New York, New York!

UW Chorale took on the big apple last weekend, performing in numerous different venues!

The day we arrived, we enjoyed a group dinner and then headed to the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine to tune in on a pickup rehearsal. It was amazing to hear the different groups (The Manhattan School of Music Choirs, the Oratorio Society of NY, the Cathedral of St. John’s Choir, Professional soloists, and the Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kent Tritle) perform Britten’s War Requiem.

On Friday, we performed in the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine with UW’s Chamber Singers. The venue was fun to sing in, with such a beautiful setting and wonderful acoustics. We performed a few pieces that we would go on to sing in Carnegie the next day. We were also fortunate enough to learn a little bit of the backstory of the Cathedral.

 

The next day, we had the opportunity to perform in Carnegie Hall! Chorale took part in the first half of the show, right before the Washington and Lee University Singers, conducted by Shane Lynch. We were also able to sit in the audience of UW’s Chamber Singers, directed by Geoffrey Boers, and the University of Louisville Cardinal Singers, by Kent Hatteburg. Being able to sing on stage at such an iconic venue was an amazing experience.

Sunday we sang alongside the choir at The Church of St. Paul the Apostle. We sang during the Mass, and also performed a 30 minute concert following the service for any parishioners that chose to stay and listen. This was a great cultural experience for the members of the choir to take part in the service.

 

Monday was our last day in New York, where we spent the day over at Hofstra University and participated in an exchange with the University Chorale, conducted by Dr. David Fryling. We got to listen to their repertoire and perform some of our own music, along with UW Chamber Singers, and had time to mingle with the Hofstra Chorale.

 

Performing in New York at all these different venues was an experience Chorale members will never forget! Special thank you to the Chorale and Chamber Singers directors, Giselle Wyers and Geoffrey Boers, and Sechrist Travel for accompanying us on this journey!

Till next time,

UW Chorale.

Exciting NAfME performance!

This year, UW Chorale performed at the NAfME conference at the Hyatt in Bellevue. We were very excited to share our fall literature with the many music educators that attended the conference on the 17th! We received many amazing reviews, all thanks to the hard work of the choir and our wonderful director, Dr. Giselle Wyers! We look forward to the next conference and the opportunity to share our love of music with those who also share that same admiration.

As the preparation for NAfME comes to a close, our next big performance is coming right around the corner. UW Chorale is working hard to perfect our literature to perform in Carnegie Hall this April. The time when we take flight to New York is approaching fast as we perfect our repertoire, and we are ecstatic to perform.

Till next time,

UW Chorale 🙂

Ending Fall Quarter!

15439884_10154809281897692_9044756591166714253_nThe end of Fall quarter held a lot of events for UW’s Chorale. Holding our first concert, we performed all the music we learned throughout the ten-week period. The concert went on without a hitch, as our show did a wonderful job of demonstrating our hard work. It was a duel concert with the University’s Chamber Singers, so we also had the opportunity to stay past intermission and watch their performance of what they worked on. It was a wonderful experience, and we are grateful to all who were able to come and show us their support!

We also had the opportunity to sing alongside the amaz15393000_10154875826304434_4467375993066888413_oing Seattle Symphony for an extravagant Christmas production. Singing beside the symphony was a great experience, as we were able to perform with two Broadway stars, Hugh Panaro and Nicole Parker, as well as the Halau Hula O Napualani dance group. Conducted by Stuart Chavez, we were able to perform four shows without problems! It was a wonderful experience full of holiday cheer and we were delighted to be invited to help convey the spirit of the holidays through song with the Seattle Symphony.

We look forward to an exciting Winter quarter to kick off the new year!

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Till next time,

UW Chorale

Kickoff to the New Year!

20161008_141510-3Hello Chorale followers! This year, UW’s Chorale had our annual “beginning of the year” retreat early this October! It was a great way for new members to meet other members of the choir. We had ice breakers, playing games like “Never Have I Ever” and other introductory games. We also rehearsed our new music, which gave us a head start on our performance pieces and gave members an introduction to the types of music we will be singing this year.

