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Category: Music – choir


Tacoma Early Music Project combines Canonici, Illumni and the Dorian Singers plus organist Mark Brombaugh for a free multimedia 16th-century concert

Tacoma’s early music scene is slowly but surely gaining traction, and some of it is thanks to vocal groups like Canonici. This weekend the a cappella vocal quartet collaborates with the Illumni Men’s Chorale and the University of Puget Sound’s Dorian Singers, as well as organist Mark Brombaugh, to present a multimedia concert of sacred 16th century music in the evocative acoustics of Christ Episcopal Church, Tacoma.

The Tacoma Early Music Project: Savonarola and the North Wind centers on Girolamo Savonarola, the gaunt Italian priest famously burned at the stake in 1498 for making controversial prophecies against

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Faint Fauré but spirited polyphony from Tacoma Symphony Orchestra Chorus at First Presbyterian Church, Tacoma

As Tacoma Symphony Orchestra Chorus director Geoffrey Boers pointed out before his choir’s concert last Saturday night, venues can create wonderful music. For the TSO Chorus, singing its annual “solo” concert, the soaring arches, carved wood and enormous ceilings of First Presbyterian Church Tacoma offered up a giant playground to explore some of the most beautiful choral music ever written. And while the choir failed to utilize the space in the first half of the program, the second half was one of the most inventive and musical uses of space I’ve ever seen in this town.

The first half

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Baroque Christmas from the Northwest Repertory Singers at Mason United Methodist, Tacoma

Choirs doing holiday concerts is nothing new, but this year the Northwest Repertory Singers will add to their Baroque Christmas concert this weekend at Tacoma’s Mason United Methodist Church with a pre-concert lecture by director Paul Schultz, as well as supporting the spirit of Christmas with food bank donations.

This year’s Christmas concert features favorites from the Baroque period such as J.S. Bach’s cantata “Wachet auf” (“Sleepers Wake”) and selections from Handel’s “Messiah,” accompanied by members of the Northwest Sinfonietta.

Director Paul Schulz will give a pre-concert lecture about the program, a tradition the choir intends to add to

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Tacoma’s Christ Episcopal Church presents an Advent service of lessons and carols

The choir of Christ Episcopal Church, Tacoma. Courtesy photo.

The Advent tradition of a church service of Christmas-based readings (or Lessons) and carols goes back to 19th-century England, and combines exquisitely-sung choral music, contemplative prose and a pre-Christmas meditation. It’s an annual event at Tacoma’s Christ Episcopal Church, where the able choir is backed by the church’s wonderful Brombaugh organ and excellent acoustics for a serene, light-filled experience – and it’s on again this Sunday evening.

Most famous of all is the service of lessons and carols at King’s College, Cambridge, which has been going every year since 1928 and broadcast around the world. But tradition has it that the service began in Cornwall decades earlier, held at 10 p.m. in a wooden hut on Christmas Eve in an attempt to keep men out of the pubs for that night. Read more »


The Esoterics sing the O antiphons for Advent at Christ Episcopal in Tacoma

Interestingly, for a secular choir, The Esoterics are welcoming the pre-Christmas season of Advent with – well – a Christian Advent program. The Seattle a cappella choir, with its adventurous director Eric Banks, strong voices and innate musicality, is known for singing completely out of the box; but if you think their Admirabile program is the usual Christmas listening experience, think again. They’ll combine Arvo Pärt’s “Magnificat” with renditions of the O Antiphons (music based on the seven names for Christ in the Bible) by three contemporary composers: the Estonian Pärt, the Polish Pawel Lukaszewski and Seattle’s own John Muehleisen,

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Tacoma’s Pacific Lutheran University takes out first and second place in choral division of the American Prize

Choral Union. Courtesy photo.

Choral Union, a choir based at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, has just won first place in the 2011 American Prize in choral performance (community chorus division), and PLU’s student choir Choir of the West has won second place. The annual prize, created in 2009 to recognize excellence in performing arts around the nation, includes cash prizes and national recognition on the American Prize website (www.theamericanprize.org).

Conducted by Richard Nance, Choral Union is an 80-voice ensemble made up of PLU faculty, staff, alumni

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A triumphant 10th anniversary concert for the Northwest Repertory Singers

Glad energy and a warm tone were the hallmarks of this weekend’s Saturday concert by the Northwest Repertory Singers. A celebration of the choir’s 10th anniversary, and repeated again tomorrow afternoon, the program highlighted the ensemble’s strengths – focus, warm singing and excellent programming – while only occasionally falling short of its usual high standard.

Much of the program was challenging singing. An opening of Samuel Barber’s three-poem “Reincarnations” brought out the always-excellent vocal balance, with nice bass support and good diction in the homage to “Mary Hynes.” The eerily chromatic descending canon of “Anthony O’Daly” had a fierce

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Local choirs join for Pierce College Fort Steilacoom church hymn celebration

Around 250 from six local choirs will join forces at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom this Sunday in a choral celebration of traditional church hymns. Joining the Pierce College Concert Choir and Chamber Singers are the Tacoma Symphony Chorus, Lakes High School Concert Choir, McChord Field Chancel Choir, and Little Church on the Prairie Chancel Choir. In addition, guest singers will be included from Mount Cross Lutheran, Central Lutheran, First Lutheran, and other churches.

On the program will be more than a dozen well-known hymns performed in styles from classical to contemporary and Southern Baptist male quartet, featuring individual and

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