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UW Symphony and Combined UW Choirs

  • UW Symphony director David Alexander Rahbee (photo: Steve Korn)

The University Symphony Orchestra performs works by George Walker, Aaron Copland, and Samuel Barber, then is joined by the combined UW Choirs for a performance of Te Deum, op.103, by Antonín Dvořák

Masks are required in all indoor spaces on the UW campus. Patrons must show proof of vaccination or recent negative provider-administered COVID-19 PCR test for entry to live events at Meany Hall. Individuals unable to be fully vaccinated, including children under age five and people with a medical or religious exemption, must have proof of a negative provider-administered COVID-19 PCR test (taken within 72 hours of the performance). UW staff will check for proof of vaccination and negative COVID PCR tests at the doors as a condition of entry. Proof of negative test result must come from a test provider, a laboratory or a health care provider. Home or self-administered tests will not be accepted. Details of these policies and procedures are at: 

UW Symphony Orchestra

With combined UW choirs

 Daren Weissfisch & David Alexander Rahbee, conductors

Friday March 11th, 2022      7:30 pm        Katharyn Alvord Gerlich Theater 



Lyric for Strings ……………………………...……George Walker (1922-2018)

 (In celebration of the composer’s 100th birthday)

Appalachian Spring, suite from the ballet……….Aaron Copland (1900-1990)

-      Intermission     -

Essay No. 1, Op. 12…………………………...…..Samuel Barber (1910-1981) 

(Daren Weissfisch, conductor)


Te Deum, Op. 103 ….…………………….….. Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)

I. Te deum laudamus: Allegro moderato maestoso

II. Tu Rex gloriae: Lento maestoso

III. Aeterna fac cum Sanctis: Vivace

IV. Dignare Domine: Lento

Eun Ju Vivianna Oh, soprano
Limuel Forgey, baritone

University of Washington Chamber Singers, Geoffrey Boers, conductor
University of Washington Chorale, Giselle Wyers, conductor

Program Notes

by Megan Rideout Redeker

George Walker: Lyric for Strings

George Walker enjoyed a brilliant career as a pianist, composer, and professor. He was admitted

to Oberlin Conservatory at the age of 14, and was at that time the youngest student who had ever

been admitted to the conservatory. He completed his masters degree at the Curtis Institute of

Music, earned a doctorate from Eastman, and studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Walker

completed his Lyric for Strings while he was still a graduate student at the Curtis Institute. The

work is the second movement of his String Quartet No. 1 with an expanded orchestration.

Originally titled Lament, it was premiered by the student orchestra at the Curtis Institute in 1946.

Walker dedicated the work to his grandmother, Malvina King, who was born into slavery.

Aaron Copland, Appalachian Spring

In 1945, Aaron Copland was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his orchestral suite

Appalachian Spring. The suite was originally a ballet, written for thirteen instruments. Copland

expanded the instrumentation to include a full orchestra when he arranged the music as an

orchestral suite. The ballet tells the story of a newly married pioneer couple in the 19th century

who have just built a farmhouse in Pennsylvania together. It was originally written in 8 parts, the

seventh of which contains the melody of the Shaker song Simple Gifts. Dancer and

choreographer Martha Graham and pianist Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge commissioned the work,

asking for a ballet “with an American theme.” Not knowing exactly what Graham intended for

the dancers, Copland originally called the work Ballet for Martha. Graham suggested naming it

Appalachian Spring, after a line in a poem called The Dance by Hart Crane:

O Appalachian Spring! I gained the ledge;

Steep, inaccessible smile that eastward bends

And northward reaches in that violet wedge

Of Adirondacks!

The poem refers to a stream, not the season of Spring; Copland was reportedly quite amused by

the amount of praise he received for his depiction of springtime in the Appalachians.

