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 six centuries. Based in Durham, New Hampshire, the group’s members come from all over the Seacoast.

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Audience Comments

“That was such an amazing and moving performance today. At every level and in so many ways, we found ourselves tugged and tossed, tilted and lifted—lifted, yes, ultimately, out of our skins into and through the transcendence of song. Thank you for sharing your rich gifts and your accomplished performers with us.”
—Todd Hearon

“As a pedal steel guitarist in a country band, and as a jazz lover, I have a deep appreciation for layered harmonies and complex voicings, but I have had little exposure to classical music, and I’d never been to a choral concert until I heard Amare Cantare. It was a revelation; I couldn’t believe how all those blended voices could sound like one giant instrument. Their pitch was spot on and their dynamics were superb. Kitty Beller-McKenna conducted them with great skill and confidence and clearly inspired their expressive interpretations. I also loved the mix of material, from folk and religious songs to Great American songbook standards. I want to hear more.”

Our Newest Album

“En Vivo: Choral Music of Spain and the Americas” draws from live performances in 2018 and 2019 to showcase Amare Cantare at its best. Enjoy our music on your favorite streaming service, and help support us with your purchase. Read more in this Seacoast Online article.

En Vivo: Choral Music of Spain and the Americas

Listen and purchase in Apple Music, Amazon Music, or your favorite digital music source!

Catherine Beller-McKenna, Music Director

Music director since 2001, Catherine Beller-McKenna has extensive experience conducting choruses in both community and collegiate settings. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from New England Conservatory, and a Doctor 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 taught and conducted at Bowdoin College, the University of New Hampshire, and the University of Southern Maine. She is known for her innovative programming, her wide-ranging musical interests embracing a variety of styles and cultures, and her ability to work with adult volunteer singers from a wide variety of musical backgrounds. In 2009, she was the recipient of the Maryann Hartman Award from the University of Maine, given to women living or working in Maine who have demonstrated the levels of attainment now possible for women and who serve as significant role models for women of all ages. She also directs Women in Harmony in Portland, Maine, and formerly directed the Maine Girls Chorus, the Granite State Choral Society in Rochester, NH, and Sandpipers, the Seacoast Children’s Chorus in Portsmouth, NH. Catherine (who goes by Kitty) is continually amazed at the power of music to build community and bring people together. She lives with her husband in Durham, NH.

Our Board

  • Clark Bourne, President
  • Scott Joy, Vice President
  • Elizabeth Smardz, Treasurer
  • Morgen Ames, Secretary
  • Catherine Beller-McKenna, Music Director
  • Ruth George
  • Stephanie McNamara
  • Charles Smith
  • Theo Wiegand


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
PO Box 742
Durham, NH 03824

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