We also introduced the new year’s cabinet members at the 20161008_141650-2retreat, introducing some new members in addition to the returning members! This years cabinet includes Bradyn Rookard, Evan Shelton, Lillian Karout, Magnolia Pattison, Marcy Landes, Miriam Nunley, Natale Modlin, Nick Reynolds, Sam Fredman, Stephanie Hobart, and Zachary Buker. With such a strong group of passionate Chorale members, this year’s choir is due to be a success!

14642391_10154545789192481_5550888042142379344_nThe Chorale also started this year with an exciting performance with the Cascade Children’s Chorus at the TOGETHER UW event on October 21st! The event went flawlessly and it was a perfect experience for first year Chorale members to get in the game. It was a great way to kick off the new year and get members excited about upcoming events.

Miss Singing? Get Ready for More Exciting Sing & Fun Events

Hi to you all, our dearest Chorale fans and families, I hope you’re all enjoying the summer. I’m sure all of you are having a great time but it’s never perfect without the lovely Chorale’s beautiful voices. I’ve come here to bring you good news!

This year will be very exciting and busy. Not only do we have our traditional Fall Choral Concert with the Chamber Singers, as well as the CarolFest, we have also been invited to sing with the Holiday POPS that will most likely happen around November, December. We have been planning and fundraising for the past few years, and our trip to New York will finally happen next year (2017) in April (so~ exciting!!). These kinds of trips don’t happen every year (unfortunately I did not get a chance to travel overnight with Chorale during my years at UW 😥 ), so definitely try to get this opportunity while you can (and the deal is incredible, I promise!!). These are just some of the major events. There will be many more interesting and challenging projects going on throughout the year.

So, as for now, if you’ve been UW Choraleattending our concerts or hearing about us (or know someone who’s coming to UW), you should definitely (and tell your friend to) give it a go and come to the auditions that will happen on September 26th and 27th. Now is a good time to start thinking about a song to sing for us on the audition. For more information, click here.

Have a great rest of the summer & Gook luck!

Once upon a time…

Today, we had an interesting warm-up led by our very own Sarah Riskind. We are lucky to have her as our Assistant Conductor for the entire year. sarah_riskindShe’s especially good at creating the desired tone and atmosphere within a short time in warm-ups to get our voices and mindsets ready. On top of that, she has also been working with us on one of the songs that will be performed on the quarterly choral concert. It’s challenging on both her and our side, but I’m confident that in two weeks, this song will be one of the highlights of the concert.

So remember I was going to tell you all that has happened up to this point?

Here’s how the story goes…

Once upon a time, a group of young talented students/people decided to join the UW Chorale to pursue their passion for music. They took on many projects including a benefit concert, fall choral concert, a CarolFest, and holiday POPS concerts. Then, Winter quarter comes… and they only have ONE concert!? So is that all they’re going to focus, just that ONE concert? Of course not! We all know their capacity from Fall quarter. Well, they’ve decided to make it more difficult by memorizing all the songs to be performed in this concert. They’ve also decided to get ahead of the game by working on the Mass in Time of War by Haydn that will be performed in April, Spring quarter.

As the quarter goes on, one day, Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, conductor of the Radio Choir from American Public Media, wonders around the fores12654201_1101537879866717_1122515143610385952_nt of choral music, and happens to bump into the UW Chorale (though the real story is more like he knows one of our past assistant conductors in Minnesota and was sent to our way). The UW Chorale sings for their new friend Tesfa, and he decides that this music should be made know to more people (you can find the video here). Although the time together was short, the connection between the two will be long lived.

Some other things happened after meeting Tasfa; some of them helped Chorale become a more bonded group, and some helped making our future plans closer. Their journey’s not over yet. Come on and follow me, and maybe one day, we will arrive to the land that we dream of.

