Christmas in Scandinavia

Saturday, December 1st, 2012
2 PM
Church of the Holy Comforter

A family concert (for ages 6 and above)

Come hear stories and beautiful music from Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden!

Featuring Special Guest Riikka Pietiläinen-Caffrey

Admission $10 adults
$5 seniors/students
with canned food donation for FISH


Dr. Riikka Pietiläinen-Caffrey was born in Kemi, Finland, one hundred kilometers below the Arctic Circle. Riikka moved to Helsinki at the age of sixteen to attend the prestigious Sibelius High School. In high school, Riikka sang in choirs with one of the leading figures of the Finnish choral tradition, Marjukka Riihimäki. After high school, Riikka toured the world with Marjukka’s world-renowned female choir Philomela.

In the fall of 2001 Riikka moved to New York to study saxophone at the City College of New York. While in college Riikka drifted back to her first love, choral music, and founded her own female choir Las Sirenas. In the spring of 2005 Las Sirenas performed Riikka’s composition Viel valkee aamu, which was based on the war-time pomes of her grandmother. The nine-movement composition was composed for female choir and percussion, and choreographed by Riikka’s high school friend Hanna Kivioja.

After her bachelor’s degree Riikka moved to Boulder to continue graduate studies in choral conducting at the University of Colorado. During her doctoral studies she was the conductor of the University Women’s Chorus. Riikka has also been working as the Coordinator of Traditional Worship at Broomfield United Methodist Church since 2008. Riikka holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the City College of the City University of New York, and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Colorado.

About this concert:
I first sung these carols with Marjukka Riihimäki at Sibelius High School in Helsinki. While quite a few years have passed since those days, when I sing any of these songs, I can still picture my fellow singers and my wonderful mentor. I wish that with this traditional repertoire, I can share my love for Finnish choral music and female choirs with both the singers and audience

Aster Small Group Picture

Aster Small Group

The Two Sarahs

The two Sarahs, played by Mariena Richards and Sarah Kochevar

Quiltin' and Dreamin' on the Prarie (2)

Quiltin' and Dreamin' on the Prairie (2)

Aster Small Group (2)

Aster Small Group (2)

Our First CD!

Endless ChainASTER is pleased to announce the release of our first CD, Endless Chain. This recording represents the endless chain of music handed down from one generation to the next, and how thankful we are for the many singers and musicians who have given of their time and talent to make this vision a reality. It is ASTER’s hope that we will be able to spread this music all across the country to people who would never be able to attend our concerts, as well as sharing it with our loyal fans here in Colorado.

Learn more, listen to samples, order your copy!

Endless Chain

Songs of Comfort, Joy & Inspiration

Endless ChainASTER is pleased to announce the release of our first CD! Endless Chain contains sixteen songs highlighting the past eight years of ASTER Women’s Chamber Choir performances.

“It’s been a dream of mine for many years,” says Christina Lynn-Craig, ASTER’s founder and artistic director. “I’m thrilled to have such talented and dedicated women to work with to perform such beautiful music. I’m so pleased with the quality of the CD and excited we’re now able to share our music with everyone!”

Endless Chain is a collection of the very best of the melting pot that is America. Selections include lullabies from Scotland and Wales, folksongs from Ireland, Norway and Scotland, hymns from many traditions, settings of Lynn-Craig’s Old Wives’ Tales and two of ASTER’s all-time favorites: Endless Chain, Pete Sutherland’s tribute to quilters and O Unico Amore, a piece by Boulder composer Kathleen Fagre commissioned by ASTER to honor Mother Cabrini.

Special Price!

CDs are available for $10.00 (plus $5.00 S&H).