Samuel Barber: First Essay for Orchestra, op. 12

Samuel Barber composed his first work at the age of seven, became a church organist at the age

of twelve, and began studying at the Curtis Institute of Music at the age of fourteen. He enjoyed

a brief career as a baritone and wrote many choral and vocal works, but he also wrote a great

deal for orchestra. His First Essay for Orchestra was completed in 1938 and premiered by

Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra that same year. Toscanini rarely performed

works by contemporary or American composers, so his premiere of Barber’s music was a

significant moment in the composer’s career. Barber pioneered the essay as a musical form.

When asked about it, he often referred listeners to the literary definition of an essay found in the


Antonin Dvořák: Te Deum, op. 103

In October of 1891, Dvořák accepted a position as the director of the National Conservatory of

Music in New York. His arrival the following year would coincide with the 400th anniversary of

Columbus Day. Jeanette Thurber, the founder of the Conservatory, commissioned a piece from

Dvořák to be performed at the celebration, and promised to send him a text to set. The text never

came, so Dvořák chose the hymn Te Deum Laudamus which he thought would be joyful enough

for such an occasion. Dvořák was a devout Catholic, and at this point in his career had already

composed several sacred works. Te Deum was ultimately not premiered at the Columbus Day

celebrations, but was premiered shortly after, on October 21st, 1892.

University of Washington Symphony Orchestra

David Alexander Rahbee, Music Director and Conductor

Rylan Virnig and Daren Weissfisch, Assistant Conductors 


Drew Burky, Materials Science & Engineering 

Katelyn CampbellBiochemistry, Applied Music (Orchestral Instruments) 

Megan HutchisonMusic (Woodwinds) 

Cassie LearDMA Woodwinds


Katelyn CampbellBiochemistry, Applied Music (Orchestral Instruments) 


Kieran MatzMusic (Ethnomusicology) 

Kamil TarnawczykMusic 

English horn

Kamil TarnawczykMusic


Megan Rideout RedekerMusic Performance 

Khang Zhie PhoongComputer Science 


Pascal LovreChemistry 

Parker ChuBiochemistry, Music minor


Anna PerryMusic (Brass) 

Nicholas HidyMusic (Brass) 

Levi SyBiochemistry, Russian

Thomas DylanBioengineering


Carter Archuleta , Physics, Astronomy

Greg SmithMusic (Brass)

Jennifer Stump,  Pre Sciences 

Joe Yang , Geology, Trumpet


Neal Muppidi,  Physics, Music

Sean GrimmStatistics

Clayton Thomas, Electrical Engineering


Nikolas WoodenNeuroscience


Sophie SchmidtPercussion Performance 


Cyrus GrahanHistory 

Jonathan RodriguezPercussion Performance

Scott FarkasPercussion Performance


Kelly HouInformatics, Music Performance


Chiao-Yu Wu, Piano Performance


Christine Chu, Communication, Violin Performance 

Constance Aguocha, Violin Performance 

Dalma Ashby, Violin Performance 

Sejon AshbyBiochemistry 

Ido AvnonComputer Science, Education

Kelly ChiangPsychology, Marketing

Hannah ChouViolin Performance 

Kellen CribbsMusic Education, History 

Teela Damian, Music 

Suad Maya Dirar, Biology

Raymond DoerrMaterials Science and Engineering 

Rylan Ferron-Jones, Engineering Undeclared 

Rei Funakoshi Anderson, Pre Major (Arts & Sciences) 

Nicholas Gjording, Biology (Molecular Cellular & Developmental) 

Kara JohnsonPre Major (Arts & Sciences) 

Allison KamPre Sciences, Linguistics 

Meiqi LiangPre Public Health 

Audrey LinComputer Science

Lucy Maki-Fern, Biology (Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental) 

Paige Michal, Music Education

Hannah Peña-Ruiz, Music (Strings) 

Bianca Ponnekanti, Physics, Astronomy 

Sean Sasaki, Music 

Victoria Sepulveda, Art (Painting & Drawing) 

Selina Siow, Music (Strings) 

Olivia Wang, Computer Science, Music 

Ethan WuBiochemistry

Renee Zhang, Alumni: Biology (Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental), Violin Performance


