What’s up with y’all’s name? And how do you pronounce it anyway??

OK. We realized–too late–that the name might be something of an ongoing problem. “Armonia Celeste”?? How do you pronounce it, and what does it mean, and why couldn’t we pick a regular old English name that people wouldn’t stumble over?

Let’s take these questions one at a time.

First, it’s pronounced like “Ar-mo-NEE-a Chay-LESS-tay” in English.  NOT “Ammonia sell-EST.” (We bet you can come up with some other ways not to pronounce it.)

Second, it’s Italian for “celestial (or heavenly) harmony,” and it seemed to perfectly sum up what our ensemble is about:

1)       The name is a bit archaic-sounding, like our historical music;

2)       It’s Italian, like most of our repertoire; and

3)       The “heavenly harmony” part brings to mind the fact that our rep is based in the writing from the late 1500s through the mid-1600s for a trio of women’s voices, singing in a style like close harmony–not unlike the Lennon sisters–except just from 400 years ago. Sarah, Rebecca, and Dianna are accompanied by Lyle and Paula on a variety of plucked-stringed instruments of the period, which we feel are the most expressive and sublime sounds of the era. Armonia celeste. That’s us.

Why couldn’t we have picked an English name? Well, we couldn’t think of anything that conveyed all of the above any better. Can you? (Leave your suggestion as a comment below. You might just give us a new nickname…or the title of our next CD or concert program. OK, we hope we’re not asking for trouble here…)

Harp, lute, and voice(s) = music of the angels (armonia celeste)!

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3 Responses to “What’s up with y’all’s name? And how do you pronounce it anyway??”

  1. Nancy Nowak Says:

    Love the name! I think it rather suits the group even though I have been mispronouncing. However, people mispronounce my last name all the time…. and it’s in English.

  2. Now you need never mispronounce us again, Nancy! 😉

  3. Gosh, I wish I could find a good YouTube clip of the 400-year-old Lennon Sisters–certain to be an eye-opener! But as for real life, having had the pleasure of hearing Armonia Celeste, I’ll gladly take AC instead, as you’re infinitely pleasanter on both eyes and ears than the others would likely be. 🙂

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