Category Archives: Status Updates

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! ✌

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! ✌

Fresh Starts and Fall Retreat!

Hey there, everyone! Welcome back to the UW Chorale blog!

There are already a lot of exciting things happening, so let’s just jump into it!

On October 13, we had our annual fall retreat at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. The goal of the fall retreat is to grow closer as a group and reflect upon what we aim to accomplish through our music. We also get to know each other through different icebreakers and activities!

This retreat’s activities were led by our vice president Jenna, who did an amazing job with planning a variety of exercises for us to take part in. This included an exciting game of “zip zap zop” and a more introspective exercise in which we identified our core values and shared our thoughts with the other members of our section. Team bonding is always a lot of fun for everyone!

Along the way, we also had the opportunity to explore our repertoire for this quarter. Dr. Wyers has selected pieces from across the Americas for us to perform, and we were fortunate enough to rehearse them in the excellent acoustic space that St. Stephen offers. Even now, it’s easy to tell that in the near future they will sound absolutely beautiful.

We held elections for our cabinet during our retreat as well. All those elected have proven that they have the passion and dedication entailed by their positions. Congratulations to our 2018-2019 cabinet!

  • President: Aidan O’Hara
  • Vice President: Jenna Bellavia
  • Head Section Leader: Tiema Qian
  • Secretary: Natalie Modlin
  • Treasurer: Jason Bryce
  • Publicity Chair: Maddie Ile
  • Historian: Steven Santos
  • Social Chairs: Kaylee Pigott & Alex Nguyen
  • Concert Chairs: Gargi Sivaram & Eyad Alsilimy

(From left to right: Alex, Steven, Tiema, Aidan, Eyad, Jason, Jenna, Kaylee, Natalie, Gargi, Maddie)

From all of us here in Chorale, we’re incredibly excited for this year’s events and performances! To keep up with everything we have going on, feel free to check out our social media links on the sidebar! You can also check out our events calendar page to see our performance schedule for this quarter!

The quarter is just getting started – the best is yet to come!

Peace out! ✌

Miss Singing? Get Ready for More Exciting Sing & Fun Events

Hi to you all, our dearest Chorale fans and families, I hope you’re all enjoying the summer. I’m sure all of you are having a great time but it’s never perfect without the lovely Chorale’s beautiful voices. I’ve come here to bring you good news!

This year will be very exciting and busy. Not only do we have our traditional Fall Choral Concert with the Chamber Singers, as well as the CarolFest, we have also been invited to sing with the Holiday POPS that will most likely happen around November, December. We have been planning and fundraising for the past few years, and our trip to New York will finally happen next year (2017) in April (so~ exciting!!). These kinds of trips don’t happen every year (unfortunately I did not get a chance to travel overnight with Chorale during my years at UW 😥 ), so definitely try to get this opportunity while you can (and the deal is incredible, I promise!!). These are just some of the major events. There will be many more interesting and challenging projects going on throughout the year.

So, as for now, if you’ve been UW Choraleattending our concerts or hearing about us (or know someone who’s coming to UW), you should definitely (and tell your friend to) give it a go and come to the auditions that will happen on September 26th and 27th. Now is a good time to start thinking about a song to sing for us on the audition. For more information, click here.

Have a great rest of the summer & Gook luck!

Once upon a time…

Today, we had an interesting warm-up led by our very own Sarah Riskind. We are lucky to have her as our Assistant Conductor for the entire year. sarah_riskindShe’s especially good at creating the desired tone and atmosphere within a short time in warm-ups to get our voices and mindsets ready. On top of that, she has also been working with us on one of the songs that will be performed on the quarterly choral concert. It’s challenging on both her and our side, but I’m confident that in two weeks, this song will be one of the highlights of the concert.

So remember I was going to tell you all that has happened up to this point?

Here’s how the story goes…

Once upon a time, a group of young talented students/people decided to join the UW Chorale to pursue their passion for music. They took on many projects including a benefit concert, fall choral concert, a CarolFest, and holiday POPS concerts. Then, Winter quarter comes… and they only have ONE concert!? So is that all they’re going to focus, just that ONE concert? Of course not! We all know their capacity from Fall quarter. Well, they’ve decided to make it more difficult by memorizing all the songs to be performed in this concert. They’ve also decided to get ahead of the game by working on the Mass in Time of War by Haydn that will be performed in April, Spring quarter.

As the quarter goes on, one day, Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, conductor of the Radio Choir from American Public Media, wonders around the fores12654201_1101537879866717_1122515143610385952_nt of choral music, and happens to bump into the UW Chorale (though the real story is more like he knows one of our past assistant conductors in Minnesota and was sent to our way). The UW Chorale sings for their new friend Tesfa, and he decides that this music should be made know to more people (you can find the video here). Although the time together was short, the connection between the two will be long lived.

Some other things happened after meeting Tasfa; some of them helped Chorale become a more bonded group, and some helped making our future plans closer. Their journey’s not over yet. Come on and follow me, and maybe one day, we will arrive to the land that we dream of.

#SUPER late start #Goodbye Brenda #Wait! There’s more

Hey Chorale followers! I know this is a REALLY late beginning post and you probably were wondering why there haven’t been any posts about our performance or life this quarter. Well, I have to admit that it’s mostly my part to blame, but… I’m a busy senior! Have you ever felt that you’re like the busiest person in the world, but years later when you look back, then you realize that “humm, I really wasn’t that busy.” Isn’t that funny that we always think we’re busy? Ok, enough of my excuses and let’s get on to the point now.

So, after our big, fantastic Holiday POPS concert in December, to be honest, we don’t have a whole lot to do this quarter besides the quarterly concert coming up soon on March 9th (which I’m sure you all have bought your tickets, right? If not, you should buy the tickets here). But there are some good and bad news still I would like to share with you.

First, sad news with regards to our assistant conductor – Brenda Mohr has decided to leave us because she has some other important projects going on that need her full energy and amazing musicianship. She has always been very helpful when leading the sections and is always willing and trying to make us better musicians. Her warm-ups were fun and effective. We will always miss her in Chorale and hope she continues her great work in everything she does!

With that said, this means we have a new assistant conductor joining us this quarter. Joel Bevington is our new young and handsome assistant conductor. I have to say this is about all that I know about him, BUT, we still have an entire spring quarter to get to know him. I can definitely tell you that he leads great warm-ups, and is very precise and careful in looking for the right tone/sound when leading us during rehearsals. Looking forward to work more with him.

I’ve only mentioned a bad and a good news, so I guess it evens out. But this is not it. I’ve got more news coming for you and Yes they are all good and exciting! Stay tuned!