Elena AllenApplied Music (String Instruments), Biochemistry 

Eugene ChinApplied Music (String Instruments) 

Nathan HatchRobotics 

Angielena LuongPre Sciences 

Brian PhamBiochemistry

Mari MorikawaBiology (Physiology) 

Meghna Shankar, Computer Science, Physics 

Kareena Sikka, Biology (Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental) 

Katie Tschida, Music

Randy Zhang, Computer Science 


Bashir Abdel-Fattah, Mathemetics 

Ryan FrieszPre Sciences 

Savannah HelmingCello Performance

Breanna Humphrey, Pre Sciences 

Sarah JohnsonMusic 

Youngbin (Young) KimCello Performance 

Gene Liu, Engineering

Bennett OlsenGeography: Data Science 

John RiceComputer Engineering 

Russell SamPre Sciences 

Amanda Song, Business Administration 

Ignacio (Nacho) Tejeda, Mathematics


Alejandra (Ale) HeringerEnglish 

Eddie NikishinaMusic 

Ethan ParkPre Sciences 

Gracious Wyatt DraherEnvir Science & Terrestrial Resource Mgt 

University of Washington Chamber Singers


Kaelyn Barnes

Kate Connors

Karen Dunstan

Virginia Elizondo

Caitlin Hennessy

Mallory McCollum

Shalini Pullarkat

Sarah Santos

Jessica Turner 


Cee Adamson

Sydney Belden

Lily Campbell

Anjali Chudasama

Heather Halverson

Anna Messenger

Grace Selmann

Emily Vaughan

Tiffany Walker

Leah Wyman


Oliver Callahan

Tyler Todd Kimmel

Timothy Little

Marshell Lombard

Alexander Nguyen

Tri Nguyen

John O'Kane

Mark Petty

Zach Rude

Isaac Tian


Justin Birchell

Frank Goess

Mikey Prince

Jonathan Rizzardi

Dario Rojas

Zack Shafer

Alec Walter

Daren Weissfisch

Trey Wheeler

University of Washington Chorale


Fern Bettinger

Emily Cameron

Mavis Chan

Sarah Clark

Meagan Hodgins

Whi Jung

Claire Killian

Emma Koslosky

Anna Kucinski

Meena Kuduva

Ellen Kwon

Joely Loucks

Anna Messenger

Julia Nipert

Rosemary Norheim

Chloe O’Keefe

Sophia Parker

Clara Propst

Meliza Redulla

Caitlin Sarwono

Jessica Turner

Felicia Tzeng

Natalia Valvano

Melody Zhu 


Meher Chand

Sofiia Fedzorah

Christine Han

Anmol Kaur

Ella L’Heuruex

Naomi-Hal Hoffman

Hannah Limb

Sophie Ma

Julia Park

Sophie Root

Jaminfaye Reduque

Silvana Segura

Maya Shah

Nelly Sunstrum

Emily Vaughan

Aliyah Wachob

Akhila Narayanan

Ruby Whelan


Eyad Alsilimy

Scott Fisher Jr.

Cam Gardner

Carson Kyle

Karsten Lomax

Adrian Nguyen

Alex Nguyen

Tri Nguyen

Ollie Hernandez

John O’Kane

Zach Shafer

Ryan Singh

Ethan Walker


Lewis Back

Jason Barringer

Elisha Bourassa

Matthew Chao

Charlie Dawson

Matt Hansen

Andrew Hoch

Jacob Knight

Jonah Ladish-Orlich

Sidharth Lakshmanan

Christian Rolfson

Cian Scheer

Alec Walter

Trey Wheeler 

 Director Bio

David Rahbee

David Alexander Rahbee is currently Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, where he is Director of Orchestral Activities and Chair of Orchestral Conducting. He is Music Director and Conductor of the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra and founder of the UW Campus Philharmonia Orchestras. He is a recipient of the American-Austrian Foundation's 2003 Herbert von Karajan Fellowship for Young Conductors, the 2005 International Richard-Wagner-Verband Stipend, a fellowship the Acanthes Centre in Paris (2007), and is first prize winner in conducting from The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts for 2020. His work at UW has earned national recognition. In 2021 he was praised by The American Prize as “Consistently one of the most courageous and comprehensive [orchestral] programmers working in higher education in the U.S. today…”

