Category Archives: Faculty

UW Choral Leaders Presenting in 2017-2018

A number of UW grad students, alumni, professors, and ensembles will be representing the department all over the country in 2017-2018! We are excited to share our pedagogy, research, and music-making with other choral conductors and singers at several upcoming conferences:

National Collegiate Choral Organization: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 2-4, 2017

  • “Forgotten Motets for Female Voices from New France”– Poster Session and Presentation (Elizabeth MacIsaac, D.M.A. candidate)

Aging & Society: Seventh Interdisciplinary Conference: University of California at Berkeley, November 3-4, 2017

  • “A Lifetime of Singing: The Impact of Aging on the Vocal Instrument” (Jeffrey Larkin, D.M.A. candidate)

Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities: Honolulu, Hawaii, January 9-11, 2018

  • “Music Performance Anxiety and Conducting Gesture”– Poster Session (Gerrit Scheepers, D.M.A. candidate)

Oregon Music Educators Association Conference: Eugene, Oregon, January 11-14, 2018

  • “Can You Hear Me Now?!: The Process of Conductor’s Auralization” (Jeffrey Larkin, D.M.A. candidate)

Washington Music Educators Association Conference: Yakima, Washington, February 15-18, 2018

  • New Choral Literacy Rubric (Dr. Geoffrey Boers)
  • Washington Junior All-State Treble Choir (Dr. Giselle Wyers)
  • “The Power of the One-on-One” (Jeffrey Larkin and Meg Stohlmann), D.M.A. candidates

American Choral Directors Association Northwest Regional Conference: Portland, Oregon, March 7-10, 2018

  • “The Changing Voice: Adolescence and Senescence” (Dr. Geoffrey Boers)
  • “Dialogue and Participation in the Choral Performance of Sacred Harp Music” (Dr. Leann Conley-Holcom, D.M.A. Spring 2017)
  • “Liberating Singers with Choral Improvisation” (Sarah Riskind, D.M.A. candidate)
  • Artistry and Expression (Meg Stohlmann, D.M.A. candidate)
  • UW Chamber Singers Performance

Ēriks Ešenvalds

Esenvalds and Dr. BoersOn Tuesday, May 16, the choral department enjoyed an inspiring visit from the Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds! Choral and instrumental ensembles all over the world frequently program Ešenvalds’ works, which express meaningful texts in several languages with vibrant harmonies and diverse timbres. The Baltic Studies program hosted Ešenvalds to discuss the stories and influences that went into his Nordic Light Symphony on Tuesday evening, and he spent the morning working with the choral department. The choral conducting graduate cohort and alumni resonated with his ideas about storytelling, the value of humility, the joy of singing at any age and ability, the interpretive role of the conductor, and other concepts that often come up in the choral culture.Esenvalds and Tom Ešenvalds coached the cohort on his composition The Earthly Rose, which they will perform on DMA student Thomas Almli’s recital on Monday, June 5th at 7:30 at University Presbyterian Church, and he breathed new life into Chamber Singers’ interpretations of his Amazing Grace and Algirdas Martinaitis’ Alleluia. They will sing those works on Wednesday, May 24th at 7:30pm in MeanyEsenvalds with Dr. Boers and Dr. Wyers Hall.


Visit Ēriks Ešenvalds’ website to listen to his music and read about his background.

Estonian Independence Day Celebration

Estonian festival picUniversity of Washington Chamber Singers, Director of Choral Activities Geoffrey Boers, and UW graduate students and alumns in choral conducting performed at an Estonian Independence Day recognition ceremony in Odegaard Library last week. The celebration was a gathering of the Baltic Community, captured by UW TV, coinciding with the opening of a photo art exhibit celebrating the Song Festival UNESCO tradition in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Dr. Boers and Dr. Wyers combined a “tour choir” which combined to travel and perform in the 2014 Latvian Song Festival.  University of Washington has the only choral library collection of Baltic music in the US, established in 2005.

Messiah, Pops Concerts a Rousing Success

Two of University of Washington’s top choirs finished up a busy quarter last week, with performances on campus and across the community.  The UW Chamber Singers (prepared by Geoffrey Boers, director), sang four performances of Handel’s Messiah in a collaboration with regional early music ensemble Pacific MusicWorks, under the direction of Stephen Stubbs, who was recently nominated for a Grammy.  Their innovative approach was lauded in a recent review of the performance by Phillipa Kiraly at CityArts Online.

UW Chorale sang four Holiday POPS concerts with Seattle Symphony, under the direction of nationally renowed POPS conductor Stuart Chafetz (prepared by Giselle Wyers, director).  The chorus had the opportunity to back up Broadway and TV star Capathia Jenkins, as well as collaborating with Tony deSare, composer, singer and pianist.

