Bellevue Chamber Chorus

Bellevue Chamber Chorus Bellevue Chamber Chorus is a non-profit choral organization based in Bellevue, WA. consisting of 28 to 30 auditioned singers. Bellevue Chamber Chorus, founded in 1984, consists of professional and avocational musicians of diverse backgrounds, performing choral literature with varied accompaniment from all musical periods.

The Chorus performs a minimum of three major concerts each season, encompassing a variety of choral literature from the classical standards and contemporary works to world music, Broadway hits, and vocal jazz. The Chorus often joins other ensembles in performances of major choral/orchestral works, such as Mozart’s "Vespers" and "Requiem", Faure’s "Requiem", Verdi’s "Requiem", Handel’s "Messiah", Orff’s "Carmina Burana", Brahms’ "Requiem", Rutter's "Mass of the Children", and Ariel Ramirez' "Misa por la Paz y la Justicia". The ensemble has premiered works by regional composers, including commissioned works for the Washington State Centennial Celebration, the grand opening of the Theatre at Meydenbauer Center, a special 20th anniversary season commissioned piece, "That Music Always Round Me", by Seattle composer, John Muehleisen, and co-commissions of pieces by Andre Thomas and Eric Whitacre. The Chorus has released three CDs, “Timeframes”, “Retrospective”, and our 2013 holiday CD, “Christmas Visions, Winter Dreams”. Bellevue Chamber Chorus tours often and has performed in Carnegie Hall, various locations in Europe, the International Music Festival (2000) in Sydney, Australia, and twice at the invitational Kathaumixw International Choral Festival in Powell River, British Columbia, where they won first place in 2008 in the adult mixed chorus category. Other performances include the Leavenworth International Choral Festival, the international “Rolling Requiem” in memory of September 11th, as one of the regional choruses in the NEA sponsored American Masterpieces Choral Festival in Seattle, and in Kelowna, B.C. as part of the Okanogan Choral Society Series. The Chorus toured the south of France in the summer of 2017 and participated in the 22nd International Choir Festival in Provence, and the 9th International Choir Festival in Aveyron. The Chorus was selected as one of only six choirs to perform in a special GSCC event “Welcome Home Morten Lauridsen” in October 2019. Bellevue Chamber Chorus is a non-profit organization, which receives its support from the generous donations of people interested in supporting the creation of fine musical experiences on the Eastside.

General Manager: Debra Defotis, Development Director

Operating as usual

05/26/2021
"In the Night We Shall Go In" - Imant Raminsh

"In the Night We Shall Go In" by Imant Raminsh, and text by Pablo Neruda. Bellevue Chamber Chorus teams up with Kristine Anderson on piano, and Eli Weinberger, a local Seattle cellist. This video contains all original artwork that was designed and created by Kristine Bryan, our organization's co-president. Way to go, Kris!!

Bellevue Chamber Chorus invites Dr. Rollo Dilworth on Tuesday, May 11th at 7:00pm Pacific via Zoom for a lecture and Qan...
05/08/2021
BCC - Performance Practices - Rollo Dilworth

Bellevue Chamber Chorus invites Dr. Rollo Dilworth on Tuesday, May 11th at 7:00pm Pacific via Zoom for a lecture and QandA as part of our Performance Practice series.

Dr. Dilworth will be discussing choral performance practice regarding spirituals and gospel and what he believes are the most essential elements when any choir seeks to perform these genres. With his expertise as an accomplished arranger, clinician, and educator, we could not be more excited to learn what he has to teach us. This session is FREE! All are welcome!

Signup is required. If you are interested in attending this session, please fill out the form below. An invitation will be sent to you prior to the session; if the session is filled we will let you know.
https://forms.gle/cA5PgSbq6PUZkatK9

The Bellevue Chamber Chorus will be hosting an online session on performance practices on May 11 , 2021, at 7:00PM: Bellevue Chamber Chorus invites Dr. Rollo Dilworth on Tuesday, May 11th at 7:00pm Pacific via Zoom for a lecture and QandA as part of our Performance Practice series. Dr. Dilworth will...

