Amare Cantare



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.

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.

Contact Us

Amare Cantare

P.O. Box 742

Durham, NH 03824




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 e-mail for more information or to set up an audition.


For 2016–2017 concert season details, click here.


Clark Bourne


Scott Joy

Vice President

Liz Smardz


Morgen Ames


Paula Rais

Past President

Bruce McKibben

John Wallace

Steve Hall

Otis Perry

Kitty Beller-McKenna


Hindemith: Six Chansons

April 1, 2 and 5, 2017

This spring, Amare Cantare presents a program of unaccompanied choral music about nature. The centerpiece of the concert is Paul Hindemith’s Six Chansons (Six Songs). These popular settings of French poems by Rainer Maria Rilke are notable for their skillful use of inventive scales and harmonies within a tonal framework. The concert also features pieces by Edward Elgar, Carson Cooman, John Bennet, Jacques Arcadelt, and others.

Saturday, April 1, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

Immaculate Conception Church

98 Summer Street, Portsmouth, NH

Sunday, April 2, 3:00 p.m.

Saint Joseph’s Church

150 Central Avenue, Dover, NH

Wednesday, April 5, 7:30 p.m.

Christ Church

43 Pine Street, Exeter, NH

General Admission: $15 at the door, $12 in advance

Students and Seniors: $12 at the door, $10 in advance

Advance tickets at Baldface Books, Dover; Flower Kiosk, Portsmouth; Café Espresso, Portsmouth; Water Street Books, Exeter; Durham Book Exchange, Durham.

Support Amare Cantare when you shop:

Amare Cantare joined other local choral groups and the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra to perform Beethoven’s 9th on March 18 and 19 at Portsmouth High School. For details, click here.