Autumn Achievements!

Hey everyone! As we get into the last couple weeks of the quarter, here’s some updates on what Chorale has been up to!

On November 17, we had our first fundraiser of the year at MOD Pizza. We had a great turnout and it sounds like people had a great time enjoying pizza with friends! Special thanks to our vice-president Ally for coordinating this event with MOD, and thank you to everyone who stopped by to support!

On November 21, we had our joint fall quarter concert with Chamber Singers. The theme for our repertoire was “Songs from a Frozen Sky”, featuring folk music from England, Ireland, Finland, Germany, and Iceland. From the toe-tapping liveliness of “The Dance” to the enthralling intricacies of “Pakkanen”, our set was full of wonderful musical experiences. Thank you to everyone who attended and all the people who made this concert possible!

Photo: Promotional image for the UW Chorale and Chamber Singers fall concert.

Up next, we have our annual Carolfest concert with the other UW choirs and four performances for the Seattle Holiday Pops! For more information and ticket purchases, be sure to check out our events calendar!

With December just around the corner, we’re all very excited for our final performances of the quarter! Until next month, peace out! ✌

Back At It Again!

Hello everyone!

In a surprising twist of events, I will be returning to the position of Historian for the 2019-2020 academic year! I’m excited for another year of new photos, new posts, and new people – so without any further ado, let’s just jump into it!

On October 12, we had our annual fall retreat at University Presbyterian Church. This was a great opportunity for us to mingle with new and old members, get a head start on our repertoire, and just have fun together!

We also held elections for our cabinet! After many exciting rounds of speeches and voting, we were able to finalize our roster of Chorale officers for the upcoming school year. Congratulations to our 2019-2020 cabinet!

  • President: Jenna Bellavia
  • Vice President: Ally Witeck
  • Head Section Leader: Sylvia Jones
  • Secretary: Sam Fredman
  • Treasurer: Alexa Schieche
  • Publicity Chair: Emily Vaughan
  • Historian: Steven Santos
  • Social Chairs: Aidan O’Hara & Taylor Bastian
  • Concert Chairs: Michael Mulholland & Natalie Williams

 

From left to right: Sylvia, Ally, Jenna, Sam, Taylor, Natalie (front row); Steven, Michael, Aidan, Emily, Ethan, Alexa (back row)

To keep up with all of our events and performances, make sure to follow our Facebook and Instagram pages! You can also find extra links and info on our events calendar! We’re all excited for the year ahead, and hope to see you at our events in the days ahead!

Peace out! ✌

Endings and Beginnings!

With the upcoming fall quarter starting next month, it’s time for one last post to wrap up the 2019-2020 school year!

On June 7, Chorale joined forces with members of Chamber Singers, Seattle Modern Orchestra, and Seattle Girls’ Choir (as well as three guest soloists) to perform Britten’s War Requiem. It was a magnificent night full of soul-stirring moments and raw emotion, and it was incredible to see how all the parts came together in the end! Thank you to everyone who came to watch or supported the performance in other ways – it was truly a night to remember!

From June 27 to July 7, members from Chamber Singers and Chorale (as well as a few special guests) embarked on the long-awaited Baltic tour. Throughout the tour, the joint choir traveled throughout Latvia and Estonia, performing at different venues and taking some time for well-earned sightseeing and mingling with friends! Our tour ended with a bang as we joined thousands of singers in the Estonian Song Festival, an event held every five years at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds. It was an unforgettable experience, full of palpable joy and indubitable pride in the Estonian spirit. Seeing the love and enjoyment on the faces of the audience and choirs made our many months of preparation and rehearsal worth it! Many thanks to everyone who made this experience possible – it was an absolute pleasure, and gave us all lifelong memories to cherish.

Photo: A view of the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds as seen from the audience.

Looking ahead to the upcoming year, registration for UW choir auditions is now open! If you want to join Chorale, Chamber Singers, or Recital Choir next year, make sure you sign up! More information can be found at this link. Best wishes to everyone who participates!

Finally, I would like to say from the bottom of my heart that it has been my pleasure to serve as the UW Chorale Historian this year. Documenting the events, performances, and people that make up the overall Chorale experience has been eye-opening and nothing short of amazing. I look forward to training my successor soon and seeing what they do with this position!

Now that everything’s said and done, I’ll catch you on the flipside! This is Steven Santos, signing off – peace out! ✌

Gotta Be May!

