WEEKEND: NorthWest Women’s Chorale to give 2 concerts

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

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The NorthWest Women’s Chorale, home from a trip to Alaska’s Northern Lights Treble Choir Festival, will join two more choirs for performances Sunday in Sequim and Monday in Port Angeles.

Ready to sing with the 24-voice Women’s Chorale are Jolene Dalton Gailey’s Symphonic Women and Women’s Choirs from Port Angeles High School. The three ensembles will offer concerts at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 525 N. Fifth Ave., Sequim; and at 7 p.m. Monday at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 E. Lopez Ave., Port Angeles. Admission is a suggested donation of $10 at the door.

And though the NorthWest Women’s Chorale is back home, the women’s music will travel all over. Mendelssohn’s “On Wings of Song,” an a cappella “Hallelujah,” a Sudanese “Famine Song” a Welsh piece called “The Seven Wonders” and a blend of songs about water from local composer Linda Dowdell are on the program.

The central point, though, is “Cedit, Hyems,” a song meaning “Be gone, winter.” The chorale spent six days touring Alaska in early April, where there were blue skies and then snowfall.

These past weeks of warm weather might be “just a teaser,” added chorale director Joy Lingerfelt. So “Be gone, winter” still fits. “Cedit, Hyems” works for the choir too because it comes from the young composer Abbie Betinis. Betinis, a professor at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn., writes for women’s voices.

In the two concerts, flutist Sharon Snel will perform a solo during “Cedit, Hyems,” while pianist Kristin Quigley Brye will accompany the choir throughout their performances.

That blend by Dowdell, meanwhile, is also well-suited to the NorthWest Women’s Chorale. Titled “Shiver Me Timbers,” it was in fact a piece Dowdell wrote especially for the choir.

Singer Rebecca Redshaw planted the seed for this. She suggested an unusual combination: the Tom Waits song “Shiver Me Timbers” with “My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean,” Dowdell recalled.

Which was all she needed to start writing.

“I absolutely love blending songs to create a medley, or what [television’s] ‘Glee’ has taught us to refer to as a mashup,” said Dowdell. This medley was for the chorale’s “Water Music” concert three years ago, so she added “The Water Is Wide” to the mix.

Then her husband, Ron Thomson, suggested Rod Stewart’s “Sailing” and “Skye Boat Song,” a traditional from Scotland.

All of this works, Dowdell said, to create a lively and yet emotional piece.

The two concerts will also feature the chorale’s reprises of songs like “The Grey Selchie” and “Song of Perfect Propriety.” And after each choir performs on its own, the Symphonic Women and Women’s Choir and the chorale will join together for a couple of numbers.

To finish off, the audience will be invited into a sing-along; “always a lot of fun,” singer Elizabeth Kelly said, adding that the songs will be familiar ones.

After listening to others sing, she said, “it feels good to stand up and sing yourself.”

For information about the three choirs’ two concerts, visit www.NWwomenschorale.org, email choralart@msn.com or phone Holy Trinity Lutheran Church at 360-452-2323.

Last modified: May 16. 2013 7:27PM
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