"Glorious the song when God's the theme,"
wrote Christopher Smart in his 1763 "Song to David."
That 18th century premise is shared by Kate Caldwell, Carolyn Sonnen and Jane Elkin, the members of Trinitas, an acappella ensemble devoted to performance of sacred music as it has been sung through the ages. Whether in Gregorian chant, the unison melodic lines that gave voice to religious expression in Medieval times, in the polyphonic motets of Renaissance masters like Byrd, Palestrina and Josquin, or in Taize chant, the short, harmonized bursts of meditative prayer intoned by the faithful in 20th century France, the trio is dedicated to a seamless blending of three voices in the pursuit of a single holy sound.
As the trio has performed publicly over the past year and released its first CD, Songs of the Labyrinth, it has garnered impressive critical reaction.
Dr. Raymond Weidner, Organist and Director of Music at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severna Park, MD, agrees. "Trinitas is a wonderfully refreshing ensemble whose music spans the centuries, calms the soul, and is imbued with a spiritual passion that gives the listener a glimpse of the Divine," he says.
"The voices of Jane Elkin, Kate Caldwell and Carolyn Sonnen are beautifully matched, yet not identical, producing subtle shifts of vocal color and variety within the simple context of unison and canonic composition,"says Dr. John Barry Talley, Chairman of Musical Activities at the United States Naval Academy. "In all the selections the listener hears soaring arched phrases and carefully tapered endings, but my favorite is the 14th century Spanish 'O Virgo Splendens.' The supple voices of the three singers float effortlessly through its extended melismas."
"Chant is nourishment in a prayerful atmosphere," says Rev. Thomas Williamsen, Pastor of Gloria Dei! Lutheran Church in Arnold, MD. "Trinitas offers gourmet cuisine that renews and refreshes the soul."
For performance, all Trinitas requires is a resonant space large or small; preferably a sacred space. Trinitas may be contacted at email@example.com or at
Check out the artist's website:
1. Per Crucem - Taize canon, 20th c.
2. Canticle - Michael Levi
3. Modern Alleluia - Taize canon
4. Sans Avoir Vu le Christ - Taize chant
5. Pietas Omnium - Anon. 16th c.
6. O Virgo Splendens - 14th c. Spanish chant
7. O sacrum Convivium - Ray Weidner
8. Agnus Dei - Peter Latona
9. Illumina oculos meos - Palestrina
10. Jubilate Exultate - Michael Praetorius
11. Ave Maria - Ellen M. Keating, O.P.
12. Alleluia - Taize
13. Adoro te devote - Gregorian chant
14. Audi Domine - Adam Gumpelzhaimer
15. Laudate Dominum - T.L. de Victoria
16. Jubilate Servite - Taize canon