An auditioned chamber chorus that strives for musical excellence in the performance of challenging and diverse repertoire, we seek to foster a vital arts community, collaborate with other organizations, provide opportunities for artistic fulfillment for our singers, and share our love of music with our audiences. Since 1977, Amare Cantare (“to love to sing”) has performed masterworks and choral music from five centuries. Based in Durham, New Hampshire, the group’s members come from all over the Seacoast.

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Bass Needed

Amare Cantare has an opening for a bass — ideally a low bass! Please email if you are interested to audition.

Next Concerts

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Please join us for a performance of two Baroque choral gems: Cantata 131, Aus der Tiefe rufe ich, Herr, zu dir (Out of the Depths, I Call to You, O Lord) by Johann Sebastian Bach and Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi. We will be accompanied by a chamber orchestra of local professional instrumentalists. One of Bach’s earliest cantatas, Aus der Tiefe is also one of a handful of his cantatas with multiple choral movements. As one of the most frequently performed works in the choral literature, Vivaldi’s Gloria promises to be a treat for our audiences. All of the soloists for both works are Amare Cantare members. This program is funded in part by a grant from the Waldo and Alice Ayer Trust, Citizens Bank N.A.

Dear Friends of Amare Cantare,

In response to the current crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic, Amare Cantare has decided to cancel our April 24, 25, and 29 performances of Vivaldi Gloria and Bach Cantata 131. The need for social distancing at this time is clear, and we consider it our responsibility to both our singers and the community to support the effort to slow down the spread of this disease.

We will be re-scheduling the Vivaldi/Bach concerts for November 2020. Stay tuned for the exact dates soon. Of course, one of the most wonderful things about choral singing is that it brings people together. And yet, it is this very act of bringing people together that could put our community in danger at this time. Hopefully, we are now coming together in a different way by following the CDC’s recommendation for social distancing. It feels like a tremendous loss for both our singers and audience, but maybe we can be like the people in Italy who have been singing from their balconies. Let’s keep the music in our hearts, and we will look forward to singing for our audiences again in November.

All the best, and stay well,
Clark Bourne, President and Catherine Beller-McKenna, Music Director

Our Music Director

Catherine Beller-McKenna, Music Director, brings to Amare Cantare extensive experience in conducting choruses in both community and collegiate settings. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, her Master’s of Music in Choral Conducting from New England Conservatory and her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of South Carolina, where she explored a special interest in text/music relationships in the cantatas of J.S. Bach. She has also conducted in master classes at the Oregon Bach Festival and the South Carolina Conductor’s Institute.

Since returning to New England in 1998, Catherine has taught and conducted at Bowdoin College, the University of New Hampshire, and the University of Southern Maine. In addition to Amare Cantare, she directs Women in Harmony, a 50-voice women’s chorus in Portland, ME, and she previously directed the Granite State Choral Society, a 65-voice mixed chorus in Rochester, NH.

Catherine (who goes by “Kitty”) believes strongly in the power of music to build community. She lives with her family in Durham, NH.

Our Board

  • Clark Bourne, President
  • Scott Joy, Vice President
  • Liz Smardz, Treasurer
  • Morgen Ames, Secretary
  • Paula Rais, Past President
  • Kitty Beller-McKenna, Music Director
  • Mike Herlihy
  • Charlie Smith
  • John Wallace


Amare Cantare is an auditioned chamber ensemble generally made up of 24 voices. When openings occur, they are filled by private audition with the music director. We do keep a waiting list, as vacancies sometimes arise unexpectedly. Please email us for more information or to set up an audition.

Contact Us

P.O. Box 742
Durham, NH 03824