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Performing Choirs



Kaeli Porter, Conductor

Portland, Oregon

Performance | Wednesday, March 7

One of 10 choirs, Cascadia is the middle school treble choir of the Pacific Youth Choir and is composed of boys and girls in grades 6-8. This year singers come from twelve different cities to rehearse each week at Trinity Cathedral, where Pacific Youth Choir enjoys being “In Residence”. 
In an open, joyful, and nurturing environment, Cascadia singers develop vocal technique, music reading, and performance skills. In addition to our regularly scheduled PYC concerts, singers have the unique performance opportunity to sing regularly with The Oregon Symphony Orchestra in Family concerts and in great works as; The Britten War Requiem, Carmina Burana, and this past spring in Stravinsky’s Persephone with staging by Michael Curry of Lion King fame. Cascadia is thrilled to be making their first performance at NWACDA.



Kathryn Briggs, Conductor

Portland, Oregon

Performance | Wednesday, March 7

The Marian Singers of St. Mary’s Academy have been the school’s premier choir for nearly a century. The dedicated ensemble rehearses twice a week after school. A trailblazer for treble choirs, in 2008 the Marians were the first treble choir in state history to compete in the Oregon State Choir Championships at the 6A level, have since won numerous league titles and trophies, and in 2015 became the first treble choir in history to take the state title. In 2013, the Marians received the prestigious honor of performing at the Northwest NAfME conference. The choir has performed on stage at the Arlene Schnitzer Auditorium and Keller Auditorium, along with several other Portland venues, has travelled to New York, Seattle, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, and has been invited twice to perform for President and Mrs. Obama at the White House. They are thrilled to perform at the 2018 NW ACDA conference.

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Paul Klemme, Conductor

Salem, Oregon

Performance | 3:30pm, Thursday

The Willamette Master Chorus was founded in 1985 by Dr. Wallace Long at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. The group serves the mid-Willamette Valley as a non-profit community arts group. Its mission is to promote choral excellence through musical collaboration, education, and performance. The WMC has two recordings featuring commissioned works composed by Disney orchestrator and composer David Metzger. Through an annual series of concerts, the group frequently collaborates with schools and other arts organization in the mid-Willamette Valley. The chorus has performed with the Oregon and Newport Symphony Orchestras. At the 2016 International Choral Kathaumixw Festival in Powell River, BC, the group won second place in the mixed choir competition.



Mia Miller, Conductor

Portland, Oregon

Performance | Wednesday, March 7

Coro Pacifica, one of 10 choirs of the Pacific Youth Choir enjoys a wonderful and busy performance schedule in their regular PYC season concerts as well as frequent performances with The Oregon Symphony Orchestra. Additionally Coro Pacifica singers have had opportunities to perform with Oregon Ballet Theater, Whitebird Dance and other professional performing groups. Singers travel downtown from over 20 cities to rehearse weekly at Trinity Cathedral where Pacific Youth Choir is “In Residence”. Choristers of Coro Pacifica also sing in Pacific our SATB choir and can audition to sing for our select SATB Chamber Choir – giving them the opportunity to explore a variety of literature. Coro Pacifica is excited to be singing at NWACDA for their 4th ACDA performance. Previously they performed in regional conferences in Vancouver BC, Seattle, and for the 50th anniversary National ACDA Conference in Oklahoma City.



Steven Zielke, conductor

Corvallis, Oregon

Performance | Wednesday, March 7

The Oregon State University Chamber Choir is the premier mixed chorus on the OSU campus. The auditioned choir consists of 38 students devoted to seeking excellence in singing and joy in artistic expression. The choir’s distinguished history includes such past conductors as Robert Walls, Ron Jeffers, and Kathryn Lehman and highlights a history of choral singing at OSU that remains a signature focus for the university. The choir has taken numerous international tours and has performed at state, regional, and national conferences, including a 2015 performance at the National Collegiate Choral Association. The membership reflects the emphasis on choral music education and vocal performance, but also represents academic disciplines from across the university. This past year, the choir and OSU Wind Ensemble released a new recording of David Maslanka’s Mass, which resulted from a West Coast premier of the work. This is the choir’s 3rd performance at a Northwest ACDA conference.



Antra Dreģe, Artistic Leader

Riga, Latvia

Performance | Wednesday, March 7

Putni (“Birds”) was established in 1993 in Riga, Latvia, by eight professional singers and is lead by their artistic director, Antra Drege. It is today known as one of the premiere women’s vocal ensembles in the country. The group has won numerous prizes, including the Grand Prize at five international competitions. They are known for their innovative programming of traditional Latvian music, new compositions by internationally acclaimed Latvian composers, and also classical and early music composers from around the world. Putni has premiered over one hundred compositions, and recorded seven CDs.



