MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Seattle Pro Musica’s 50th-Anniversary Season: Opening Concert

UPDATE: If you are interested in catching the Oct 15 concert after the fact, you can sign up for the livestream version, as it’s available on demand after the concert. No charge for the stream, you just need to sign up in advance of the concert.    https://seattlepromusica.thundertix.com/events/200774

Has it really been a half century? Seattle Pro Musica, one of the gems of the Puget Sound’s cultural life and of the contemporary choral scene in general, celebrates its 50th anniversary this season with a set of programs superbly curated by artistic director and conductor Karen P. Thomas.

The opening act is on Saturday, 15 October, at Seattle First Baptist Church. Titled My Heart Be Brave, this concert also inaugurates SPM’s New American Composer Series and features composer Marques L.A. Garrett. 

The program presents four choral works by Garrett, including the world premiere of Madrigal, commissioned by SPM, which sets poetry by Paul Laurence Dunbar. Marques will be in residence with the ensemble the week before the concert and will also appear in a pre-concert talk with Karen Thomas.

Also on the program are works by Lili Boulanger, Samuel Barber, Joel Thompson, and Rosephanye Powell.

This five-concert series celebrates the milestone anniversary with commissions and Seattle residencies by five exciting BIPOC composers from across the country.

Marques is an Assistant Professor of Music in Choral Activities at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He is an accomplished vocalist, composer, and active researcher specializing in traditional music of the African diaspora, as well as contemporary choral music by Black composers. For his commissioned work, Marques has chosen Dunbar’s evocative text asking to “teach this tongue the singer’s soulful art.”

Here’s the full lineup for My Heart Be Brave:

Madrigal by Marques L.A. Garrett (b. 1984)

Loch Lomond arr. by Jonathan Quick (b. 1970)

Reincarnations: The Coolin by Samuel Barber (1910-1981)

Hold Fast to Dreams by Joel Thompson (b. 1988)

My Heart Be Brave by Marques Garrett

Mis en inimene by Pärt Uusberg (b. 1986)

To Sit and Dream by Rosephanye Powell (b. 1962)

Till I Wake arr. by Marques Garrett

Hymne au Soleil by Lili Boulanger (b. 1893-1918)

Sing Out, My Soul by Marques Garrett

Complete SPM season listing:

New American Composer Series

Oct 15, 2022 – 7:30 pm

Seattle First Baptist Church

Featuring composer-in-residence Marques L.A. Garrett

Oct 29, 2022 – 4:00 pm and 7:30 pm

CABARET – Resonance at SOMA Towers, Bellevue

SPM’s greatest cabaret hits

Nov 12, 2022 – 7:30 pm

Seattle First Baptist Church

Featuring composer-in-residence  Melissa Dunphy

Dec 10, 2022 – 3pm and 7:30 pm

Bastyr Chapel, Kenmore

Featuring composer-in-residence Sruthi Rajasekar

Dec 17, 2022 – 7:30 pm

Seattle First Baptist Church

Feb 11, 2023 – 7:30 pm

Seattle First Baptist Church

Featuring composer-in-residence Saunder Choi

March 25, 2023 – 7:30 pm

Seattle First Baptist Church

Featuring composer-in-residence Jerod lmpichchaachaaha’ Tate

Grand Finale Concert

May 20, 2023 – 8pm

St James Cathedral

Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor

Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D

Filed under: choral music, music news, Seattle Pro Musica

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