University Chorale and Chamber Singers

University Chorale
University Chorale

The University Chorale performs Randall Thompson's Peaceable Kingdom, and The Chamber Singers present Benjamin Britten's A Boy Was Born, Op. 3. This program features choreography by Seattle-based modern dance companies Karin Stevens Dance and Sapience Dance Collective.


Artist Bios

Sapience Dance Collective

Founded in 2009, Sapience Dance Collective is a community-based dance company that features the work of Sarah Seder, Lilah Steece and Amy Weaver. All company members are choreographers, dancers, and co-directors. Sapience choreographs innovative, physically adept, and socially conscious new works focused on artistic growth and group collaboration. Through feedback and a broad network of linked communities, our choreographer/dancers create an atmosphere of synthesis and abundant mutual support. The word ‘Sapience’ comes from our species’ name, Homo sapiens, so called because it is wisdom that sets humanity apart. We believe that dance illuminates the common humanity of the dancers, the choreographers, and the audience, and by working together, we can deepen our understanding of human nature and ourselves. SDC has performed original work in Vancouver, BC, Martha's Vineyard, MA, Brooklyn, NY and throughout the Northwest.

Sarah Seder, co-founder

Sarah Seder is a co-founder of Sapience Dance Collective. She earned a degree from Bard College in NY where she studied dance and psychology. Sarah works as a choreographer, dancer, dance teacher, and GYROTONIC® instructor. She has performed and shown her work extensively in the Seattle area and throughout the country. In 2006 she was a member of a choir which performed "The Peaceable Kingdom". Since then she has been looking forward to an opportunity to choreograph a modern dance piece set to this incredible choral music. She lives by the sea, climbs mountains and is passionate about helping people discover the joy of dance.

Karin Stevens Dance

Karin Stevens Dance (ksd) was launched in Seattle in 2009. ksd presents and tours multiple performances around the greater Seattle area and NW region. ksd’s mission is to create dance to original new music and/or live musical accompaniment of new and old music, and to collaborate with many local and regional organizations, musicians, composers, visual artists, and fashion designers. ksd has worked with the Montana-based Glacier Symphony and Chorale and String Orchestra of the Rockies, and Seattle’s Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Simple Measures, Seattle Jazz Composers Ensemble, Taproot Theater, and Book-It Theater, to name a few.

Karin Stevens, founder

Karin Stevens began her training with Seattle’s Magnolia community-based Roseanne’s School of Dance, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theater and The Seattle Children's Theater. she completed a B.A. in dance from the University of Washington, where she was awarded a Mary Gates Endowment for Student Leadership Grant for her work with at-risk youth through dance. Her rich and varied career includes work as a creator, dancer, teacher, and artistic leader of several dance companies. She served as director of dance at Dr. Philips H. S., in Orlando, Fla; danced with Mills Repertory Dance Company while completing an M.F.A. in dance at Mills College; and founded Oakland Dance Encounter, where she collaborated with composers and performers throughout the Bay Area. In 2007, Stevens returned to Seattle to form Karin Stevens Dance, which has since collaborated with many local artists, composers, and music ensembles.   


Geoffrey Boers, Chamber Singers

Geoffrey Boers is Director of Choral Activities at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he is the Mary K. Shepman Endowed Professor of Music. Under his direction, the choral program at the University of Washington has grown to include nearly twenty graduate choral conductors each year, as well as nine ensembles conducted by five faculty and many graduate students, with nearly 600 singers participating.

Boers conducts the UW Chamber Singers, the university's premier ensemble of graduate and advanced singers. The Chamber Singers performs nationally and internationally, most recently having returned from Hungary for a concert tour. He also teaches graduate choral conducting and choral pedagogy, and serves as faculty advisor as part of the graduate choral curriculum. He is the recipient of the University of Washington's prestigious Royalty Research Foundation Grant, which allowed him to travel to the Baltic region and to establish the UW Baltic Choral Music Library, the first of its kind in the United States.

Boers maintains an active conducting, teaching, workshop and clinic schedule. Recent engagements have taken him to Australia, mainland China, Thailand, Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall, and Kennedy Center, where he serves as Artistic Director for the Washington D.C. Choral Festival. He especially enjoys working with conductors and their choirs with focus on building communication through gesture and expressivity, and building community within the ensemble. Boers is also exploring the idea spirare, or the connection between breath and spirit, in disciplines as far reaching as Yoga, Tai Chi and world faith systems. This study is leading to evolving thoughts of gesture as it relates to breath, evocation of sound, and touching the heart.

In addition to his position at the UW, Boers is the conductor of the Tacoma Symphony Chorus and will conduct the Tacoma Symphony in numerous performances this season.

Giselle Wyers, University Chorale

Giselle Wyers is Associate Professor of Choral Studies and Voice at the University of Washington, where she conducts the University Chorale and teaches courses in choral conducting and voice. University Chorale's debut CD, Climb, was nominated as a finalist for the American Prize for Choral Performance in 2012. University Chorale's 2008 performance of the Genesis Suite with Seattle Symphony was termed "brilliant" by the Seattle Times. Under her direction, University Chorale has enjoyed high profile performances for the President of Latvia as well as the Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. The chorus tours regularly; recent trips have taken them to San Francisco as well as Estonia, Finland and Latvia.

As a guest conductor, Wyers has led high school honor choirs in New York (Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center), Georgia, Connecticut, Washington, Alaska, and Vancouver, Canada. She has been asked to guest conduct semi-professional ensembles across the United States and in Europe, including the Chamber Choir of Europe in 2011.  She conducted the ACDA NW Women's Honor Choir in 2012.

Wyers is a leading national figure in the application of Laban movement theory for conductors. Each summer she team-teaches choral conducting with James Jordan at Westminster Choir College.  She has published two substantive articles on the subject, both published through GIA Publications in the textbooks Music for Conducting Study (Jordan/Wyers) and The Conductor's Gesture: The Language of Movement (Jordan/Wyers).

As a composer, Wyers is currently preparing numerous choral works for premieres. Her works are published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing Company as part of the "Giselle Wyers Choral Series." This series will feature works by Wyers and champions the works of other emerging composers. Her work "The Waking" was recorded by Choral Arts Ensemble on the Gothic Records label.

Wyers' dedication to exposing audiences to the music of contemporary American composers has led to publications in various national journals. She is especially interested in exploring how modern composers use music as a form of peace-making and social justice. "Waging Peace through Intercultural Art in Kyr's Ah Nagasaki," appears as the cover article of the May 2008 Choral Journal, and discusses how the act of creating and premiering a musical work can serve as a gesture of reconciliation between cultures.

Wyers holds a D.M.A. in conducting from the University of Arizona, where she studied with Maurice Skones, and minored in historical musicology with John Brobeck. She earned a master's degree from Westminster Choir College, where she founded the Greater Princeton Youth Chamber Orchestra, and a bachelor's degree from UC Santa Cruz, where she founded the San Lorenzo Valley Community Chorus and Orchestra.

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