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Ensemble Lyrae

Music in the Midst of a Pandemic

Ensemble Lyrae members answer questions about

their personal experiencesas musicians in a time of pandemic.

2020-2021 Virtual Season Announcement

In March, we were in the thick of preparations for our "Still We Rise" concert, with literally weeks to go before the concert went up. Then Covid-19 descended upon the United States, and our plans quickly shifted. We observed the unfolding events, putting aside our dreams of performing that powerful program, at least for the foreseeable future.

     The past six months have given us time to reflect on the importance of health, community and the gift of music, as well as ponder how to continue to bring music and thoughtful programing to our audiences. From our quiet reflection, we offer some musings by Ensemble Lyrae.

     As we navigate a new normal, Ensemble Lyrae explores how we can connect to our audiences in a safe way, whether through virtual events and forums, socially distant concerts, or simply sharing some of our most beloved music through archived recordings. We know that the power of music reaches beyond the limitations we currently face. We know that there will always be a place for finding peace, comfort and inspiration in beautiful music, meaningful messages and thoughtful words. Please visit our 2020-2021 Season page to find out more aboutour exciting and unusual upcoming virtual season. 

      Stay connected through our Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube accounts. We'll keep you updated about how, when and where you can hear us! And if you haven't yet, sign up for email updates to get the full scoop. Sometimes we'll reach you through your screens, sometimes from our archives, and hopefully, sometime in the not too distant future, in a socially distant, safe, outdoor setting!

     Thank you for your continued support during these uncertain times. We miss you and can't wait to connect with you in whatever shape or form that takes in the coming months!


Still WE Rise: Changing HERstory!  - POSTPONED!


Dear Friends of Ensemble Lyrae,

As the global impact of COVID-19 continues to spread, the health and well-being of our community is our primary concern. For all of us at Ensemble Lyrae, our hearts are with anyone already affected by the COVID-19 virus. We’re hoping and praying that you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy.

Due to the ongoing concerns about COVID-19 and to help protect the many of you who support us by attending our live performances, we’re postponing the concerts that we have scheduled for Saturday March 28 at Longy School of Music of Bard and Sunday, March 29 at The Community House in Hamilton. We’ll share information about our plans to reschedule these events as they are formed.


At present, our concert on Sunday, May 17 at Shirley Meeting House is scheduled to take place as planned.  We continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate as soon as possible if that changes.


Your support of our music is a tremendous gift and one that we are exceptionally grateful for. While the work we do with Ensemble Lyrae is a passion of ours, many artists are wholly reliant on their art as a source of income.  We’ll be making a donation to Boston Singers' Relief Fund on behalf of Ensemble Lyrae.  More information about Boston Singers' Relief Fund available here.

All of us at Ensemble Lyrae believe that music and the arts can deliver moments of peace in even the most stressful situations.  Please stay healthy and do everything you can to support yourself physically and emotionally throughout this challenging time.

With love,

Emily, Grace, Michelle, Rachael, Samantha, and Naoko

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Rocking with the Renaissance Men!

     Thanks to all who were able to make it out on a snowy evening for the "Rockin' with Renaissance Men" event on Saturday, January 18! Renaissance Men and Ensemble Lyrae had a great time sharing an eclectic mix of music all to raise funds for NAMI Massachusetts!

     Thanks to the generosity of the audience, $1,886 was raised! Every bit of it will be going to support their programs that build better lives for the millions affected by mental illness.










2019-2020 Season Announcement 


Storytelling is one of the oldest art forms and one of the most valuable ways humans have found to express themselves. Shared as a means of entertainment, education, and cultural preservation, stories allow us to hold on to memories and help to inform what we want for our future. During their 2019-2020 season, Ensemble Lyrae explores the stories we have tucked onto shelves as old favorites...and stories of bravery that have moved the needle of women’s rights.

     Their Fall 2019 concert, “Tell Me a Story, Sing Me a Song”, takes a more literal approach, highlighting music inspired by literature. Joined by guest artist Naoko Sugiyama, Ensemble Lyrae recalls favorite stories from childhood that were not only memorable to us, but exhilarating to composers. From classics like Little Women and Hansel and Gretel to more modern favorites like Lord of the Rings and Goodnight Moon, this program presents a broad collection of literature for our audience to explore.


Sunday, October 20, 2019  at 4:00 PM

Shirley Meeting House

Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 3:00 PM

New School of Music

Sunday, October 27, 2019 

The Commons in Lincoln (PRIVATE EVENT)


Sunday, April 5, 2020 at 3:00 PM
Musical Sunday's Series

Morrill Memorial Library

“Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

  I rise.”


     Inspired by the words of Maya Angelou, Ensemble Lyrae’s Spring 2020 concert, “Still WE Rise: Changing HERstory”, explores the theme of women throughout history who have persisted in the face of obstacles. This program celebrates those who have spoken up, risen up, fought for what is right, and paved the way for others by changing the course of history. Works include the stories and/or words of women such as Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Malala Yousafzai, Abigail Adams, Louisa May Alcott, and Anne Frank, among many others. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, the program includes a set of suffragette songs, never taking for granted this fundamental right. 


We stand on the shoulders of the courageous women who came before us. While we have made much progress, there is still work to be done. Women and men are waking and rising to the call for conscious engagement around widespread imbalances.

We rise
We rise
We rise. 

Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 8:00 PM

Longy School of Music of Bard College

27 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 

     $15 General Admission
$10 Students and Seniors (65+)
Children 12 and under - FREE


Sunday, March 29, 2020 at 3:00 PM

The Community House

284 Bay Road, Hamilton, MA 

     $15 General Admission
$10 Students and Seniors (65+)
Children 12 and under - FREE


May 2020

Shirley Meeting House

41 Brown Road, Shirley, MA

     FREE General Admission 

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Ensemble Lyrae to Partner

with ArCS Cluster  

     Ensemble Lyare is honored to announce their collaboration with ArCS Cluster during their Finding Home concert series. 

     ArCS Cluster mobilizes teams of volunteers to support local refugees and asylum seekers who have critical needs.  The organizations provides a range of services to assist these individuals and families in creating homes, finding work and establishing independent lives in the communities to which they have come.   ArCS Cluster's volunteers help those they serve in accessing critical services including safe housing, food, clothing, transportation, medical assistance, vocational training, and much more. 

     Ensemble Lyrae has invited representatives from this organization to speak about their work with refugees in the cities of Arlington, Cambridge, Somerville, and surrounding communities in Massachusetts.


2018-2019 Season Announcement     

     There is only one certainty in life, and that is change. Almost in an instant, clarity can shift to confusion, turmoil to peace, and joy to sorrow. During their 2018-2019 season, “Transitions,” Ensemble Lyrae explores the fluidity of the human condition.

     In Fall 2018, their concert program “Expressions of Light and Dark” probes the subtleties found in all visions of light and shadow. Through works by Felix Mendelssohn, Zoltán Kodály, Gustav Holst, Adam Guettel, Ola Gjeilo, and many more, these degrees of luminosity will evoke a sensational experience for audiences. Ensemble Lyrae continues to introduce new music for women’s voices through the commission of Brian John and his setting of “You, Darkness” with text by Rainer Maria Rilke, and a fresh interpretation of Disney’s “All in the Golden Afternoon” by Eva Kendrick.

Please join us for a resplendent event at any of the following venues:

Sunday, October 21, 4:00 PM

Shirley Meeting House 

41 Brown Rd, Shirley, MA 01464

Saturday, October 27, 7:30 PM 

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church 

838 Massachusetts Ave

Cambridge, MA 02139

Saturday, November 10, 2:00 PM

Morse Institute Library 

14 E Central St.

Natick, MA 01760


     In Spring 2019, their concert program “Finding Home” ponders the complexity of finding a place to call home, especially for those fleeing from war, famine, and oppression, and those seeking asylum in new lands of sanctuary and opportunity. Ensemble Lyrae brings to the forefront works by immigrant composers, including Béla Bartók and Irving Berlin, as well as works that share stories of immigration – the hardships, the hopes, and the fears.


Performances will take place at the following venues: 

Saturday, March 9, 2019 7:30 PM

Harvard Epworth Church

1555 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA ​

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 12:00 PM

Music at Whitehead Series

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

455 Main Street

Cambridge, MA 


Ensemble Lyrae Celebrates Heroes in 2017-2018 Concert Season

Boston-based vocal chamber group, Ensemble Lyrae, sings the praises of

Veterans in November 2017 and Women Trailblazers in March 2018.


     Ensemble Lyrae is pleased to announce their exciting 2017-2018 Concert Season. Inspired by those who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of justice and freedom, Ensemble Lyrae have crafted two programs to illuminate the sacrifices made for the greater good.


     The first program, “For Thee We Sing: A Musical Tribute to Our Veterans,” honors the military service and sacrifice of all men and women in uniform, their families, and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country. From the frontlines, as in John Kander’s deeply moving setting of “A Letter from Sullivan Ballou,” to the home front, as with the hopeful “Tie A Yellow Ribbon,” the program explores the complexities of war through music crossing the centuries. Other favorites, including “White Cliffs of Dover,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” which offered the often much-needed morale boost to soldiers and civilians alike.  Ensemble Lyrae has commissioned two pieces written by local composers, Charles Tarver and Brian John. The first, a setting of the poem “In Flanders Field” and the second, an arrangement of  the well-known “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” The audience will be invited to raise their own voices in a sing-along of several beloved patriotic songs.


Audiences will have three opportunities to hear this program:

Friday, November 10, 7:30 PM

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

838 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139


Saturday, November 11, 7:00 PM

 The Shirley Meeting House  

41 Brown Rd, Shirley, MA 01464


Sunday, November 19, 1:00 PM

Christ Congregational Church

1350 Pleasant St, Brockton, MA 02301


     The second program picks up the threads of the conversation begun with Senator Elizabeth Warren’s reading to the Senate of Coretta Scott King’s letter in February 2017. In declaring the letter on the Senate floor, Warren, like many other women before her, made choices that weren’t easy and risked a great deal to reputation and well-being. Ensemble Lyrae, under the very title of a warning given to Warren for her behavior, present “Nevertheless, She Persisted.” Delving into compositions by women, Ensemble Lyrae grapples with questions of gender-equality and feminism, and acknowledges the efforts made by women to change history. Works by Hildegard von Bingen, Lili Boulanger, and Clara Schumann, up to today’s Jennifer Higdon and Julianna Hall will be featured.  Ensemble Lyrae is also pleased to welcome harpist Alix Raspé as guest artist on the program.


Audiences can experience these concerts on and at the following:

Friday, March 9th at 7:30pm

First Parish Milton 

535 Canton Ave, Milton, MA 02186


Saturday, March 10th at 7:30pm

Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church 

1555 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

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