Dr. Rahbee has appeared in concert with orchestras such as the Seattle Symphony, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Kammerphilharmonie Berlin-Brandenburg, Guernsey Symphony Orchestra, Chattanooga Symphony, National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia, Orchestre de la Francophonie, Orchesterakademie der Bochumer Symphoniker, the Dresden Hochschule orchestra, Grand Harmonie, the Boston New Music Initiative, Seattle Modern Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Loja (Ecuador), Savaria Symphony Orchestra (Hungary), Cool Opera of Norway (members of the Stavanger Symphony), Schönbrunner Schloss Orchester (Vienna), the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, the Kennett Symphony, and the Divertimento Ensemble of Milan. His collaborations with the Seattle Symphony include assistant conductor for the performance and recording of Ives’ Fourth Symphony, and as guest conductor for their Native Lands project and the North American premiere of Páll Ragnar Pallson's Quake with faculty cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir. He has collaborated with several prominent soloists such as Sarah Chang, Jon Kimura Parker, Yekwon Sunwoo, Glenn Dicterow and Jonathan Biss. He has been a guest rehearsal conductor for numerous young orchestras, such as the New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, The Symphony Orchestra of the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music at Chapman University, and the Vienna University of Technology orchestra. He has served on faculty of the Pierre Monteux School as Conducting Associate, has been resident conductor of the Atlantic Music Festival and guest conductor at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival.

Dr. Rahbee was an assistant at the Vienna State opera from 2002-2010. As part of his fellowship and residency at the 2003 Salzburg Festival, Dr. Rahbee was assistant conductor of the International Attergau Institute Orchestra, where he worked with members of the Vienna Philharmonic. He has been selected to actively participate in masterclasses with prominent conductors such as Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis, Jorma Panula, Zdeněk Mácal, Peter Eötvös, Zoltán Peskó and Helmut Rilling, and counts Nikolaus Harnoncourt to be among his most influential mentors. From 1997-2001, David Rahbee was founder and conductor of the Fidelio Chamber Orchestra in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Dr. Rahbeeʼs principal conducting teachers were Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin and composition from Indiana University, a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory in orchestral conducting, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Montreal in orchestral conducting.  He has also participated in post-graduate conducting classes at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna. His brass arrangements are published by Warwick Music, and his articles on the music of Mahler have appeared in journals of the International Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft, among others.

In addition to being awarded first prize in conducting from The American Prize for 2020, he was awarded 2nd place in 2019. He has also placed among winners for five consecutive years for The American Prize Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award for Orchestral Programming, recognizing his programming with the UW Symphony and its affiliated ensembles for every season since he joined the faculty. The UWSO has also been a finalist in the category of orchestral performance in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Dr. Rahbee is co-editor of Daniels’ Orchestral Music (6thedition) and Daniels’ Orchestral Music Online (DOMO), the gold standard among conductors, orchestral administrators, orchestra librarians as well as other music professionals and students researching for orchestral programming.

Professor Geoffrey Boers

Geoffrey Boers is Director of Choral Activities at the University of Washington in Seattle, a program widely recognized as forward thinking, unique, and of great distinction. Under his direction, the graduate choral program has developed a singular mission: to nurture the whole student as conductor-teacher-servant-leader-scholar. This vision has led the program to become one of the most vibrant and innovative in the country, attracting students from around the world interested in exploring the future of our art. Through his teaching he is exploring the evolution of conducting gesture and rehearsal pedagogy and their connection with the emerging neuroscience of mirror neurons, empathy, perception, learning, and personal transformation. His exploration has led to new thoughts about conducting and teaching with regard to breath, movement, artistry, personal awareness, and cultural development. Recently, his work has led to the mentoring of local choral cohorts of teachers and conductors who are interested in building professional communities of ongoing mentorship and musical development.  He has developed such mentorship programs across the United States and Canada. In addition to these thoughts about mentorship he is actively working with other leaders in ACDA and NAfME to develop a more unified and useful system for development of musicianship, assessment, adjudication, and repertoire grading. 

