This popular annual program by the Chamber Singers, University Chorale, University Singers, Treble Choir, Gospel Choir, and UW Glee Club features seven conductors, six choral ensembles, five hundred singers, four graduate conductors, three choral faculty, two hours of great music, and one impressive grand finale.
Cee Adamson, Egija Ungure, Tatiana Boggs, directors
O Magnum Mysterium: Evan Ramos
Greensleeves: Arr. Philip Lawson
Winter Night: Audrey Snyder
Evan Norberg, Michael McKenzie, David Ferguson, directors
Sieze the Day: Arr. Roger Emerson
I Am Light: Arr. Derita Seth
Hope Lingers On: Arr. Andrea Ramsey
Larke Witten, Heidi Blythe, directors
II. Failure is Impossible from Suffrage Cantata: Andrea Ramsey
What Happens When a Woman: Alexandra Olsavsky
What a Wonderful World Arr. Craig Hella Johnson
UW Gospel Choir
Phyllis Byrdwell, director
Giselle Wyers, director
At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners: Williametta Spencer
Rosas Pandan: Filipino folk, arr. George Hernandez
Crowded Table: The Highwomen (Hembry, McKenna and Carlile) arr. Ramsey
Geoffrey Boers, director
A Little Song of Life: Reginald Unterseher
We are Held: Jessica French
Gloria: J.S. Bach
Justin Birchell, director
Set Me as a Seal: Rene Clausen
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.
Phyllis Byrdwell, director of the UW Gospel Choir, is Minister of Music at Mount Zion Baptist Church of Seattle and also a music educator for Lakeside School. She has conducted several seminar workshops on Gospel music throughout Washington state and nationally, and served as a songleader for the Baptist World Alliance conference in Birmingham, England in 2005.
Byrdwell was inducted into the Washington Music Educators Association's Hall of Fame in 2002 and serves on the Seattle Symphony Board of Directors.
A School of Music alumna, she holds a bachelor's degree in music and bachelor's and master's degrees in music education.
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.
Cee E. Adamson (she/they/Mx.), mezzo-soprano, is pursuing the DMA in Vocal Performance at the University of Washington, where she is studying with Dr. Carrie Shaw. Prior to the University of Washington, Cee studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, based in London, where she received the Master of Music and the Master of Performance degrees and was designated a Guildhall Artist. Other education includes the Advanced Artist Diploma and Master of Music from Shenandoah Conservatory at Shenandoah University, and undergraduate degrees in music, accounting, and management from Franklin Pierce University.
Mx. Adamson occupies a fluid place as an operatic talent, capable of treading the beguiling and liminal space between the countertenor and mezzo-soprano. Cee’s vocal versatility has been well showcased in roles as Oberon in Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Giulio Cesare in Handel's Giulio Cesare, The Sorceress in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and tragic and comic roles from Mercedes in Carmen to Florence Pike in Albert Herring. Cee was also requested to appear as a featured supernumerary in Glimmerglass Opera’s production of Philip Glass’s Orphée.
Before turning her full attention to performing, Mx. Adamson served as an arts administrator and educator with several organizations such as Bel Cantanti Opera, Washington Revels, and Glimmerglass Opera. Cee is an avid performer in opera and recitals and has an affinity for the music of Buxtehude, Handel, Schumann, Poulenc, and Wagner. Additionally, Cee enjoys early jazz, music from the Roaring Twenties, Cole Porter, Sarah Vaughan, and contemporary classical music.
Outside of music, Mx. Adamson is passionate about social justice, higher education administration, fashion, travel, and just about all things pertaining to the United Kingdom.
Evan has extensive knowledge in both classical and jazz styles, having been part of top notch ensembles in both community and school groups; Edmonds Community College’s Soundsation, Seattle Children’s Choir, Central Washington University’s Chamber Choir, Vocal Jazz 1, and Seattle based Choral Arts Northwest just to name a few. In the professional arena, Evan is a sought after bass/baritone soloist and has performed as a guest for many local community and school groups for major works, such as René Clausen’s Memorial, Handel’s Messiah, Faure’s Requiem, Mozart’s Vespers, and more.
Through inspiration and guidance by the great arrangers of the Pacific Northwest such as Vijay Singh, Kirk Marcy, and Kelly Kunz, Evan has been arranging his own jazz standards and compositions since 2003 with a steady stream of charts for his own ensembles. More notably, his arrangement of Love You Madly was premiered at the National American Choral Directors Association Conference in Chicago in 2011.
During the pandemic, Evan formed his own LLC called Envision Studios with business partner Daniel Schreiner. The goal was to help build virtual content for music teachers throughout the US to support their regular online rehearsals, projects, and virtual performances. Envision supported upwards of 40 school teachers in over 100 projects throughout the pandemic, bringing quality music programs to people's homes, enriching 'classroom' learning, and instilling confidence, recording, and musical skills to students across the country.