The University Chorale presents "Out of Darkness," a program of works for classical saxophone and choir, with special guest, faculty saxophonist Michael Brockman. The program features the world premiere of Brockman’s Eka Satya for choir, saxophone and cello, and Wyers’ “A Lantern Voice." UW graduate student Sonja Mykelbust is featured cellist.
A note from Giselle Wyers:
All of these pieces deal with how to rise above darkness – in the world, in spiritual life, in humanity OR celebrate life and light already manifest! including the blinding sunlight of “Noon” or the beautiful “holy priests cast on the dark plane of evening” in “Lantern Voice”
William Byrd: Ave Verum Corpus (A cappella)
Eriks Esenvalds: O Salutaris Hostia (A cappella with two solo sopranos)
Cecil Effinger: * Four Pastorales (A cappella with soprano saxophone)
James Whitbourn: Requiem Canticorum for saxophone and organ
Giselle Wyers: *A Lantern Voice, piano
This piece will be premiered May 3 by Cascadian Chorale, as part of Giselle Wyers' year of serving as composer-in-residence. The text features a combination of two poems by Stephen Crane, and is dedicated to the child orphans and victims of the current civil war in Syria.
Michael Brockman: Eka Satya for choir, saxophone and cello (WORLD PREMIERE)
Michael Saunders: La Otra for piano and cello
Sonya Myklebust, cello
Randall Thompson: Peaceable Kingdom, Selections (A cappella)
Say ye to the Righteous
The Paper Reeds
Ye Shall Have a Song
Michael Brockman, saxophone
Michael Brockman, DMA, moved from the East Coast to Seattle in 1987 to join the UW School of Music faculty. He instructs concert and jazz saxophone performance, and jazz arranging and composition. Brockman earned a Doctor of Musical Arts from the UW, and a Master of Music degree with distinction from the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he studied arranging with Jaki Byard, composition with George Russell, and woodwind performance with Joe Allard. He earned a bachelor of music degree from Lewis and Clark College, and also attended both the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and the Musikhochschule in Cologne, Germany.
Brockman's doctoral dissertation is titled "Orchestration Techniques of Duke Ellington," and he has transcribed numerous classic large ensemble scores by Ellington, Mingus, Mulligan, Lunceford, Kenton, Monk and others. He is the lead saxophonist and co-director of the award-winning Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, and has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Clark Terry, Frank Wess, Frank Foster, Jimmy Heath, Quincy Jones, James Moody, Benny Carter, Ernestine Anderson, Arturo Sandoval, Ella Fitzgerald, Jon Hendricks, Joe Williams, and many other luminaries of jazz. The SRJO presents the annual Duke Ellington Sacred Concert in Seattle (now in its 23rd year), plus an annual subscription concert series of rare big band works. In addition to performing in the SRJO, Brockman has prepared scores for much of the band's repertoire, based on rare vintage recordings of unpublished works by great composers.
As both a jazz soloist and a classical recitalist, he has toured throughout Europe and the eastern United States. He is an active professional performer in numerous Seattle ensembles, including the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and appears on nationally acclaimed recordings with Jimmy Heath, the SSO, the SRJO, and Seattle drummer Clarence Acox, whose 1991 CD Joanna's Dance and 1992 CD Indigenous Groove were consecutively selected as Album of the Year by Seattle's Earshot magazine.
A perpetual student of woodwind acoustics, Brockman is the inventor of a patented device called the "Broctave Key" (U.S. Patent WO/2010/068909) that provides an additional octave/register vent to any wind instrument.
Brockman has premiered many new works for saxophone, including the West Coast premiere of Sonata for Saxophone by Gunther Schuller, and has appeared as a soloist in the Reims Music Festival, the Dubrovnik Music Festival, the World Saxophone Congress, the Stanford Computer Music Festival, the New Music Across America Festival, the Seattle New Music for Saxophone Festival, the Northwest Saxophone Symposium, and many others. Brockman is a clinician for the Selmer Company.
Giselle Wyers is the Donald E. Peterson Associate Professor of Choral Music 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, won third prize in the collegiate division of 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, Idaho, and Vancouver, Canada. She has conducted 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 and will direct the Alaska All-State Women’s Honor Choir and the Nebraska Wesleyan Honor Choir in the 2013-14 season.
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, and has led workshops on Laban across the United States, most recently at Iowa’s ACDA 2013 Summer Session. 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," and have been performed in the United States, Canada, Cuba, and across Europe. She has been commissioned by such choruses as Chamber Choir of Europe, A Capella Koor Cantabile of Netherlands, Choral Arts Ensemble, Dolce Canto Chamber Choir, Georgia Tech Chamber Singers, University of Tennessee Men’s Chorus, Cambridge Chamber Singers, and Cascadian Chorale.
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.