The UW Chorale is jubilantly bringing the spring academic quarter to a close, celebrating our 3 months of studying musical literature with a concert last week and a second concert this Friday, June 5th. Our conductor, Dr. Giselle Wyers, was on sabbatical this quarter, and we were led instead by our two assistant conductors, Debi Johanson and Elizabeth MacIssac. We tackled a diverse range of literature, including an A Cappella version of Billy Joel’s “Lullabye” and a choral arrangement (one of the first of its kind) of a traditional Arabic melody.
We were invited this quarter to continue to build our relationship with the Seattle Symphony, through participating in LinkUp, a musical outreach program that teaches 3rd through 5th grades students about the Symphony. Several UW Chorale soloists led a full house of elementary school students (and there was a week of these performances) in interactive songs, at Benaroya Hall. Additionally, a larger ensemble (approximately 10 students) sang “O Fortuna” with the Seattle Symphony, accompanied by over 2000 school children playing recorders.
Last Wednesday, May 27th, we sang the first portion of the musical literature we studied this year. We excelled musically under the fearless and inspired instruction of Debi and Elizabeth, who each picked half of the songs from our repertoire to conduct for the concert. It was a very moving concert, ended with the recognition of our student leadership, the Chorale Cabinet, and of our graduating seniors or leaving members, whose hours of enthusiastic music-making are appreciated greatly! Dr. Wyers also joined us on stage, and we recognized her for her excellent foundation of instruction for us this year, as well as organizing and managing the LinkUp project for the choir.
We will perform together with the UW Chamber Singers and the UW Symphony this coming Friday, June 5th. At this concert we will join the Chamber Singers and Symphony for two songs, Prokofiev’s “Alexander Nevsky” (1938) and Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” (1965). In between, the Chamber Singers sing Verdi’s “Stabat Mater” (1897) with the UW Symphony. We are thrilled about capping off our year with these two beautiful works.