Karen Porter, conductor

Portland, Oregon

Performance | Thursday, March 8

Cántico Singers is a small ensemble of vocalists based in Portland, Oregon, dedicated to high-caliber performances of choral music in a wide range of styles. Founded in 2008, Cántico integrates musicians from diverse backgrounds including jazz, alternative rock, marching band and musical theater. We showcase these disparate musical credentials with small group numbers and solo pieces in our concerts. Our eclectic repertoire includes Bach, Billy Joel, Rachmaninoff, Pentatonix, Eric Whitacre, Duke Ellington, and The Beach Boys. In addition to our concerts, Cántico performs at festivals, churches, and community events throughout the Portland area. We regularly give performance opportunities to high school and youth choirs, collaborate with other local musicians, and have even recorded backup vocals for a rap album. Rather than limiting ourselves by genre, we seek to share our passion for singing and make choral music fresh, compelling, and accessible to everyone.



Kimberly McConnell, conductor

Salem, Oregon

Performance | Thursday, March 8

West Salem Choir of the Titans is a choir of integrity, talent, enthusiasm, a love for each other and for their music, and with a commitment to their craft. These hardworking students celebrate singing by working together to be the best they can be. The goal of the Choir of the Titans is to leave the listener of each performance emotionally changed. Kimberly McConnell, their Director, is daily inspired and energized by this ensemble. The Choir of the Titans has placed in the top four at the State Choir Contest the last five years, winning the championship in 2013. They are very honored to perform for the ACDA Convention. Their hope is to move you emotionally with their performance, and sing each song dedicated to the way the composer intended.



Wallace Long, conductor

Salem, Oregon

Performance | Thursday, March 8

The Willamette Chamber Choir is a 44-voice ensemble open by audition to all Willamette students. They study and base their performances on a wide variety of literature selected from the Renaissance through the contemporary period. The group tours annually throughout the Northwest and is frequently invited to perform at music conventions and workshops held by the ACDA, Music Educators National Conference and OMEA. In 2003, Chamber Choir toured to South Africa at the request of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In fall 2005, the Chamber Choir had the honor of singing at a reception for Gen. Colin Powell. In May 2006, they traveled to New York City to perform Haydn’s “Mass in the Time of War” under the baton of Dr. Long in Carnegie Hall. The Chamber Choir’s most recent recording, “Stars,” was released in the fall of 2015 and the triple CD includes choral offerings from 2010-2015.



Patrick Ryan, conductor

Great Falls, Montana

Performance | Thursday, March 8

The Delphian Choir is one of seven choirs at Great Falls High School, located in north-central Montana. The choir consists of 44 sophomores through seniors who strive to generate passion, creativity, integrity, and empathy with their audiences through unique programming of choral music. Delphian has performed at more than a dozen regional and national conference programs since the choir’s inception in 1959. Recent highlights of the Delphian Choir include the commissioning and world premiere of John Muehleisen’s Consolation: Requiem for Newtown, performing at the Northwest NAfME Conference in 2015, frequent performances with the Great Falls Symphony, and being part of a commission consortium and premiere of Timothy Takach’s seven-movement work, The Longest Nights.



Russell Christensen, conductor

Corvallis, Oregon

Performance | Thursday, March 8

Oregon State University Meistersingers, directed by Russ Christensen, is a 60 member men’s chorus. This auditioned ensemble, comprised of music majors as well as students from other majors across campus, performs each term, and frequently entertains at community, university, and sporting events. Meistersingers has toured the northwest, Canada, New York, and Hawaii. They have performed at numerous state and regional music conferences and are honored to have been invited to perform for the 2018 Northwest ACDA Conference in Portland.



Rebecca Hollen, conductor

Salem, Oregon

Performance | Friday, March 9

The Walker Concert Choir comes from one of Salem’s oldest middle schools and is made up of seventy-one auditioned 7th and 8th grade students, many of whom have been singing in a choir since the 4th grade. They perform in multiple locations around the city of Salem throughout the year and love sharing their music with anyone who will listen. Their dedication to excellence in their craft can be seen in that the past four years in a row they have brought home the first place trophy from Best in the Northwest. They are delighted to show you their work today and hope you come away inspired.



