Category Archives: News

Choral Journal CD reviews authored by UW conductors

The University of Washington Choral Cohort had a strong representation in the Choral Journal, the official periodical from the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). Three of our current UW students as well as one alumnus all had CD Reviews featured in the February 2018 issue.

Second-year DMA student, Elisabeth Cherland, reviewed the CD Deo: Jonathan Harvey, which was recorded by the Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge. She was especially enthusiastic about three of the pieces on the album: Come, Holy Ghost; I Love the Lord; and The Annunciation, which, by her estimation, made this album worth owning.


Another of our second-year DMA students, Gerrit Scheepers, wrote his review about Facing West: Choral Music of Conrad Susa and David Conte, recorded by Cappella SF Chamber Choir. As he stated, the works from these two composers are not widely recorded, so this CD is a valuable addition to the recording library. He effused praise for Cappella SF Chamber Choir’s impeccable balance, intonation, and diction.

Meg Stohlmann, a third-year DMA student, reviewed soft blink of amber light, recorded by the Houston Chamber Choir. The disc contains commissions and premieres from five American composers written for the choir’s twentieth anniversary. Many of the pieces featured unique instrumentation (including marimba) and several female poets and composers. As Meg said, this CD is “a must-have for conductors searching for new repertoire.”

Lastly, UW Alum Brad Pierson (2013) had a review of Buxtehude and His Circle included in this issue as well. Recorded by Theater of Voices, this album not only features two beautiful works from Buxtehude, but also works from lesser-known composers who were friends and contemporaries of the famed composer. The CD liner notes (in English and Danish) add valuable information about the composers included on this album.

These four add to the UW tally of reviews in the Choral Journal this academic year. In the October 2017 issue, third-year DMA student Sarah Riskind and second-year DMA student Steve Danielson also contributed CD reviews.

Workshop with Roger Treece






Roger Treece, arranger for Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra, will be presenting a workshop at the School of Music on the University of Washington campus. He will be sharing some of his latest projects and ideas. Great workshop for choral ed students, choral conducting students, or any other aspiring musicians. This event is open to the public. Vocal proficiency is not a prerequisite.

Roger literally wrote the book on how to do the type of improvisation done by Bobby McFerrin and his associates. We are excited to have him on the University of Washington campus.

When: December 11, 2017, 2:00-4:00 PM

Where: Room 35 (sub-basement) of the Music Building

UW Choirs – Fall Auditions, Sep 25-26

UW Chorale

Dr. Giselle Wyers conducts the UW Chorale in concert at Meany Hall

Fall Auditions for the UW choirs are quickly approaching. They will take place from 9am-4pm on September 25 and 26. Singers have the opportunity to audition for Chamber Singers, University Chorale, or Recital Choir.

Sign up for an audition time by clicking here. After you fill out a form, you will see a link to select an audition time. For more information about the audition process, click here. We encourage you to sign up as early as possible!

Chamber Singers – The University of Washington Chamber Singers is a professional-level choir consisting of graduate and advanced undergraduate music majors, as well as advanced musicians of majors from across the UW community. Meets Monday through Friday 12:30-1:20 pm in Brechemin Auditorium.

University Chorale – The University of Washington Chorale is an auditioned advanced undergraduate ensemble of music and non-music majors from the Seattle campus. Meets Mondays & Wednesdays 3:30-5:20 pm in Music Building, Brechemin Auditorium and Room 213.

Recital Choir – The Recital Choir performs diverse literature directed by choral conducting graduate students. Meets Tuesdays & Thursdays from 4:30-5:20 pm in the Music Building, Room 213.

University Singers, Gospel Choir, and Women’s Chorus
If you’d like to sing in University SingersGospel ChoirMen’s Glee, or Women’s Chorus, there is no audition necessary– simply come to the first day of classes! You can register in advance or in the first week of classes.

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

UW Music in Tent City 3

Jen Rodgers, one of our choral conducting DMA students, took the initiative in bringing UW musicians to a homeless encampment this winter. Men’s Glee, Women’s Chorus, and members of University Chorale were among the performers at Tent City 3. Read a thought-provoking article about the experience, featured on the School of Music Website!

Women's Chorus and Men's Glee at Tent City 3

“Graduate choral conducting student Jennifer Rodgers discovers what is possible when a university that provides space for a homeless encampment also has a world-class music department.”

UW Choral Alums sing with Choral Arts Ensemble in White House

Obama and Choral Arts EnsembleChoral Arts Ensemble, one of the Pacific NW’s premiere semi-professional choruses directed by Dr. Robert Bode, received an official invitation to provide a private performance at the White House for President Obama, the First Lady and guests last month. The White House Social Office organized the event, utilizing the 2015 holiday season to showcase the best in American choral performance.

Twenty choirs were hand-selected from across the country to provide these performances, and Choral Arts was honored–not only to be the only choir from the Pacific Northwest invited– but also as the final choir in the series.

Matthew Blegen, DMA candidate at University of Washington, and Managing Director of the ensemble, spoke warmly of this opportunity: “The reception we performed as a part of was hosted by the Obamas and the White House staff for the Democratic National Committee and therefore it was a bit of a more star-studded affair than we expected. More exciting, it was an incredibly appreciative audience. We arrived expecting to be background music but were positioned where folks could just focus on our performance … we were treated like honored guests – particularly during our private meeting with the Obamas when they made an effort first and foremost to meet and thank each of us individually.”

Alums from the University of Washington choral program who sing regularly with Choral Arts ensemble include Matthew Blegen*, Adam Burdick, Becca Cantrell, Gary Cannon, Anneliese Johnson* (graduate of UW Law School), Melinda Schlimmer* and Phil Tschopp.  Those singers listed with an asterisk were able to participate in the White House event.  Congratulations to Robert Bode and the Choral Arts Ensemble!

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.

the common S E N S E

University of Washington Chorale and members of the wider UW choral community gather this season to provide “touch in the form of embodied sound” as part of MacArthur award winning conceptual artist Ann Hamilton’s upcoming exhibit at the Henry Art Gallery.  Read more about this exciting interdisciplinary project in a feature article written by UW alum Kelly Huffman here.  Information about how you can add your voice to this project or come and see the exhibit is available here or by contacting Dr. Giselle Wyers.


Guest choruses visit UW!

The University of Washington Choral Department has been lucky to host many special guests this quarter, including Vita in Canto, from Russia, the BYU Singers and the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club.  Via in Canto visited Seattle as part of a bi-coastal US tour, and Dr. Boers and Dr. Wyers were pleased to share a reunion concert and workshops with conductor Yuly Kopkin, a UW choral conducting masters alum (graduated 2012). 1509147_560271407424252_7962058077004316033_nBYU Chamber Choir, directed by Ron Staheli, visited a UW Chamber Singers rehearsal for a spontaneous Q & A and performance session. 1801283_10152165964616359_8430178075783766432_o Next week, the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club passes through Seattle enroute to Oregon, as part of their 2014 Spring Tour, and will be hosted for a night by the UW Men’s Glee Club.  What a fun month for collaborations and co-mingling of choristers!883466_411430882287142_891123208_o