The Chamber Singers (Geoffrey Boers) and University Chorale (Giselle Wyers) present "River of Time," a program of works by Eric Whitacre, Joni Mitchell, Dale Trumbore, Reena Esmail, and others. With Serena Chin and Amy Boers, piano; and Sarah Rommel, cello.
Chamber Singers and University Chorale
"River of Time"
Geoffrey Boers, director
Both Sides Now: Joni Mitchell (b. 1943), arr. Tyler Kimmel
Premiere Performance. Tyler Kimmel, conductor
Threads of Joy: Dale Trumbore (b. 1987); text by Laura Foley
Anjali Chudasama, conductor
The Sacred Veil: Eric Whitacre (b. 1970)
Text by Anthony and Julie Silvestri
I. The Veil Opens
II. In A Dark And Distant Year
IV. Magnetic Poetry
V. Whenever There Is Birth
VI. I’m Afraid
VII. I Am Here
VIII. Delicious Times
IX. One Last Breath
X. Dear Friends
XI. You Rise, I Fall
XII. Child of Wonder
Giselle Wyers, director
“O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana: Carl Orff (1895-1982)
Serena Chin and Amy Boers, pianists
By the Waters of Babylon: Philip Hayes (1738-1797)
“Sanctus” from Requiem: Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Meliza Redulla and Jessica Thaxton, violins
Grace Before Sleep: Susan La Barr (1981)
Marshell Lombard, conductor
“The Unexpected Early Hour,” from A Winter Breviary: Reena Esmail (1983)
Justin Birchell, conductor
Let the River Run: Carly Simon (1943), arr. Craig Hella Johnson
A Note from Geoffrey Boers
Good evening and thank you for sharing this concert with us. In some ways, tonight is less “performance,” and more “conversation,” like loved ones sharing deeply about what matters in life. Tonight we will speak honestly about life and all that life brings, and consider how we respond and grow. We begin our conversation together with Both Sides Now and Threads of Joy–two songs which invite us to look at life as a whole, and through that lens we see that, though we are all unique and diverse, we are all the same. Each of us experience life and death, joy and grief, love and loss, work and rest. During this time in history, rife with division, anger, and violence, it is possible that as we consider these more important aspects of life, we can see more clearly that we are sojourners in this life-journey. In looking at life from “both sides,” we might recognize that joy and love truly are the threads that weave life’s events, and each of us, together.What follows these poignant and profound works is Eric Whitacre’s monumental composition The Sacred Veil. Whereas in the prologue we were looking at life as a whole, The Sacred Veil depicts a specific journey of love in all of its iterations–better, worse, richer, poorer, in sickness and health, through death and release. The work’s twelve movements are set to poetry by Eric’s longtime collaborative poet and friend, Charles Anthony “Tony” Silvestri, along with journal writings of Tony’s wife Julie, and Eric himself. The poetry recounts the true story of Charles and his wife meeting, falling in love, wanting a family, her final pregnancy, her diagnosis of cancer during her pregnancy, their child’s birth, and her eventual death. The narrative carries us through self-reflection, the recognition of love, the quiet thoughts of wishing and wanting, the incessant work of pregnancy, the horror of diagnosis, the honor of struggle, the joy in small things, and love expressed at death. Our conversation ends with the movement “Child of Wonder,” which speaks of a healing release of a loved one through the “sacred veil” that separates this life with eternity.
Both Sides Now
Joni Mitchell (b. 1943), arr. Tyler Todd Kimmel
Heather Halverson, Charlie Dawson, Shalini Pullarkat,
Scott Fikse, and Jaja Reduque, solists
Tyler Todd Kimmel, conductor
Sarah Rommel, cello
Amy Boers, pianoRows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
Looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun
They rain and they snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my wayI've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all
Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way that you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I've looked at love that way
But now it's just another show
And you leave 'em laughing when you go
And if you care, don't let them know
Don't give yourself away
I've looked at love from both sides now
From give and take and still somehow
It's love's illusions that I recall
I really don't know love at all
Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say, "I love you" right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I've looked at life that way
Oh, but now old friends they're acting strange
And they shake their heads and they tell me that I've changed
Well something's lost, but something's gained
In living every dayI've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life…
Text by Laura Foley
Anjali Chudasama, conductorI have noticed joy
how it threads below
Have you seen it too?
And have you heard it,
how it speaks
A kind of silence, a light
Have you noticed?
It rises like fingers
it presses through.
Kaelyn Barnes, Everett, WA; BM, Vocal Performance
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.
Anjali is an alumna of the Masters of Music in Choral Conducting program. Before moving to Seattle, she was an active performer and conductor in the Southern California and Chicagoland areas, particularly centered in the intersection between music education, choral music, and community music making.