Justin Wisness, conductor

Puyallup, Washington

Performance | Friday, March 9

The Governor John R. Rogers High School Concert Choir has a longstanding tradition of excellence. The school opened in 1968 under the direction of Richard O. Nace, the choirs’ founder. The choral program became known for its quality and consistency. Mr. Nace retired in 1992 from public school teaching and was followed by D. Patrick Michel who graduated from Rogers in 1972. Mr. Michel continued the success of the program, taking the Concert Choir to multiple conventions and always inspiring his students. In 2008, Justin Wisness, a 1997 Rogers graduate, followed Mr. Michel. Since 1968, the Concert Choir has received a superior at every contest it has attended. The RHS Concert Choir has traveled to Europe, Washington DC, New York City, San Francisco, and around the Northwest Region. The Concert Choir has been featured at state and divisional conferences last appearing at WMEA in 2016 and NWACDA in 2008.



David Brown, conductor

Salem, Oregon

Performance | Friday, March 9

Charles A. Sprague High School, located in southwest Salem, is a four-year high school with an enrollment of 1,800 students. The school is named for Charles A. Sprague, a former governor of Oregon and editor of the Oregon Statesman Newspaper in Salem. The school opened in the fall of 1972 and is now one of six public high schools in the Salem-Keizer School District. The Sprague Concert Choir is made up of the most advanced sophomore, junior, and senior vocalists at the school. Since its inception over 30 years ago, the choir has won numerous titles at state and regional festivals and has made multiple appearances at regional and national ACDA conventions. In addition to a busy performing calendar the Concert Choir tours every other year. In recent years the choir has toured in Hawaii, Los Angeles, and most recently, New York City where they performed on stage at Lincoln Center.



Timothy Fitzpatrick, conductor

Bellingham, Washington

Performance | Friday, March 9

The WWU Advanced Treble Chorale is a select ensemble of music majors and music minors. They perform a variety of diverse repertoire, including American sacred and secular folk music, gospel and spirituals, and contemporary choral music. Their concerts often feature music from different cultures, notably Estonia. Twice, they have been selected to perform at the Northwestern American Choral Director’s Division Conference and are regarded as one of the finest collegiate level treble choirs in the region.



Charlotte Reese, director

Edmonds, Washington

Performance | Friday, March 9

The Edmonds-Woodway Mello-Aires is an auditioned vocal jazz ensemble made up of 18 singers, rhythm section and sound techs in grades 9-12. As part of a comprehensive jazz program that features two jazz choirs, three jazz bands, and multiple jazz combos, Mello-Aires students have several performance opportunities throughout the year, both as an ensemble and as soloists. The Mello-Aires embrace and strive to carry on the rich northwest vocal big band tradition.



Vijay Singh, director

Ellensburg, Washington

Performance  | Friday, March 9

Vocal Jazz 1 is the premiere jazz vocal ensemble at Central Washington University. CWU has two vocal jazz ensembles involving over 45 student instrumentalists and vocalists. The CWU Jazz Program has a strong tradition of producing exceptional jazz educators and emphasizes pedagogy, performance, composition, and arranging. Professor Vijay Singh, Director of Vocal Jazz 1 since arriving at CWU in 1999, has established a national presence as a jazz educator/composer/arranger and has consistently featured this group at regional and national IAJE, ACDA, and MENC/NAfME conventions. Vocal Jazz 1 recently performed at the national ACDA conferences in Chicago, IL in 2011 and Salt Lake City, UT in 2015, and the JEN conference in Atlanta, GA 2013. CWU is recognized as one of the first vocal jazz programs in the nation dating back to 1947, and alumni include such jazz education luminaries as John “Coach” Moawad, Hal Malcolm, Dave Barduhn, Frank DeMiero, Gary Hobbs, Chris Bruya, Michelle Weir, Dave Cazier, and Bruce Babad.

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Kelly Kunz, director

Seattle, Washington

Performance | Friday, March 9

Last Call is a community based vocal jazz ensemble from the greater Seattle area. Kelly Kunz, the founder and director, has had the great fortune of growing up with some of the greatest vocal jazz educators of the era. These educators included John Moawad from Central Washington University, Phil Mattson, and Kelly’s own father and high school choir director, Jack Kunz. All these men influenced Kelly’s upbringing and helped fuel and nurture his passion for music. Most of Last Call’s members are local choir teachers. The group was born from a desire to continue singing jazz in an ensemble setting after college. Many of Last Call’s members are graduates of Central Washington University, which has a long-standing tradition of excellence in the Pacific Northwest. Last Call continues to explore different musical boundaries within vocal jazz. The group’s mission is to provide the same inspiration for a younger generation.



Holly Dalrymple, conductor

Laramie, Wyoming

Performance | Friday, March 9

Bel Canto Women’s Chorus is the all women's choral ensemble at the University of Wyoming. Made up of music majors and non-majors, Bel Canto represents an academically diverse cross section of the University of Wyoming. The women of Bel Canto are dedicated to musical excellence and strive to create beauty in community through outreach and service. Bel Canto is non-auditioned and open to all women at the university. We offer a safe space for academic and musical growth, emotional and physical support, and opportunities for community service.