#SUPER late start #Goodbye Brenda #Wait! There’s more

Hey Chorale followers! I know this is a REALLY late beginning post and you probably were wondering why there haven’t been any posts about our performance or life this quarter. Well, I have to admit that it’s mostly my part to blame, but… I’m a busy senior! Have you ever felt that you’re like the busiest person in the world, but years later when you look back, then you realize that “humm, I really wasn’t that busy.” Isn’t that funny that we always think we’re busy? Ok, enough of my excuses and let’s get on to the point now.

So, after our big, fantastic Holiday POPS concert in December, to be honest, we don’t have a whole lot to do this quarter besides the quarterly concert coming up soon on March 9th (which I’m sure you all have bought your tickets, right? If not, you should buy the tickets here). But there are some good and bad news still I would like to share with you.

First, sad news with regards to our assistant conductor – Brenda Mohr has decided to leave us because she has some other important projects going on that need her full energy and amazing musicianship. She has always been very helpful when leading the sections and is always willing and trying to make us better musicians. Her warm-ups were fun and effective. We will always miss her in Chorale and hope she continues her great work in everything she does!

With that said, this means we have a new assistant conductor joining us this quarter. Joel Bevington is our new young and handsome assistant conductor. I have to say this is about all that I know about him, BUT, we still have an entire spring quarter to get to know him. I can definitely tell you that he leads great warm-ups, and is very precise and careful in looking for the right tone/sound when leading us during rehearsals. Looking forward to work more with him.

I’ve only mentioned a bad and a good news, so I guess it evens out. But this is not it. I’ve got more news coming for you and Yes they are all good and exciting! Stay tuned!

Fairies at the CarolFest

Last Thursday, we had our combined Fall Choral Concert with the Chamber Singers. I hope for those who went to the concert enjoyed the time being there because we definitely had a good time on stage making music. On Monday during rehearsal, we shared some good comments that we heard from our friends and families with each other. We always take some time in rehearsal after each performance to reflect on the good and bad things on the performance. It’s a way for us to know what people like about us and what we can do to make our next performance better.

“My job – is to push you as far as possible, but enough so that you don’t fall off from the cliff,” said Dr. Wyers.

This statement that she made about her responsibility in this group no doubt mirrors her actions since the beginning of the quarter. We acknowledge her hard work, and truly appreciate how far she has brought us within a short period of time.

IMAG0234Now, as we all know, one of the most well-known and most celebrated holidays is coming near the corner. You probably already noticed that from posters in stores, Christmas lights on the streets, or perhaps carolers who have knocked on your doors. These holiday fairies come around the town to bring blessings to people, and I was lucky enough to see them earlier on the day of the Thursday performance last week. Anya (middle) and Jacob (right) from Chorale were singing that day. There are other singers in the groups and some of them are also from the UW Chorale. I have not had the chance to meet all the fairies, but you might. As you’re walking to your classes, look around and you might see them. If you do, take a moment to listen, it might be just what you need on the dead week before the finals.

carolfestgraphicTomorrow in Meany Hall, we will be singing in the traditional CarolFest (buy tickets here) along with the Chamber Singers, University Singers, Women’s Choir, Gospel Choir, and UW Men’s Glee Club. Enjoy the Many Moods of Christmas (also the title of one of the songs that the UW Chorale will be singing) and wish you all the best.

Celebrate The Unbreakable Mirror

Wow. It’s been a while since I last made a post. I’m sure a lot of you are dying to know what we are up to. Before I update you on our current status, I’d like to share a couple of happiness with you my friends: We earned about $330,000 for the Seattle Children’s at the Firelight Benefit Concert AND our CD Refuge has made its way to the FINALS division of the American Prize for Choral Performance!! Yeah~~~but WAIT, it’s not the time for cakes and champagne yet, not until you’ve join us at our concert today or go to one of the Holiday POPS Concerts that will be hold in Beneroya next weekend.