We’re almost at the end of the quarter, but the fun isn’t over yet! Before we take a look at what’s to come, let’s revisit some highlights from the past few weeks!

On April 30, we held our annual cabaret night – this year, our theme was “Lights, Camera, Chorale!”. Alongside performances from our very own Chorale members, we also had guest appearances from the UW Vocal Jazz group and the Hounds of Music. We had a great time putting a show together for everyone, thanks for all the support!

Photo: Cabaret logo, designed by Vice-President Jenna Bellavia.

On May 29, we had our joint spring concert with Chamber Singers. Chorale’s portion of the concert also featured performances from Anacrusis (our non-music major satellite choir) and the Chorale members in our Baltic tour choir (more on that later!). Thank you to everyone who helped organize this concert, and best wishes to the graduating seniors in both choirs!

Our last concert of the year will feature Chorale joining forces with Chamber Singers and the UW Symphony Orchestra performing Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. All of us have been working hard to learn this challenging literature, and we would love to have you attend! More information is provided in this link.

In the meantime, our Meet Chorale series will be running until the end of the quarter, so make sure to follow us on Facebook or Instagram if you want to keep up with all the posts!

The Estonian song festival is around the corner, so make sure to check back here for a review of our Baltic tour! But for now, peace out! ✌

The Return of Meet Chorale!

Hello everyone! This quarter, we’re bringing back the highly popular Meet Chorale series! Meet Chorale spotlights different members of the ensemble and helps us get to know each other better. It’s a great way to learn about new and old Chorale members!

These posts will be on Facebook and Instagram every week, so make sure to connect with us on these platforms!

With the beginning of May on the horizon, make sure to stay tuned for more news about upcoming performances and events! Our next big event is our annual Cabaret night – click the link below for more details!

https://www.facebook.com/events/405444753576848/

Until next time, peace out!✌

It Might as Well Be Spring!

Although winter quarter was a bit hectic with snow days, extra rehearsals, and usual Chorale business, we’ve had some amazing accomplishments over the past few months!

Our concert for Pēteris Vasks on February 6 was a tremendous success! All three choirs (UW Chorale, UW Chamber Singers, and the Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West) performed beautifully, and even joined forces for the final piece – “Pūt, vējiņi”, a renowned Latvian anthem. Even though our three groups had never performed together before, we sang with a sense of solidarity that produced a deeply moving and unifying experience. We are incredibly grateful to Pēteris Vasks for attending and everyone who helped make this concert possible!

On March 13, UW Chorale and Chamber Singers united once more for our joint winter quarter concert. Chorale performed a couple of pieces conducted by our terrific TAs, Luke Duroc-Danner and Joslyn Thomas, as well as “To A Friend” – composed by Dr. Wyers herself! From the intricate dissonance of “Cantate Domino” to the soul-stirring emotion of “Ya Eres Mía”, it was a truly memorable experience for all. Both groups sounded wonderful, and we are again immensely thankful to everyone who attended or supported this concert!

Photo: Promotional image for UW Chorale and Chamber Singers concert.

With spring quarter right around the quarter, be sure to stay tuned for news about Cabaret, the upcoming Britten War Requiem concert, and the return of the Meet Chorale series!

Peace out, friends! ✌

The Life and Music of Pēteris Vasks

In the previous post, it was mentioned that Chorale would be performing a piece by Pēteris Vasks at an upcoming concert. You may be wondering, who is Pēteris Vasks and what kind of music does he compose?

Photo: Composer Pēteris Vasks

Pēteris Vasks was born in Aizpute, Latvia on April 16, 1946. While taking his first piano and violin lessons at the local music school, he began to write his first compositions as well. He went on to study double bass at the Emīls Dārziņš Music School in Riga, and later at the Lithuanian Academy of Music. These skills allowed him to play double bass for both the Lithuanian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Latvian Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra.

Vasks also studied composition at the Latvian State Conservatory under Valentinus Utkins between 1973 and 1978. Since then, he has published a multitude of orchestral, chamber, and choral pieces. A common theme throughout many of his pieces is the affirmation of Latvian history and Latvian spirit. In particular, his pieces from the 1980s-1990s reflect the harshness of the Soviet era and the tribulations faced by many Latvians. His symphony “Voices”, for example, chronicles Latvia’s struggle for independence and the hardships encountered in the process. His later works are primarily centered around universal themes – these include joy and despair, the beauty of nature, and hope for the future.

