Our History:


Peninsula Singers began in 1988 as a chamber group called Peninsula Chamber Singers. Dennis Crabbe, Director of Music at Peninsula College, started the group and in 1990, Dewey Ehling took over as conductor and directed for 26 years. After his death, Hollie Kaufman directed until early in 2017, when Dr. Jerome Wright was selected as the new director.


In 2005, the name was changed to Peninsula Singers to reflect the larger and growing size of the chorale. Though the group started as a chamber group it has expanded its size in order to do large choral works with orchestra. It retains its chamber concept, however, and will occasionally feature a chamber group in concerts.


The singers are made up of experienced singers from the North Olympic Peninsula. Many have had college experience, some professional. A few are music majors. The goal of all is to sing the best choral literature available. While we have mostly post-college singers, we do include a few younger inexperienced singers who have shown vocal promise and the desire to gain experience and familiarity with the repertoire.


Among the hundreds of works performed in the past years are:

Bach: Magnificat, St. Matthew Passion

Beethoven: Mass in C

Brahms: Shicksalslied

Brubeck: La Fiesta de la Posada

Durufle: Requiem Mass

Faure: Requiem Mass

Gounod: St Cecilia Mass

Handel: Messiah

Haydn: Nelson Mass

Mozart: Requiem Mass, Grand Mass, Solemn Vespers

Carl Orff: Carmina Burana

Schubert: Mass in G

Randall Thompson: Frostiana

Rutter: Requiem

Vivaldi: Gloria

Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem, Hodie

and much more!


We have done selections from major musical productions such as Steven Sondheim's Into the Woods, Andrew Lloyd Weber's Cats, and several full-length productions of Menotti's Amal and the Night Visitors in full costume and staging. In addition we have performed many art, folk and gospel works by various composers.


We are still growing! We will continue to perform the finest choral work by classic and contemporary composers of all persuasions for all audiences.

Maestro Wright has conducted a number of community-based adult choirs that include the Seattle Oratorio Society and a similar group in Snohomish County.  For the last twenty-eight years of his regular career he was the Founder and Artistic Director of the renowned Seattle Girls’ Choir; a group that has won first prizes in international competition in Vienna, Canada and at the Eisteddfod in Wales.  He established community based choirs for youth in Snohomish, King and Pierce Counties.  He was the first Artistic Director for Ancora – a women’s choir founded by alumnae of the Seattle Girls’ Choir.  He has conducted thousands of singers over the years, and takes special delight in watching his students develop their talents.

He has conducted throughout Europe and the United States, and directed the National Youth Choir of Israel in the summer of 1987.  He was principal conductor for the opening concert of the Salzburg Festival in 2009 at the great Salzburg Cathedral.  He is an adjudicator, festival choir director, and has presented master classes at professional gatherings and universities, including Harvard.  An author, he is working on a book on choral tone, plus a book on developing the choral art.  A chapter he wrote for a special book on training young choirs will be published shortly.  He is also a composer and arranger.

Staff

Our Musical Director: Dr. Jerome Wright


Dr. Jerome Wright is a native of Everett, Washington, where he graduated from Everett High School.  He conducted his first church choir at the age of sixteen, and majored in music at the University of Washington, with a BA in Music Education and an advanced degree in orchestral conducting, studying with the late Dr. Stanley Chapple (who taught Leonard Bernstein) and choral conducting with Rodney Eichenberger.  He has two doctorates; a PhD in Metaphysics and Comparative Religion, and the Doctor of Divinity.  He was ordained in 1984.

Our Accompanist


Linda Dowdell has roots in both jazz and classical music. For many years she toured the world as musical director of both Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project and the Mark Morris Dance Group. Her choral compositions have received premieres by such distinguished ensembles as the Schola Cantorum of Edinburgh and the NorthWest Women’s Chorale. She is the co-creator, with JoAnne Schmoll, of the cabaret musical Tin Pan Lady, and was awarded BMI’s Harrington Award for Creative Achievement in developing new work for the musical stage. Locally she directs the Summer Musical Theatre Intensive for Teens and Jazz at the Schoolhouse.

The Choir

Leadership

2016-2017 Board of Directors


President: Patricia Guthrie

Vice-President: Valerie Lape

Secretary: Priscilla Patterson

Treasurer: Dori Beachler

Board Members: Pat Andrews, Hannah Hockett, Midge Hull, Connie Jenkins, and Karla Messerschmidt-Morgan

2017 Section Proctors


Soprano: Valerie Lape (360) 461-7019

Alto: Barbara Hughes (360) 683-3840

Tenor: Loraine Lovejoy-Evans (360) 417-9276

Bass: Ray Chirayath (360) 565-5390

Our Normal Rehearsal Time and Place:


7-9 PM Thursdays at

Trinity United Methodist Church

100 S. Blake Avenue, Sequim

Librarian:   Pat Witt

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