William Byrd | 2010
Our season dates and concert programs will be posted shortly. Please come back soon for more information
Amuse is a small ensemble founded by Lee Ryder in the fall of 2002 to bring music written for women’s voices to New York audiences. An often overlooked area of choral literature, this repertory comprises serious works by a wide variety of composers throughout the last twelve centuries.
Writing in the New York Times, Allan Kozinn said, “This choir’s real magic is in its delicate balance of serenity and intensity...a pure transparent tone and solid ensemble.”
In addition to its three-concert season, Amuse singers have participated in a wide variety of other programs and events including the US premiere of John Tavener’s The Veil of the Temple, the closing work of the Lincoln Center Festival. The ensemble sang the chants in a collaborative performance of François Couperin’s Messe pour les couvents with organist Renée Anne Louprette at St. Ignatius Loyola and that same year saw Amuse singers joining the Dessoff Symphonic Choir for performances of Britten’s War Requiem and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Lorin Maazel for the maestro’s concluding two performances with the Philharmonic.
Amuse has also appeared twice on the Music on Madison series at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church and has toured to the Boston area under the baton of it’s first music director. The group was presented on the Serenade Concert series at the historic Christ Church on Staten Island and made its debut with the Oratorio Society of New York in a cameo role in Mendelssohn’s Paulus at Carnegie Hall with Kent Tritle conducting.
Originally from Maine, Colin Britt holds a bachelor’s degree in music composition from the Hartt School, a master’s degree in choral conducting from the Yale School of Music, and a doctorate in choral conducting from Rutgers University.
He has conducted the Rutgers University Choir, the Hartford Chorale Chamber Singers, the Hartt Choir and Camerata, and C4, The Choral Composer-Conductor Collective. His compositions have been performed by ensembles at Rutgers, Westminster Choir College, Hartt, Yale, and throughout the country, including Seraphic Fire, the Yale Schola Cantorum, the Yale Alumni Chorus, C4, VOCE, and the Riverside Choral Society, and by ensembles across the country and on four continents.
In Fall 2016, he will serve on the conducting faculty at SUNY New Paltz. In addition to his work with Amuse, he currently serves as music director for Grace Church Van Vorst in Jersey City, and conducts the West Village Chorale in New York and North River Sing in Jersey City.
We hear singers throughout the year. If you are interested in auditioning, please read more about how we work and what is expected of singers accepted into the ensemble.
Singers who would like to audition for the ensemble should have choral singing experience, strong sight-reading skills, a blending voice, and the willingness (and time) to have the music prepared before the first rehearsal. You can find out more about how Amuse works by reading the Expectations of Singers included in the auditions packer.
Please contact Lee Ryder > to schedule a time for an audition with the music director.
Auditions include sight-reading, pitch memory exercises, reading a series of rhythmic exercises, vocalizing, and preparing and singing the piece at the end of the audition form. While there are opportunities to do solo work, you do not need to be a soloist to sing in this ensemble. We are looking for good choral singers with solid skills and willingness to work hard.
Some of our singers have sung since childhood; some have degrees in music but have chosen to pursue other career directions. You don't need a solo voice to be part of the ensemble, just strong choral singing experience, solid reading skills and a willingness to work hard on the music.
Audio files from a variety of performances from 2005 - 2015. Title, composer and year of recording are noted with each piece.
William Byrd | 2010
Damien Mocnik | 2008
Frank LaRocca | 2011
Jeffrey Stone | 2014
Tomas Luis de Victoria | 2007
Zhou Long | 2007
Jack's Valentine (Hey You)
Libby Larsen | 2011
Imogen Holst | 2007
Cecilia McDowall | 2015
Henk Badings | 2007
Excerpts from Six Fables de la Fontaine
M.M. Durufle | 2008
A Child Was Born
Mark Sirett | 2014
Four Peasant Songs
Stravinsky | 2006
Gloria from Mass in A
Miklos Koscar | 2006
Just as every voice matters in a small ensemble, every donation matters as well. Please consider making a donation to Amuse through PayPal. You'll help bring more great works for women's voices to New York audiences.
• $25 covers the cost of music for a singer who can't afford to pay for it.
• $50 helps with the costs of program printing.
• $100 pays for a rehearsal space for one evening.
• $250 helps defray the cost of marketing and promoting a concert.
• $500 covers the cost of an instrumentalist to enliven our programs
• $1000 will let you dedicate a concert to a loved one to mark an important occasion.
This link above will take you to our PayPal site that provides secure processing of all credit card payments. You do not need to have a PayPal account to use this service. If you would prefer to receive our fundraising materials by mail, please email me >
Thank you in advance for you support!
We'd love to hear from you. Please send us a message using the contact form below.