Choral Music Never Had It So Good Octarium, the midwest's premiere vocal ensemble, announces the release of their debut CD. Octarium brings a magical clarity and brilliance to some of choral music's most respected repertoire, as well as some newer additions to the choral canon. The group delivers Benjamin Britten's Hymn to St. Cecilia with a new vitality. Likewise, the voices embrace the chords of Monteverdi, Paulus, Tallis and Hatfield, among others. With each track, it becomes more clear that Octarium's Octarium is a CD to be savored and shared. Octarium is Latin for "Eight as One" and the name defines our mission: Eight Singers, One Choral Voice. Octarium is committed to fostering and promoting the development and appreciation of the art of choral music through innovative and engaging programming, seeking to inspire, enlighten and educate. Octarium began when Krista became the Director of Choirs at Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church in 2001. Her budget allowed her to hire eight section leaders for the Chancel Choir, so she set about finding eight people who not only would sing well, but lead well, teach well, learn well and enjoy themselves while doing it. Luck was with her, and eight such people became a part of the music program at the church. The ensemble began performing on occasion as an octet as well as within the larger Chancel Choir. The St. Andrew's Consort was born. As the octet rehearsed and performed together, a remarkable thing began to happen: musical synergy. The singers began to musically read each other's minds; taking unplanned breaths together, phrasing identically and beautifully without discussing it first, and creating impromptu choral dynamics in rehearsal and performance. Krista sat back, listened to it all happen and said to herself "Hmmm, people need to hear this. Lots of people need to hear this." Hence, Octarium. Distinguishing itself for aggressive and cohesive programming and a unique style of performing without a conductor, Octarium has firmly established itself among the premier musical groups in the Midwest. Octarium's past seasons have included engagements with New Ear, aha! Dance Theatre, The Friends of Chamber Music MusiConnection Program and an appearance at the American Choral Directors Association National Convention in Los Angeles in 2005.