Anjali completed her Bachelor of Music Education from Wheaton College where she studied with John William Trotter and Mary Hopper. She served as the Honors Conductor for the Concert Choir for two years as a creative and musical leader for many unorthodox projects such as: FEAST - an interactive exploration of the Shabbat dinner through the musical, theatrical, visual, and culinary arts; Singing the Reformation - the premier of a semi-staged concert-length compilation of Michael Praetorius' poly-choral works; and, The Big Sing - a project of community building through choral music which included hundreds of "non-musician" singers and participants. Following graduation, she was invited back to serve as a guest conductor to continue her work in choral improvisation and audience engagement with the Concert Choir through projects such as the WCC Chicago Weekend, which included multiple performances and engagements throughout Chicago from homeless shelters to churches, and to continue the Concert Choir's dedication to singing, teaching, and learning in the Sheridan Correctional Center.
An educator by trade and by heart, Anjali has taught Choir, Music History and Appreciation, and Music from Different Cultures in classrooms with students of all ages from K-5, to middle school and high school, to a community treble choir in the Chicagoland area, striving to utilize a student-centered and equity-based pedagogical approach. She has also performed as an active Mezzo-Soprano soloist, chamber musician, and symphonic chorister to feed her love of the vocal instrument, and teaches voice lessons to students of all ages. Anjali is grateful for the opportunities she has had to learn from master conductors such as Jerry Blackstone, Bruce Chamberlain, Simon Carrington, Geoffrey Boers, Giselle Wyers, John William Trotter, and Mary Hopper, and to sing under and absorb knowledge from many others, notably Rodney Eichenberger and John Nelson. She hopes to utilize the wisdom and experience learned from her students and teachers to help expand the tradition of choral music to reach populations and transform individuals beyond the scope of the concert hall.
Tyler Todd Kimmel is a third year doctor of musical arts student in choral conducting at the University of Washington. He was born and raised in Seattle, where he currently works as a collaborative performing artist and educator.
Passionate about music and theater, he has sought opportunities to maintain both mediums as a director of performing arts at Seattle Christian School, where he runs the secondary choir and theater departments. He also works with local professional and youth theater companies in their production and education departments, and works as a freelance actor and musician. As a composer, he has written several chamber pieces and solo works, two musicals, three film scores, and premiered incidental music for two plays at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. He is also an avid arranger, continually re-visioning and adapting works for his secondary and church choirs, and runs a voice and piano studio in south Seattle.
Before moving back to Seattle, Tyler served on the adjunct music faculty at Pepperdine University, where he was an assistant conductor of the orchestra, conductor for musical theater, theory tutor and vocal coach. While pursuing his masters degree at Florida International University (FIU), he served as an undergraduate composition teacher, and as an assistant conductor for the FIU Symphony under international conductor, Gzregorz Nowak.
Tyler is a member of the National Association for Music Educators and the American Choral Directors Association. He is passionate about performing arts education for secondary students, and loves hiking, running, skiing, and watching hockey.
Cellist Sarah Rommel is a top prizewinner of the 2014 George Enescu International Cello Competition. She has been the recipient of several awards and grants including a Frank Huntington Beebe Fund Grant and Jack Kent Cooke Young Artists Award.
Sarah has given recitals at Caramoor’s Evnin Rising Stars Showcase and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in addition to solo performances in Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, France, Italy, England, and Romania. She has actively participated in classes at the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, Academie Musicale de Villecroze, and IMS Prussia Cove where she has worked closely with distinguished professors such as David Geringas, Gary Hoffman, Frans Helmerson, and Paul Katz.
An enthusiastic chamber musician, Sarah was a founding member of the cello quintet SAKURA and regularly appears with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble in Boston. She has also recently toured with the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and Musicians from Marlboro. Sarah has been invited to perform at festivals such as the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, NM, Music in May Festival, Santa Cruz Chamber Players, Chamber Music Palisades, Chamber Music Sedona, as well as Caramoor’s Evnin Rising Stars Series, Chamber Music New Zealand, Yellow Barn, Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute and Marlboro Music Festival. Sarah has collaborated with composers John Adams, Sofia Gubaidulina, Jennifer Higdon, Steve Mackey, and Kaija Saariaho, pianists Jonathan Biss and Gil Kalish, violinists Lucy Chapman, Pamela Frank, Joseph Lin, Scott St. John, and Don Weilerstein, violists Atar Arad, Kim Kashkashian and Nobuko Imai, and cellists Peter Wiley and Ralph Kirshbaum.
Sarah began her musical studies on the piano at age nine and was later introduced to the cello at age twelve. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she pursued a Bachelor of Music studying with Peter Wiley. Previous teachers include Efe Baltacigil and Hans Jørgen Jensen. She received her Master’s Degree from the USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles studying under the tutelage of Ralph Kirshbaum. Sarah is currently based in Seattle, WA where she is Artist-in-Residence and cello faculty at the University of Washington. When not playing the cello, Sarah can be found knitting, reading, or playing fetch with her yellow Labrador Retriever named Rhubarb or cuddling with her orange Siberian cat named Laptop.