04/14/2021
Lux Aeterna

Bellevue Chamber Chorus offers Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds' Lux Aeterna (“Light Eternal”) in memory of all those that have passed in the last year due to COVID-19. We offer this piece in hopes that we all find a path toward peace.

Bellevue Chamber Chorus has been hard at work with a number of virtual performances, and we also have created an educati...
04/04/2021
BCC - Performance Practices - Kari Ragan

Bellevue Chamber Chorus has been hard at work with a number of virtual performances, and we also have created an educational series focused on performance practice.

We invite Dr. Kari Ragan to join us via Zoom on Tuesday, April 6th at 7pm, as we examine issues of vocal tone/timbre as relates to performance practice of different styles. What makes a “classical” choral vocal tone sound “classical”? What is it about a musical theater or contemporary commercial vocal production that makes it sound the way it does? As a singer, what are the scientific and acoustic principles that we should know as we attempt to create these different sounds? What is the basic physiology behind these different techniques?

Dr. Ragan will present what she calls “A Football Player Pirouettes: Cross-Training Principles for the Singer,” and it will cover a broad stroke of physiology and acoustic of different genres and vocal efficiency.

All are welcome! It is free, though signup is required as space is limited. Hope to see you!
Here's the link to the Google Form Signup: https://forms.gle/ey1yvomXHJAg1X8F7

Ben Luedcke
Bellevue Chamber Chorus, Artistic Director

The Bellevue Chamber Chorus will be hosting an online session on performance practices on Apr 6 , 2021, at 7:00PM: In our performance practice series, Bellevue Chamber Chorus invites Dr. Kari Ragan to join us Tuesday, April 6th at 7pm, as we examine issues of vocal tone/timbre as relates to performa...

02/24/2021
"Wanting Memories" -- Ysaye Barnwell

In accord with Black History Month, Bellevue Chamber Chorus celebrates the contributions of black artists, and acknowledges the presence of institutional and societal impediments in the wider Eurocentric classical music canon and culture. We present this remarkable song, words and music by Ysaye Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock.

Just a little fun!
12/24/2020

Just a little fun!

A new redesign of an old (1979? 1980?) Christmas card that I drew on a dare: the fabulous Mike Keiser (co-founder of Recycled Paper Greetings, and now famed as the visionary genius behind Bandon Dunes Golf Resort) challenged me to do a Christmas design that would work on the same odd principle of my Hippo Birdie Two Ewe birthday card. Here it is, in all its strange far-fetchedness.

12/23/2020

Sorry for the delay everyone! Happy Holidays and we hope you enjoy this arrangement and all the fun and beautiful photography and art provided by our community members! 🎶

12/23/2020
The Christmas Song "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire"

Thank you to all our members and our dedicated audience: we appreciate your support during this holiday season and we could not do it without you.

The Christmas Song "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire"
by Torme/Wells, arr. Roy Ringwald
Bellevue Chamber Chorus
with Kristine Anderson, piano
and Tara Angeles and Sarah Lytle, solo

***UPDATE:  Premiere will be a little delayed!  We are still rendering the video as we speak!***  We'll be premiering ou...
12/23/2020

***UPDATE: Premiere will be a little delayed! We are still rendering the video as we speak!*** We'll be premiering our version of this holiday classic tonight at 7:30 pm! 🎶

11/23/2020
"Bright Morning Stars" Tuesday, Nov. 24th at 7:30pm

Join us Tuesday, Nov. 24th at 7:30pm for our premiere of "Bright Morning Stars," an Appalachian tune arranged by Shawn Kirchner. We are exicted to collaborate with our pianist, Kristine Anderson, and to welcome Ken Sabalza, our baritone soloist for this piece. Ken brings a rich tone and sensitivity to the text, that we are thrilled he is joining us for this timely piece that speaks of hope and renewal.

