Category Archives: Photos

Congratulations, choral graduates!

Pictured: Miriam Anderson, David Wimett, Geoffrey Boers, Giselle Wyers, and Leann Conley-Holcom

On June 9-10, six choral conducting students graduated from the University of Washington! Several had some words to share about their experience in our program and thoughts about the future:

The UW choral conducting program was a wonderful place to build relationships with an amazing community of musicians, develop as an authentic leader, and invest in myself as a vocally-grounded conductor. Now that I have completed my degree, I look forward to creating movement-based applications for vocal and conducting instruction that combine some of the empirical findings from my dissertation with my immersive experiences becoming a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst. In the fall, I will continue in my position as Assistant Director of Choral Activities and Lecturer at Smith College.

– Amanda Huntleigh, DMA
Dissertation title: Choristers’ Perceptions of Laban-based Conducting Gestures

I am grateful for my time at the University of Washington and for the ways that I have been encouraged to grown as a conductor, scholar, and individual. The nurturing environment, inspiring and challenging mentoring, and mutually-supportive community of choral graduate students did so much for me. I’m a proud Husky and alum of this program!

– Leann Conley-Holcom, DMA
Dissertation title: ‘Come, All My Dear Brethren, and Help Me to Sing’: Dialogue and Participation as Foundations for the Choral Performance of Sacred Harp Music

The choral conducting program at the University of Washington is incredibly unique. You are surrounded by peers and mentors who all have tremendous gifts. Over the past two years I have become not only a better musician and conductor, but I’ve become a teacher- something I was not expecting. I’m not yet sure what I will be doing next year, but whatever I choose, I am sure that the experiences I’ve had and skills I’ve learned at UW will be integral to my success.
– Miriam Anderson, MM
Master’s exam topics included: Prison Choirs, Yoga for Musicians, Dance for Conductors, South and West African Choral Music and Percussion Accompaniment, Mozart Mass in C Minor, Mahler’s choral works, and more

 We are also thrilled to congratulate DMA recipients Ryan Ellis and Brenda Mohr, as well as MM recipient David Wimett!

Right: Leann Conley-Holcom, Brenda Mohr, and Ryan Ellis
Left: Miriam Anderson, Geoffrey Boers, and David Wimett

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.”

Choral Festival of Excellence

Ballard HSThe UW Choral department hosted 9 choirs on Thursday, May 11th for the annual Choral Festival of Excellence! From everywhere from Ballard to Portland, these high school, middle school, and college choirs each performed a set onstage at Meany Hall and received feedback from guest clinician Eric Johnson (Northern Illinois University). In additional workshops, Dr. Boers and Dr. Wyers gave the choirs new ways to approach their repertoire and technique. UW graduate students also worked with the full group of sopranos and altos on the Zulu wedding song Ngiqomekwa and with the tenors and basses on a John Williams medley. In a brief lunchtime performance, Chamber Singers sang music by Jake Runestad and Jeffrey Ames.Grant HS

The festival was a fabulous opportunity to share our ideas with hundreds of singers and teachers in the Pacific Northwest and to experience all of these excellent programs. Many thanks to DMA student Jeffrey Larkin for organizing this wonderful event again, as well as all of the undergraduate and graduate choral singers who volunteered throughout the day! If you have a choir you would like to bring next year, save April 23, 2018!Pierce College

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.

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 Chorale adds color to Henry Art Gala!

University of Washington Chorale recently appeared as guest artists for the Henry Art Gallery’s annual fundraiser and gala. Their performance celebrates an upcoming collaboration between UW choirs and nationally renowned conceptual artist Ann Hamilton (pictured below), who will create a full-scale installation utilizing singing next fall at the Henry. Here are some pictures from this event, where donors were asked to wear white, and Chorale appeared in earthy colors.

Henry Art Gallery (V)-123-(ZF-6256-36868-1-005)Henry Art Gallery (V)-122-(ZF-6256-36868-1-003)Henry Art Gallery (V)-147-(ZF-6256-36868-1-002)

 

Happy New Year, choral enthusiasts!

Here are some beautiful photos from our recent collaboration with Sapience Dance Collective and Karin Stevens Dance.  What a great way to sum up a year of artistry and cross-disciplinary collaboration!  Look for many exciting upcoming projects in 2014, including a combined choir performance of Durufle Requiem with UW Orchestra, our UW Choral Festival, and Chamber Singers’ performance at ACDA NW’s conference!

Geoffrey with Dancers 2013 Britten Sapience Thompson 3