Video: A brief look at the role music plays in the life of Pēteris Vasks.

On February 6, Chorale will join Chamber Singers and the Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West to perform the works of Pēteris Vasks and other Baltic composers. We will be singing Vasks’ “The Fruit of Silence”, a remarkably pristine piece based on the words of Mother Teresa. The concert is February 6 at 7 PM and will be held at University Presbyterian Church. We hope to see you there!

For more information about Pēteris Vasks, check out these pages!

Peace out for now! ✌

January Joviality!

Hello, everyone! With winter quarter in full swing, we’re hard at work learning new music and preparing for our upcoming performances!

On January 12, we participated in a choir retreat with Chamber Singers. Under the incredible leadership of Dr. Boers, we spent time learning the Britten War Requiem, which we will be performing with Chamber Singers in June. Afterward, we spent some time doing group bonding activities and discussing our plans and goals for this quarter. The retreat was a huge success and we’re all more excited than ever to showcase what we have in store!

When we get the chance to play singing games and totally goof around…we take it 😉

Posted by University of Washington Chorale on Monday, January 14, 2019

Video: Chorale participating in the fan-favorite “riff-off” activity.

As we continue preparing the Britten War Requiem, we’re also learning an excitingly diverse set of music! This includes a Brahms quartette, a couple of Baltic pieces from last year, and even a piece by our very own Dr. Wyers!

In addition to our winter quarter concert on March 13, we have an upcoming performance on February 6. We will be singing “The Fruit of Silence” by Latvian composer Peteris Vasks, who will also be in attendance (more on that soon!). Until then, keep checking in here or on our social media accounts for the latest updates!

Peace out, everyone! ✌

End-of-year Wrap-up!

December was quite the busy month for the UW Chorale!

On December 5, we performed at CarolFest with a number of other UW choral ensembles. All of the groups sounded wonderful and it was fantastic to hear such a wide variety of repertoire. Thank you to everyone who was able to come to see us!

From December 7 to December 9, we performed at four Holiday Pops concerts at Benaroya Hall! Alongside the Seattle Symphony, as well as the amazingly talented soloists Tony DeSare and Capathia Jenkins, we spread holiday cheer through a number of festive pieces. Holiday Pops concerts are always incredibly fun, and this year was no exception! We’re immensely grateful for the opportunity to perform in this event and special thanks to everyone who was able to make it happen!

It’s been an exciting year of good music, good friends, and good memories! Here’s to 2019!

Until next year, peace out! ✌

Just Around the Corner!

With November behind us, let’s take a look back on all that happened this month and take a peek at what’s to come!

On November 18, select Chorale members performed at the Gerald Kechley Tribute Concert. Gerald Kechley served as a professor of composition at UW for nearly 35 years, and this concert was held to celebrate the creation of the Joan Catoni Conlon Endowed Fellowship in Choral Studies to Honor Gerald Kechley and Miriam Terry. This gift was bestowed by Joan Catoni Conlon (a former choral music professor as well as a former student of both Kechley and Terry) and her husband Frank Conlon (a retired UW history professor).

From left to right: Frank Conlon, Gerald Kechley, Joan Catoni Conlon

The literature of the concert was composed entirely of instrumental and vocal works by Gerald Kechley. Chorale sophomore Maddie Ile performed I Sing of a Maiden, and the select Chorale ensemble performed Carol of the Birds. Both pieces featured accompaniment by Anthea Kechley, Gerald Kechley’s granddaughter. Well done to all those involved!

On November 29, we had our joint fall concert, Songs of the Americas, with UW Chamber Singers. In keeping with the theme, Chorale’s literature included pieces from Mexico, Canada, the United States, and Peru.

We were hard at work today rehearsing Estrellita del Sur for Chamber Singers and University Chorale: Songs of the Americas on Thursday! It's at 7:30 at the Gerlich theater (formerly known as Meany), come join us and hear it live! 😊

Posted by University of Washington Chorale on Monday, November 26, 2018

Video: A snippet of Chorale rehearsing one of the featured pieces, Estrellita del Sur.

The concert was a massive success and both groups sounded amazing! Thank you to everyone who was able to attend and support us!

Looking ahead, we will be performing at CarolFest on December 5 and Holiday Pops December 7 through December 9! Check out our events page for more information and ticket links!

Until next month, peace out! ✌