10/28/2020
"Ubi Caritas" by Joan Szymko

"Ubi Caritas" by Joan Szymko. The one line of Latin text emphasizes generosity, and in these days of hardship and struggle we offer this message in solidarity, as we are all in this together.

"From the Podium"October 5th, 2020   Even in these times of social distancing the Bellevue Chamber Chorus is finding way...
10/04/2020
Bellevue Chamber Chorus Official

"From the Podium"

October 5th, 2020

Even in these times of social distancing the Bellevue Chamber Chorus is finding ways to make music together. In addition to our collaborative recordings, we are experimenting, adapting, and learning to rehearse via the internet. Such new endeavors underscore for me that my favorite aspect of choral music is the collaborative journey: rather than focus on the final product, choral music is about the process. I love rehearsing and working hard in service of the music; in fact, I have long said - sometimes to the shock of my singers - that I would still love to rehearse even if there was no goal to ever perform. Rehearsal, in this sense, is not a means to an end but it is a rewarding and enriching experience when you treat every rehearsal opportunity as a performance and the music you create is an offering to your fellow collaborators. It is not surprising to me that a lot of my favorite repertoire, including sixteenth-century Italian and English madrigals as well as German romantic partsongs, were written not for the concert hall or church service but merely for personal consumption in parlors, living rooms, and squares.

Social distancing has indeed changed everything for musicians. For folks like me who value the collaborative process, we now find ourselves creating recordings on our own; however, Bellevue Chamber Chorus is determined to creatively break the mold. We have had our first foray into digital rehearsal with Realtime Music Solutions applications Coach and Rehearsal Live Share. While these programs do not allow the singer to hear other singers while we record, it does allow the director to hear up to twenty singers properly aligned and to give verbal feedback in real time. Balance and vocal tone quality are a challenge over the internet, and giving feedback on such is problematic given limitations and non-standardized equipment. Nevertheless, we are gathering to find a common vision for musical details like phrasing, articulation, and relative dynamics. Additionally, singing into a microphone is a new and challenging experience without anyone to support your sound or boost your morale. As a result, such a challenge is also worthy of routine acclimation as we all improve our microphone presence and digital intonation. Most important, the weekly “just showing up” is integral to any arts community: as human beings we are creatures of habit and routine, and how we spend our time often comes to define who we are. As a result, continuing to gather has important social benefits for our group dynamics and cohesion, as well as artistic rewards as we discuss the piece’s text and broader interpretation. Clearly, the Bellevue Chamber Chorus has decided we can’t just “wait this out,” but we need to continue to remain constructive, creative, and engaged as a music-making community.

Our next project by Northwestern composer Joan Szymko is a setting of Ubi Caritas, and for this piece the composer crafts a modern sound with rather ancient techniques. The piece features antiphony, or a “call and response” imitation within each section: for example, as the half the tenors chant the original motive, the other half of the tenor section echoes them exactly. Furthermore, Szymko's piece is not written in a specific major or minor key, but instead the piece is what we would define as modal with collections of pitches that our modern ears are not often accustomed to. Finally, the motivic writing is rather chant-like with a syllabic setting and a natural contour that boasts a fluid rise and fall of the melodic line. The piece’s one line of text is about generosity, and in this time of wildfires, disease, political uncertainty, and economic hardship, it is a message that we feel ought to be compelling to our larger human family as we are all in this together. Aside from being inspired by early music, Joan Szymko’s setting has a certain pleading earnestness to it, while at the same time, the bright and calm conclusion seems meant to communicate reassurance and hope.

Please join us for our digital premiere of Ubi Caritas on Facebook and YouTube on Tuesday, October 27th at 7:30pm.