Geoffrey maintains an active conducting, teaching, workshop and clinic schedule; his recent engagements have included conducting concerts in Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, Meyerson Concert Hall in Dallas, New York’s Alice Tully and Avery Fischer Hall at Lincoln Center, the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, and Benaroya Hall in Seattle. In addition he has served as artist-in-residence in Toronto, Ontario, Mainz, Germany, as well as Seoul, Korea with the world-renown choir the Incheon City Chorale

In addition to his position at the UW, Boers sings professionally and is the conductor of the Tacoma Symphony Chorus where he conducts both the choir and symphony players in a four-concert season.

Since his tenure at the University of Washington, the choral program has become a leader in promoting the performance, study and exchange of Baltic music in the United States. The choir has toured to the Baltic countries in 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2013. Geoffrey Boers was awarded a prestigious Royalty Research Grant in 2004 to create a Baltic Choral Library in collaboration with the UW Library as well as State and academic libraries in the Baltic. This collection of scores, manuscripts, vocal music, and writings is the first of its kind in the United States. This collection has promoted yearly exchanges with choirs and conductors from the Baltic area who travel each year to Seattle. Further, it has led to numerous UW choral students winning awards and scholarships to travel, study, and work in the Baltic countries.

Giselle Wyers (she/her/hers) is the Donald E. Petersen Endowed Professor of Choral Music at the University of Washington, where she conducts the award-winning University Chorale and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in choral conducting and music education. She serves as the newly appointed School of Music's designated Diversity Liaison. University Chorale’s latest CD, Resonant Streams (on the MSR Music Recordings label) was featured in a 2018 Gramophone magazine article. Wyers is the newly appointed director of Concord Chamber Choir, an adult community chorus within the Columbia Choirs community. Her professional project choir Solaris Vocal Ensemble, specializes in the performance of contemporary American choral literature. Their premiere album Floodsongs, on the Albany Music label, won the American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music in 2017-18.

As a guest conductor, Wyers has led high school honor choirs and all-state choruses in New York (Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center), Kansas, Wisconsin, Georgia, Missouri, Louisiana, Connecticut, Nebraska, Texas, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, and Vancouver, Canada. She has conducted semi-professional ensembles across the United States and in Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, and Sweden. Wyers was in demand for Zoom lectures during the pandemic with Res Diversa Chamber Choir (Chile), Western Washington University (a three-week group composition project), University of Iowa, Northern Illinois University, Montana State University, and with the Mastersingers of Milwaukee (Wisconsin), as well as conducting Nevada All-State online. 

Wyers is a leading national figure in the application of Laban movement theory for conductors. She has served as guest lecturer in conducting at Sweden’s Örebro Universitet, European Festival of Church Music (Germany), Latvian Academy of Music, Eastman School of Music, Ithaca College, Westminster Choir College, University of Iowa, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Portland State University.

Wyers’ choral works are published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing Company as part of the "Giselle Wyers Choral Series," and have been performed across the United States, South America, Canada, Australia, Cuba, and numerous European cities. She will conduct her 30-minute choral cycle entitled And All Shall Be Well, in Carnegie Hall May of 2022 with a consortium of NW-based choruses. In 2021-22, she will serve as composer-in-residence for the Greater Seattle Choral Consortium's annual festivities celebrating the return of in-person singing (her appearance is sponsored by Consortio). Wyers is also committed to mentoring scholar-writers in the field, and serves on the editorial board of ACDA’s Choral Journal.