Kristen Dubenion-Smith


Kristen Dubenion-Smith possesses a lyric-mezzo of uncommon beauty, her flickering vibrato and the amber cast of her tone making something special out of the alto arias.”

~John Banno, The Washington Post-


"...A mezzo-soprano with a lilting voice..."

-Rebecca Corbett, The New York Times-


"The listener basked in the luxuriant richness of her lower register, while marveling at the facility of her upper tessitura... the depth of her conviction and connection to the music."

-Patrick McCoy, Washington Life Magazine-


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Previous events

Join Ensemble Altera for a boldly reimagined chamber version of a timeless classic, Handel's Messiah, live in concert in Providence, RI. Don't miss your chance to experience this groundbreaking concert, featuring some of the finest period instrumentalists and singers in the country. Kick off your holiday season with this festive favorite and hear the Messiah as you never have before, crackling with new energy and clarity. Just 25 musicians bring this masterpiece to life with Ensemble Altera's customary passion and invention.

Kristen Dubenion-Smith, alto soloist/chorus

Josquin Ave Maria, virgo serena Palestrina Missa brevis
Victoria and Byrd O magnum mysterium Guerrero and Palestrina Alma Redemptoris Mater Gibbons First Service Magnificat and Nunc dimittis Peñalosa and Byrd Ave verum corpus Croce and Victoria O vos omnes Byrd and Palestrina Hodie Christus natus est * From Josquin's exquisite Ave Maria, the first piece in Petrucci's first printed
edition of Renaissance music, to Byrd's brilliant Hodie Christus natus est, every work on this program is a deservedly famous masterpiece.

  • Palestrina's serene Missa brevis is one of the best-known Masses ever composed. ​
  • Victoria's and Byrd's settings of O magnum mysterium, and Victoria's and Croce's ​ settings of O vos omnes, stand at the head of all settings of their texts.

Eya presents The Unicorn

Inspired by the mysterious medieval tapestries known as “The Lady and the Unicorn,” this program amplifies the voices of visionary women who seek—and find—sacred union unto themselves. Featuring the rare body of medieval music of women, including the French trouvères, Hildegard von Bingen, Las Huelgas Codex, and others, as well and a special new commission by Baltimore-based composer (and friend of Eya) Douglas Buchanan. The program also features the voices of medieval and contemporary women mystics.

Music for the Soul Polychoral Splendors of Venice & Northern Europe Michael Praetorius- Polyhymnia Caduceatrix et Panegyrica (1619) Heinrich Schutz- Psalms of David (1619) Claudio Monteverdi- Selva morale e spirituale (1640/1641)

The leading center of 17th-century sacred music—the Basilica of St. Mark in Venice—could boast chief musicians such as Giovanni Gabrieli and Claudio Monteverdi. Gabrieli inspired the German-born Heinrich Schütz and other composers north of the Alps to adapt the Venetian style to the liturgies of German-speaking churches. We’ll hear examples of this impressive, grand tradition as it developed both north and south of the Alps, with multiple ensembles of singers, early brass, winds, and strings. This magnificent music creates a spectacular sound world of its own—a feast for the ears!

In 1920, the right to vote was expanded under the Nineteenth Amendment to include women. One hundred and two years later, we explore what it means to have your voice heard.

CCS has commissioned works from three of today’s leading women composers — Augusta Read Thomas, Lisa Bielawa, and Jessie Montgomery — that demonstrate the impact of speaking up and speaking out. As part of the day’s activities, you will also get to dictate a postcard to a real or imagined President as a part of Sheryl Oring’s work I Wish to Say.

Eya presents Pilgrimage (excerpts)

Eya follows the humming routes of the Camino de Santiago as well as the path towards the mountaintop monastery of Montserrat with music of medieval Spain from the Codex Calixtinus, Las Huelgas Codex, and the Llibre Vermell. Interspersed throughout the program are the liturgical songs of Hildegard von Bingen devoted to St. Ursula and the 11,000 virgins, martyred along their doomed spiritual journey.

This interweaving of musical styles outlines and explores the progression of body, mind, and spirit along the well-worn and sometimes turbulent path of the pilgrim.


Under the direction of T. Herbert Dimmock, four talented soloists–Elissa Edwards, Soprano; Kristen Dubenion-Smith, Alto; Ben Ellerin, Tenor; and Carl DuPont, Bass–the full Bach in Baltimore Choir & Orchestra bring the Hebrew Biblical story of the prophet Elijah to life.

Elijah, Mendelssohn’s most famous oratorio, was heavily inspired by the cantatas of J.S. Bach. Mendelssohn’s keen musicological recovery and revival efforts throughout the nineteenth century resurrected the music of J.S. Bach back into the public psyche. After Bach’s death, his music fell out of style and was relegated to music students and practice studios rather than in concert halls for public enjoyment. Mendelssohn famously brought Bach back into fashion with his knockout performance of the St. Matthew Passion.

Mendelssohn’s Elijah is a thrilling, soaring work whose structure calls to mind the sacred music of Bach that so enthused and inspired him. Acclaimed from its first premiere in 1846, this Elijah alone has cemented Mendelssohn’s place in history as one of the greatest composers of sacred music.



The Clarion Choir has earned international renown for its performances and recordings of Russian sacred music. It’s first three recordings have earned Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, the Choral & Song selection and a nomination for the Choral Award in BBC Music Magazine, 5 Diapasons in France, and three GRAMMY® nominations for Best Choral Performance.

This December and January, Clarion continues its tradition of performing Russian sacred music to usher in the New Year. This year the choir will explore the music of Alexander Gretchaninoff, a renowned choral composer who studied with Taneyev in Moscow and Rimsky-Korsakov in St. Petersburg before emigrating to the United States in 1939. The Clarion Choir will perform his 13-movement Passion Week. It was Gretchaninoff’s Passion Week that helped inspire Maximilian Steinberg’s later work of the same name, which Clarion performed and recorded several years ago.