Stay tuned for more performance information after the new year, and enjoy these photos from the recent events.  Chamber Singers Messiah 1Messiah Pacific MusicWorksUniversity Chorale and Seattle Symphony POPS 2015Capathia and Giselle

UW Choirs: Spring shows coming up

Be sure to join UW choirs for their Spring quarter concerts!  UW-Sings

Wednesday, May 27, the University of Washington Chorale and Chamber Singers offer works from across the globe, 7:30 pm, Meany Theater.  Ticket info here.

Tuesday, June 2, UW Sings, featuring the Women’s Chorus, Men’s Glee and University Singers, present their popular end of the year concert.  7:30 pm, Meany Theater. Ticket info here. 

Friday, June 5, Geoffrey Boers conducts the combined choirs and orchestra in a multi-media program of Verdi, Bernstein and Prokofiev.  7:30 pm, Meany Theater.  Ticket info here.

 

Combined Choirs earn “Raves” for their Seattle Symphony POPS appearance

Rave Seattle POPS 2015The University of Washington Chorale and Chamber Singers just completed a three-performance run of Rodgers and Hammerstein POPS concerts  with Seattle Symphony under the direction of Steven Reineke, who also serves as Principal Conductor of the New York POPS.  The combined choirs were joined by outstanding soloists Jonathan Estabrooks, Ashley Brown, and Aaron Lazar.  Our performance earned us a “Rave” in the Seattle Times and ignited some promising future connections with the Seattle Symphony.

Register Now for the University of Washington Choral Festival of Excellence

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UW Choral Festival of Excellence April 13, 2015

Please consider joining the University of Washington Choral Department and guest clinician Dr. Eric Johnson of Northern Illinois University on April 13, 2015 at the Meany Theater for the Performing Arts at UW.  Your students will enjoy a videotaped on-stage clinic with Dr. Johnson, an off-stage clinic with Dr. Geoffrey Boers, Director of Choral Activities at UW, and a special directors luncheon.  Visit the UW Choral Festival Page for all the details and registration flyer!

UW choirs and voice will collaborate in Baroque production with Stephen Stubbs next year!

Stephen Stubbs appointed to School of Music faculty


Stephen Stubbs

Stephen Stubbs

The University of Washington School of Music gains new expertise in early music with the appointment of lutenist and baroque opera specialist Stephen Stubbs to the School of Music faculty.

Stubbs, artistic director of Seattle’s Pacific MusicWorks, joins the School of Music faculty in fall 2013 as a senior artist in residence and makes his public debut at the UW in May 2014 as artistic director and conductor of a Pacific MusicWorks and School of Music co-production of Handel’s 1743 opera Semele.

“With his extensive knowledge, his passion and high standards for performance and teaching, and his international stature, Stephen Stubbs is an exciting addition to our faculty,” says School of Music Director Richard Karpen. “His appointment and the partnership with Pacific MusicWorks furthers the mission of the School of Music to create a strong and resilient foundation for a world-class musical culture to thrive in the Pacific Northwest. We are pleased to welcome him to the region’s flagship public university music program.”

A Seattle native who studied composition, piano, and harpsichord at the University of Washington, Stubbs gained international prominence as an opera director and lutenist during a 30-year career in Europe. Since his return to Seattle in 2006, he has made his mark as a musical director, guest conductor, and founder of organizations devoted to the study and production of baroque opera and oratorio.

His first venture in that direction was the founding of the Accademia d’Amore, a summer institute for pre-professional singers and musicians training in baroque style and stagecraft. In 2008, he founded Seattle’s Pacific MusicWorks, a production company focused primarily on presenting top-quality performances of early music with a contemporary voice.  The organization also embraces an educational dictate to train young professional singers and musicians in the art of 17th and 18th century music.

Stubbs will apply his expertise in that area at the UW during the 2013-14 academic year, preparing School of Music students in voice and instrumental performance to perform side by side with professional musicians and opera singers in the Semele production, set for May 16-18, 2014 at Meany Theater.

Along with his leadership of Pacific MusicWorks, Stubbs is in demand internationally as a guest conductor and artistic director. As a guest conductor he has led performances of Gluck’s Orfeo and Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto in Bilbao, Spain, and Monteverdi’s Orfeo at Amsterdam’s Netherlands Opera. Following his successful debut conducting the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in 2011he was invited back in 2012 to conduct the Symphony’s performances ofMessiah.  Since 1997, he has served as co-director of the award-winning Boston Early Music Festival opera.

“I’m thrilled to be joining faculty of the UW School of Music,” Stubbs says of his appointment, “and am honored to be entrusted with a revival of the baroque ideals of apprenticeship and mentoring, but made specifically relevant to the contemporary cultural scene and the needs of today’s students.”