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Allegra: “Sisters in Singing” a new work by Aimee Mell

On June 15, 2013 at Seattle’s Town Hall all five levels of Seattle Girls’ Choir will premiere newly commissioned works. Composer and conductor Aimee Mell chose to write a new piece for Allegra, the SGC ensemble she also conducts.

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Sisters in Singing

Music by Aimee Mell

Words by Aimee Mell & Allegra

When I decided to write a song for Allegra to celebrate our 30th Anniversary, I started to think about what is important to our SGC girls. Since I teach the choir where girls first attend our overnight camp at Ft. Flagler, I realized that the camp sister relationship is one that often carries beyond that one week of summer. I’ve also seen how seriously the older girls take their role. They oversee bouts of homesickness and scraped knees, and help their little sisters through thick and thin. Much of the music I write is not even completely tonal, and rarely is it in a lighter style like this. While I wrote the music, Allegra girls helped brainstorm words and ideas. I think this song simply an expression of the exuberance of this age group, and perhaps some channeling of my own inner-Allegra! -Aimee Mell

New works will also be premiered by SGC Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus Dr. Jerome Wright, Seattle Composer John Muehleisen, Seattle Pro Musica Artistic Director Karen P. Thomas, and SGC alumnae Katie Bent and Amanda Kunz.

Tickets are available at 206-526-1900 or http://www.seattlegirlschoir.org

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Aimee Mell has taught music theory, sight-singing, composition, and music history at the high school and undergraduate levels. She has also taught middle and high school choir for over ten years in both public and private schools. She holds a B.M of Music Education (choral) from Washington State University, a M.M. in Music Composition from Butler University, and she is a Ph.D. Candidate in Music History at the University of Washington.  She has studied composition with Charles Argersinger (WSU), James Aikman (Butler U), and Michael Schelle (Butler U). She is also the recipient of an MENC National Composition Award, as well as the Lily Endowment Teacher Creativity Grant which allowed her to compose and to travel to The Gambia, Africa. Mell also serves as a board member for ACDA Washington (UNISON Editor), The Greater Seattle Choral Consortium, Simple Measures (Chamber Music, Advisory Board), and she spent six years as a board member for Seattle Opera affiliate groups.

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Karen P. Thomas: “I Dwell in Possibility,” a new work for Cantamus

On June 15, 2013 at Seattle’s Town Hall all five levels of Seattle Girls’ Choir will premiere newly commissioned works. Composer Karen P. Thomas was commissioned to write for the Cantamus ensemble of Seattle Girls’ Choir directed by Alex Gagiu.

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I Dwell in Possibility

Karen P. Thomas, poem: Emily Dickinson

I dwell in Possibility–
A fairer House than Prose–
More numerous of Windows–
Superior–for Doors–

Of Chambers as the Cedars–
Impregnable of Eye–
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky–

Of Visitors–the fairest–
For Occupation–This–
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise–

I chose this poem by Emily Dickinson for its uplifting message of the wide world of possibilities that await us in our life journey. –Karen Thomas

New works will also be premiered by SGC Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus Dr. Jerome Wright, Seattle Composer John Muehleisen, SGC alumnae Katie Bent and Amanda Kunz, and SGC Allegra Conductor Aimee Mell.

Tickets are available at 206-526-1900 or http://www.seattlegirlschoir.org

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Karen P. Thomas, composer and conductor, is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Seattle Pro Musica. Her compositions are performed and broadcast throughout the world, by groups such as The Hilliard Ensemble and the Vocal Consort of Brussels. Her works are published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing and at this website, and have been featured at numerous ACDA and AGO conferences.

A prize-winning composer, she has received grants from the NEA, The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and Meet the Composer, among numerous others.

As a conductor, Ms. Thomas has produced nine critically-acclaimed CDs, and received the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and the ASCAP-Chorus America Award. She has appeared as guest conductor at international festivals in Europe and North America, and the NPR radio show Saint Paul Sunday. She received the 2012 Outstanding Choral Director Award for Washington State, and currently serves on the boards of the Pacific NW Chapter for the Recording Academy (Grammy), the American Choral Directors Association (NW Division), and the Greater Seattle Choral Consortium.

HOPE: John Muehleisen’s newly commissioned work for Prime Voci

On June 15, 2013 at Seattle’s Town Hall all five levels of Seattle Girls’ Choir will premiere newly commissioned works. Composer John Muelhiesen was selected to write for our most senior ensemble Prime Voci.

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From the Composer:

Hope

Music John Muehleisen; Poem by Emily Dickinson

First of all, I’m delighted to have been asked to compose a work for Prime Vocithe advanced high-school ensemble of Seattle Girls’ Choir (SGC)—to help celebrate the 30th Anniversary of this great organization. To compose a work for Prime Voci is a particular joy for me because of my long history with this ensemble, which dates back to 1998, when I composed a work titled The King of Glory for Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble and SGC’s Prime Voci. The next year I composed The Wise and the Foolish for the same two ensembles. (more…)

Hear Seattle Girls’ Choir on King FM every day this week!

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As we prepare for our 30th Anniversary Concert on June 15, thanks to KING FM for highlighting Seattle Girls’ Choir CD’s and live on-air recordings.

Monday, June 10

Mendelssohn:  Paulus, Op.36: How Lovely are the Messengers (SGC’s recording from NW Focus Live in June 2012) at approximately 8pm

Tuesday, June 11

Pergolesi:  Stabat Mater in F minor (excerpts) (SGC’s recording from NW Focus Live in June 2012) at approximately 8pm

Wednesday, June 12

Hovland:  Bow down thine ear, O Lord (SGC’s recording) at approximately 9:19pm

Thursday, June 13

Thompson:  Frostiana: Choose Something Like a Star (SGC’s recording from NW Focus Live in June 2012) at approximately 8:09pm

Friday, June 14

Berkey:  Nunc Dimittis (SGC’s recording) at approximately 9:26pm

About Northwest Focus

More information at www.king.org/nwfocus

 

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Seattle Girls’ Choir Celebrates 30 Years of Inspiration with Six World Premieres

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On June 15, 2013 at Seattle’s Town Hall all five levels of SGC choirs will perform newly commissioned works. Each choir will present a piece, and the combined SGC choirs will sing a work by SGC Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus, Dr. Jerome Wright.

Here is a preview of his new work, Bound for Seattle:

Bound for Seattle is “A Five-Minute History of Seattle,” set on board a 19th century clipper ship bound for Seattle and told by various waves of immigrants: Sailors, miners, and brides from New England. The song is in the form of a sea chantey (or shantey, shanty or chanty). Each verse of the piece has a distinct flavor…so I developed variations on the harmony and style to accommodate the different groups. For example, there is a section of the second verse dealing with home-sickness and how the sight of the Olympics had a healing effect. The score is very open, with the counter melodies reminiscent of alpenhorns. The raucous miners are accompanied by what I call “saloon piano” – while the brides have a piano accompaniment in the style of an 18th century piano sonata.
The last verse has two parts. In the verse, sung a cappella, the inhabitants of Seattle dream of a future metropolis; and the final chorus is set in the present, and sung by the lucky inhabitants of our great city.
I quote popular music of the period, and am not shy to use quodlibet. See how many bits of other songs you can find as you listen. My intention was to create a light and joyous song: fun for all ages to sing, and a delight to hear. I hope you enjoy “Bound for Seattle” as much as I enjoyed composing it! – Jerome Wright

New pieces by John Muehleisen, Karen Thomas, Aimee Mell, and alumnae Katie Bent and Amanda Kunz will also be premiered.

Tickets are available at 206-526-1900 or http://www.seattlegirlschoir.org

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