"This is why we sing!" was the subtext of this hour-long program of a cappella (in the chapel) and unaccompanied (secular) choral works and spoken testimony by members of Encore Vocal Arts. Voices soaring from the back of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church opened the May 3 concert with an Invocation by Arvo Part, "Bogorodiste devo." Walking to the altar, a cacophony of explanations of why each member sings merged into William Byrd's lustrous "Justorium Animae." Sacred choral music of the Renaissance was followed by examples of the Shape Note tradition of 19th century America, which made music easier to read and thus brought in anyone who could differentiate between circles, triangles, squares and rectangles. The program continued with works that expanded Renaissance era styles into a new style of madrigals, here showcased by Robert Pearsall and Charles Stanford to "celebrate a life well lived." The program closed with works of "The New Choral Art," headlined by the joyful "Voicedance" by Chicago-based Greg Jasperse, whose current works are on the charts, and with five spirituals that entered the concert repertoire following the 1871 Fisk College Jubilee Singers' national tour. Ludwa's conducting style wove traditional four-part harmony into multiple variations for inspired complexity.