NorthWest Women’s Chorale sets spring concerts

For a decade, this group’s members have shared their voices with audiences on the Olympic Peninsula and beyond.

For that, it’s time to celebrate.

The NorthWest Women’s Chorale hosts a pair of spring concerts — May 5 in Sequim and May 8 in Port Angeles — in honor of the group’s 10 years.

The concerts, entitled “Place of the Blest” and with a focus on American composers, are set for 7 p.m. Friday, May 5, at Dungeness Valley Lutheran Church (925 N. Sequim Ave., Sequim), and 7 p.m. Monday, May 8, at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (301 E. Lopez Ave., Port Angeles).

Admission to both concerts is a suggested donation of $15.

“I don’t know why they (chorale members) would keep doing it other than they love singing,” chorale director Joy A. Lingerfelt says. “Each concert we kind of step it up from previous ones, so they know they’ll have challenging music. I love working with them.

“While it’s really hard work, the end product is really worth it. It’s worth it for the audience, too.”

While some of the pieces to be performed will be familiar to chorale fans, the group is setting the Olympic Peninsula debut of three pieces: “United in Song” and “The Song of Wandering Aengus” by Paul Halley, and “Northern Lights” by Ola Gjeilo.

Lingerfelt says she’s looking forward to a number of pieces at these concerts, particularly “Northern Lights.”

A travel theme is predominant in the three debut pieces, as well as in Halley’s “Untraveled Worlds” and the four-movement piece “The Place of the Blest” by Randall Thompson.

Chorale members describe the latter piece as “lush and beautiful, sometimes humorous.”

“We did it once a few years back,” Lingerfelt says of “The Place of the Blest.”

“It’s great poetry and beautiful music.”

Three additional pieces explore faith in God: Halley’s “Voices of Light,” “God Be in My Head” by Jackson Berkey, and “Sing Me to Heaven” by Daniel Gawthrop.

Instruments in the Port Angeles venue include strings, woodwinds and organ.

“(The Sequim concert) will have piano and flute, so that’ll be fun,” Lingerfelt says.

Leading the NorthWest Women’s Chorale is Lingerfelt, also a deacon and minister of music and worship arts at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Port Angeles. She has directed the Port Angeles Symphony Chorus that debuted with the Port Angeles Symphony at their holiday concert in December 2016.

Accompanying the chorale is pianist Kristin Quigley Brye, an adjunct professor of music at Peninsula College, a collaborative pianist with the NorthWest Women’s Chorale and owner of a private studio.

During its 10-year history, the NorthWest Women’s Chorale has performed in Alaska, Lynnwood, Silverdale, Chehalis and Forks. The 25 members of NWWC come from areas west of Joyce to east of Sequim.

“There is a niche here we are filling; I like to think we are doing things others aren’t,” Lingerfelt says.

The chorale plans on making a recording of the Port Angeles spring concert and sell CDs for donations as a fundraiser. Proceeds would help pay for the chorale to attend and perform at the American Choral Directors Association Regional convention, set for March 7-10, 2018, in Portland, Ore.