Warmly,

Ben Luedcke
Artistic Director
Bellevue Chamber Chorus
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwPGuDvDKaVFo8mf3_eRWqg

09/09/2020
"Roots" by Ola Gjeilo -- Bellevue Chamber Chorus

"Roots" by Ola Gjeilo
Bellevue Chamber Chorus
Ben Luedcke, Artistic Director

When all is still and silence falls,
When darkness gathers in and shadows cover all,
I close my eyes and fond mem’ries I recall;
And I am once again, I’m once again in my heart’s home.
The softly falling snow, the valley green,
The simple joy of friends gathering, as has always been,
Those deep blue skies, the crackling ice, the bright sunrises of my home.
Where love is strong and roots grow deep,
Where I felt safe at play, or cradled fast asleep;
Though I’ve since left, this vision in my heart I keep
Until I’m once again, I’m once again in my heart’s home.
The journey beckoning, the road is long;
Far have I traveled from my former home, from my spirit song.
In my dreaming, hear it echoing, reminding me where I belonged,
And I am once again, I’m once again in my heart’s home.
~Charles Anthony Silvestri

In partnership with Classical Movements, as part of the Eric Daniel Helms New Music Program, this piece was jointly commissioned by a consortium of choruses to benefit the programs and services of Chorus America. Bellevue Chamber Chorus' participation was made possible by generous contributions from Gordon Davidson and Debra Defotis. The photos in this video presentation were all submitted by Bellevue Chamber Chorus members.

Kindly donate at: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr...
Signup for our email list: http://eepurl.com/hq4-I
Visit us at https://www.bellevuechamberchorus.org/

09/08/2020

"Roots" by Ola Gjeilo
Bellevue Chamber Chorus
Ben Luedcke, Artistic Director

When all is still and silence falls,
When darkness gathers in and shadows cover all,
I close my eyes and fond mem’ries I recall;
And I am once again, I’m once again in my heart’s home.
The softly falling snow, the valley green,
The simple joy of friends gathering, as has always been,
Those deep blue skies, the crackling ice, the bright sunrises of my home.
Where love is strong and roots grow deep,
Where I felt safe at play, or cradled fast asleep;
Though I’ve since left, this vision in my heart I keep
Until I’m once again, I’m once again in my heart’s home.
The journey beckoning, the road is long;
Far have I traveled from my former home, from my spirit song.
In my dreaming, hear it echoing, reminding me where I belonged,
And I am once again, I’m once again in my heart’s home.
~Charles Anthony Silvestri

In partnership with Classical Movements, as part of the Eric Daniel Helms New Music Program, this piece was jointly commissioned by a consortium of choruses to benefit the programs and services of Chorus America. Bellevue Chamber Chorus' participation was made possible by generous contributions from Gordon Davidson and Debra Defotis. The photos in this video presentation were all submitted by Bellevue Chamber Chorus members.

Kindly donate at: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr...
Signup for our email list: http://eepurl.com/hq4-I
Visit us at https://www.bellevuechamberchorus.org/

09/06/2020
Join Us! "Roots" by Ola Gjeilo

Join us Tuesday, September 8th at 7:30pm for our season kickoff and our Facebook premiere of Ola Gjeilo's new piece, "Roots," which features text by poet Charles Anthony Silvestri. Look for the link to our premiere on our page in the next couple days.

Bellevue Chamber Chorus's cover photo
08/25/2020

Bellevue Chamber Chorus's cover photo

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Comments

2019 Greater Seattle Choral Consortium’s Seattle Sings! Morten Lauridsen “Welcome Home” Photo credit: David Horiuchi
Any recordings of ur concert?
This is going to be a great concert! Saturday, Mercer Island. Sunday, Sammamish HS, Bellevue
How was the concert?
No power, no problem. Dress Rehearsal tonight (Friday) for our Renaissance and Baroque Christmas concerts on Saturday and Sunday, featuring the Vivaldi Gloria and Pergolesi/Durante Magnificat.
A special thank you to BCC's very own Music Director Dr. Fred Lokken and his lovely wife Marsha for their presence at the Seattle Mariners game, as well as to BCC Alum George for his assistance throughout the day. Way to represent Bellevue Chamber Chorus!!!