Yes. We have big goals this year and we have been working very hard to achieve them. The amount of responsibility and challenge we take on is tremendous, considering that we are all college students and have other things going on. But, we all love singing and we’d like people to hear us. As a result, we have the Firelight Concert in November, the Fall Concert, the UW traditional CarolFest, and the Seattle Holiday POPS concerts all in December. That’s a lot of concerts and what comes with them, of course, are effort, time, and energy.

After our success in the Firelight Concert, we jumped right in into our music for the Fall Concert, which will be happening today at 7:30pm in Meany Hall (click here for tickets). The pieces chosen for this quarter are beautiful but challenging. As a matter of fact, when we rehearsed in Meany on the Monday of the Thanksgiving week, it was no doubt that we were not ready. Dr. Wyers was encouraging, but the fear was almost palpable. However, the situation completely changed after coming back from Thanksgiving. In our rehearsals this week, we have got ourselves ready and found our confidence on stage. Every voice took their responsibility, and it was a moment of pure happiness to know that we all care about singing in the same way.

Now, I’d like to invite you to our concert – The Unbreakable Mirror – to enjoy the songs and voices that we are about to give you, and to witness our growth and the path that we are about to take on.

— See you soon —

Chorale On Fire

Firelight_Banner_2_880x399On Friday, November 6th, the Chorale performed in an amazing concert with Grammy winning composer Mateo Messina. We were on fire, well, everyone was on fire! All the guest artists were phenomenal, including Sweet Water, Shawn Smith, Sela Tuiono, and the Columbia Boys and Girls Choir, and they really gave us a kick in energy when we were on stage. Although the performance was entertaining and the purpose was to raise money for Seattle Children’s Hospital, the meaning stretches far beyond that. 11041117_10153718356817692_5806972078393432465_nWe were lucky to have him come over to our rehearsal before the concert and gave us his thoughts and inspirations behind the project. Fire is a central part in the human history, but the idea of fire has changed from a necessity for survival to a symbol of stories from our past, of our lives. Everyone, healthy or ill, rich or poor, has the responsibility to pass on their stories to the next generation. This is the second time for the UW Chorale to work with Mateo, with the first time in 2013 also for the benefit concert (See A Symphony of Perspective). Every time we work with Mateo, we receive gifts that are not just music, but also new ideas, perspectives, and inspirations. We enjoyed working with Mateo a lot and looking forward to our next coopration.

Even though the Firelight concert was over last week, the UW Chorale has not burn out the fire yet. We are already looking ahead into December and have our minds and focus directed to our Fall Choral Concert “The Unbreakable Mirror.” On Monday during our rehearsal, we quickly reviewed our songs for the repertoire and had a small performance by the boys and girls in the Chorale. There will be one song in the up-coming Chorale concert that will be sung by males only, and another one by females only. The girls and boys in the choir have been split in separate rooms to practice these two songs during rehearsals, and on Monday was the first time we’ve ever heard each other.

IMAG0187The song that the boys performed was called Gao Shan Qing. Now, I have to step out side as a blogger and acknowledge the boys form my personal view – they were fantastic!! Their enunciation was great; I could almost understand every Chinese word they sang. Their color and power was also just right and beautiful. You can really see that they’ve worked hard on the material.

IMAG0198The girls performed after they boys, and the song was called Hymn to the Waters. It’s a song that requires a lot of internal energy while being very quiet and light. The tempo was much faster then expected, but the girls were great in adjusting quickly and get into the space faster. The tone of the girls were clear and smooth, dispite from the fast tempo, and beautifully created an image of falling angels (at least that’s how I’d like to think of ourselves as).

There are many things and projects still in progess, in Chorale and in our lives. We enjoy every moments possible and try to make the best music out of very opportunity. At the moment we are still working on the details of our songs, and with time, we will definately give you – our friends, families, and fans – another memorable experience.