement. It’s on the front page of our website and displayed at our events. Board members even have it on a coffee mug as a reminder of what we are all about, to help us to maintain our focus.

In striving to inspire and connect “people in the Carlisle community and beyond through powerful, entertaining, and artistic” efforts, we seek meaningful community outreach.

One of our Board members, Jeanna Som also serves as the director of Carlisle’s SPY (Summer Program for Youth). She was told, during the Pandemic, that the summer camps could not continue.

Som’s spirit said, “Watch me.”

She made it happen safely, and she made it grow.


Jeanna, recognizing the power of music in the life of children, worked with our own Craig Jurgensen to get enough ukuleles for every child to be able to play and learn during camp. When Craig brought Jeanna to Cantate Carlisle and she agreed to serve on our Board, it was only natural that we would carry our mission to the powerful little voices of her campers.

For six weeks during the summer of 2022, our Artistic Direct Michelle DiBona Trefren, along with student assistants Alyanna Montgomery and Aaron Gibelius and a helping hand from CYV Director Elizabeth Kammerer, worked with the spirited SPY campers.

The campers learned songs, practiced skills, and found themselves performing ON STAGE at the Historic Carlisle Theatre. How awesome is that? Not only did little people get to raise the nearly 100 year old roof, but Cantate had the privilege of serving these families, giving them the opportunity to explore the power of music, to learn new skills, and to hone their talents.

Energetic little people at the end of a day of camping didn’t always make it easy for our instructors, but they definitely made it beautiful.

Student assistant Alyanna Montgomery said, “It allowed a wide range of kids to sing and have fun with friends.” It gave her the opportunity to be a good role model. “It was challenging and fun overall, but more specifically, I learned more about how kids work and how to effectively teach them.”

Cantate is proud to offer opportunities for former CYV singers like Montgomery to take on leadership roles within the programs we offer.


Cantate hopes some of these SPY campers will join us in Cantate Young Voices and someday, maybe, become student leaders or join Cantate Carlisle adult choral ensemble. We look forward to continuing to give this kind of gift to the community and continuing to join forces with other organizations to impact and expand the arts community.

Our core values are diversity, excellence, audience connection, musical growth, and community collaboration. If you are part of an organization that might like to collaborate with us or would like to employ some of our singers as entertainment for your event, please reach out to Trefren at artisticdirector@cantatecarlisle.org.

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