It is finals week at the University of Washington, and Chorale has just concluded a very busy but very exciting quarter. Chorale worked on three different projects this quarter, and had to cleverly use our rehearsal time (under the talented tutelage of our conductor Dr. Giselle Wyers and assistant conductors Debi and Elizabeth) in order to learn and polish all the music required to fulfill these thrilling commitments.
The first project we completed was thanks to our continued partnership with Ann Hamilton and the Henry Art Gallery. We spent a fantastic evening in the Henry Art, alternating between moving through the galleries in small groups and singing as a whole choir in the larger galleries. In our smaller groups, of approximately 10 singers, we serenaded the furs, photos, and texts on display with a round composed by Dr. Wyers, melodies co-composed by pairs of Chorale members, and any other music we felt would communicate best with the exhibit. We came together as a whole choir a few times as well, in the North or South galleries, to sing songs that honored the powerful themes of the exhibit, Ann Hamilton’s A Common Sense. This performance was unique and powerful, invoking strong emotions in many of our singers. In addition to this one event, each member of Chorale volunteered an hour or more of their own time this academic quarter to stroll the galleries and be a living, breathing, singing part of the exhibit.
Following this magical night, we worked hard on literature for our Winter Concert with the Chamber Singers, and for our string of Pops performances with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra mentioned in our last blog post. We had the privilege of working under the talented and charismatic Steven Reineke (pictured to the right), who conducted our three performances at Benaroya Hall in Downtown Seattle. We had a blast, entertaining the audience with popular tunes from Rodgers’ & Hammerstein’s many musical collaborations, and getting the chance to perform and interact with the three talented soloists.
We capped off our quarter with a successful performance last Wednesday evening, singing repertoire that had not been part of our previous two projects, as well as a couple homages to our efforts at the Henry Art Gallery: reprising Dr. Wyers’ composition “Incantation to Remember” (text by Ann Hamilton, performed at the Henry Art Gallery), and the Pops crowd favorite “There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame” from the musical South Pacific. We are excited about our new and strengthening relationship with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and looking forward to our next quarter and the new and expansive opportunities it will bring!