Ethan Sperry, conductor
Portland, Oregon
Performance | Friday, March 9

Since its founding in 1975, the Portland State Chamber Choir has earned over 30 medals and awards at international competitions, including being the first American choir ever to win the Grand Prix at the Seghizzi International Competition for Choral Singing in Italy in 2013 and the Bali International Choral Festival in Indonesia in 2017. The Chamber Choir’s 2012 recording A Drop in the Ocean was a finalist for the American Prize; their 2014 recording, Into Unknown Worlds, was named a “Recording to Die For” by Stereophile - the first student recording to receive this distinction; and their most recent recording The Doors of Heaven: Music of Eriks Esenvalds occupied the #1 spot on iTunes Classical, Amazon Classical and the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart: all firsts for a University chorus. The Chamber Choir is particularly honored by the invitation to perform at ACDA in their home city.



Richard Nance, conductor

Tacoma, Washington

Performance | Friday, March 9

The Choir of the West is the premier choral ensemble at Pacific Lutheran University. The choir was founded in 1926, and was the third Lutheran college choir to tour extensively throughout the United States. Choir of the West has toured Europe, Scandinavia, Japan and China, and has been selected to appear at several ACDA regional and national conferences, most recently the 2013 ACDA National Conference, held in Dallas. On the international stage, Choir of the West won gold awards at the 2011 Harmonie Festival (Lindenholzhausen, Germany), and in 2015 won the mixed choir and sacred music categories, as well at the Anton Bruckner Prize at the Anton Bruckner Choir Competition in Linz, Austria. The choir was featured with conference headliner Simon Carrington at the 2015 National Collegiate Choral Organization Conference, and performed in the North American premieres of Sven-David Sandström’s Matthauspassion (2016) and Ēriks Ešenvalds’ Nordic Light Symphony (2017).



Jason Saunders, conductor

Graham, Washington

Performance | Saturday, March 10

Most of our efforts pertaining to this program involve studying new approaches and developing innovative ways to implement them. We evaluate our success in this field by gathering qualitative and quantitative data, and using that information to measure shifts and changes from our baseline measurements.



Heather Garbes, director

Seattle, Washington

Performance | Saturday, March 10

Named for Ester Mägi – known as the “First Lady of Estonian music” – the Mägi Ensemble is a women’s vocal ensemble that performs compositions from the Baltic region. The ensemble has recently participated in events ranging from the Latvian National Song Festival to College Music Society’s national and regional conferences and has performed at Seattle Mariners games, Baltic and Scandinavian community celebrations, and as guest artists with many regional choirs. The ensemble has released two CDs, Baltic Sounds and Musica Baltica. Upcoming appearances include singing for the opening of the Baltic Studies conference at Stanford University and selection as a featured ensemble for the Sacred Concerts of the Latvian National Song Festival, the first non-Latvian choir to be given that honor. The Mägi Ensemble is an affiliated artist and resident ensemble of Thomsen Chapel at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle. Learn more at



Scott Anderson, conductor

Pocatello, Idaho

Performance | Saturday, March 10

The Idaho State University Chamber Choir is a select undergraduate collegiate choral ensemble open to all students of the University by audition. Chamber Choir members rehearse twice per week and are selected based upon exemplary levels of musicianship and artistic commitment. Representative choral literature from the early Renaissance through the Twenty-first Century may be studied during the course of a semester. International tours have included performances in more than 25 countries and seven international choral festivals. The group you now hear is comprised of undergraduate and graduate students, and alumni of the ISU Chamber Choir.



Geoffrey Boers, conductor

Seattle, Washington

Performance | Saturday, March 10

The University of Washington Chamber Singers is the UW’s longest-standing choral organization, formed in the early 1930s. The group flourished and gained international recognition under the leadership of its conductors Gerald Kechley, Rodney Eichenberger, and Joan Conlon. The current Chamber Singers consists of graduate and advanced undergraduate music majors studying choral conducting, vocal performance, music education, as well as many students from programs across campus. They have been featured at many festivals, conventions, and workshops, including NWACDA, Musicfest Canada, and at the national conventions of the American Kodaly Educators, National Association of Schools of Music, and American Musicological Society. In relationship with the UW’s nationally recognized Baltic Studies program and Baltic Choral Collection, the Chamber Singers have travelled to the Baltic five times, and will return again in 2019. The choir has just released its first professionally produced CD “…behold again, the stars” on Centaur Records.

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