Acceptance MarkOrdering via PayPal is secure, and you can use your credit card. If you prefer, you can send your check for $20.00 ($15.00 + $5.00 S&H) made out to ASTER to:
c/o 1370 Holly Drive West
Broomfield, CO 80020

Endless Chain is also available at these retail outlets:


Track Listing

  1. The Robin’s My Criterion for Tune
  2. How Can I Keep from Singing?
  3. O Unico Amore
  4. Sneezes I
  5. Flow Gently Sweet Afton
  6. Sneezes II
  7. Charladies’ Ball
  8. Three Butterflies Together
  9. Dream Angus
  10. De Norske Fjeld
  11. Touch Blue
  12. When Will We Be Married?
  13. Suo Gan
  14. Don’t Sing at the Table
  15. As Sisters in Zion
  16. And Ain’t I a Woman?
  17. Jacob’s Ladder
  18. Nothing Between
  19. We’ll Understand It Better By and By
  20. Endless Chain

ASTER Women’s Chamber Choir is a small (16-24 voice) women’s ensemble whose mission is exploring women’s lives and music. The group honors women who came before them by singing music composed by women, music which sets poetry by women, and traditional songs women sang while they worked, worshiped, and performed in concert halls.

ASTER Women's Chamber Choir

Ione Caley

On Dec. 23, 2003, ASTER lost one of its much loved members, Ione Caley. She contributed so much to the organization and the group loved her dearly. We will miss her greatly.

Ione Caley

Tributes from Ione’s friends and fellow “ASTERoids”

From Sarah:

When my father died in March (2003), we decided to put off his memorial service until his birthday in May. I called Ione one evening to see if she had any music that might be appropriate to sing at his memorial. She said she’d look through what she had and get back to me. She called me the next morning and sang through each piece she had found (and there were many!) and then faxed them to me. What a treat it was to have Ione sing to me at 9 AM!

From Colleen:

I had the pleasure of knowing Ione for only a year. During that time, I would not have known from her own behavior that she was ill. She was an example of the patient endurance that this “Motto of Teresa of Avila” expresses:

Let nothing disturb you,
Nothing affright you;
All things are passing;
God never changes;
Patient endurance
Attaineth to all things;
Who God possesses
In nothing is wanting;
God alone suffices.

ASTER needs Angels!

Our non-singing members have provided invaluable support with cash and in-kind donations. We thank our volunteers and donors, and invite you to join this special group of people who supplement the grants that have supported ASTER since its founding in 2000.

For more information about how you or your business can play a vital role, contact Christina Lynn-Craig by email or at (303) 466-2879.
Supporters of ASTER

ASTER Women’s Chamber Choir is proud to be a member of the Broomfield Council on the Arts & Humanities. All contributions to ASTER are fully tax deductible. Please make checks out to BCAH and mark ASTER Choir in the memo section. Donations may be mailed to:

Broomfield Council of the Arts & Humanities
P.O. Box 681
Broomfield, CO 80038-0681

During the past four seasons, ASTER has received grants from the Broomfield Cultural Council, SCFD Tier III, the Broomfield Community Foundation, the Broomfield Rotary, the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado, the Jeannie Brennan Memorial Fund, Way of the World, and Wells Fargo.

Thanks to Geneva Pharmaceuticals, Digital Dimensions, Legacy Music Publishers, Scenic Overlook and for in-kind support.

Christina Lynn-CraigDr. Christina Lynn-Craig founded ASTER Women’s Chamber Choir in April of 2000 with the goal of gathering accomplished choral singers who wanted to explore women’s lives and music together. Prior to that, she sang with Ars Nova Singers for many years and is a former member of the music faculty and alumna of Loretto Heights College. She received the MM degree from Temple University in Philadelphia and the DMA degree from the University of Colorado (1994), where she was a student of Barbara Doscher and member of the voice faculty. She is the 2004 recipient of the Heart of Broomfield Award for the Arts. Devoted to contemporary music, Christina has premiered the works of many composers of her generation. Her private voice studio is filled with talented singers of all ages.

The meaning of the name ASTER comes from The Meaning of Flowers where Gretchen Scoble wrote: “Asters speak of the tiny beginnings from which all great things proceed.”

Mythology holds that asters originated when Virgo scattered some stardust on the earth. The flowers sprang up where the stardust fell. Gazing at a cluster of these small cousins of daisies with their yellow centers reminded people of clusters of stars in the night sky. European custom has it that asters have magical powers. Their “eyes”, both watchful and beneficial, could drive away any evil spirits. Furthermore, an ointment made of asters was thought to cure the bite of a mad dog!

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