By Theresa Redmond, Alto, Magnolia Chorale
Magnolia Chorale is excited to announce our upcoming concert, “Good Tidings – A Global Celebration.” The program features music from many cultural and ethnic traditions all celebrating winter. Performances will be at the Magnolia United Church of Christ on December 9 at 7:30 pm and December 11 at 2 pm. The concert is free to the public. Good-will offerings are always welcome.
Some exciting news from the choir is the addition of our new choir director, Joseph To. This will be Joseph’s first concert directing the choir after the former director of eleven years, Dr. Jean-Marie Kent, stepped down this past spring. Joseph’s love of choral music has led him to a career rich with musical variety, from teaching choir and piano in the Tukwila School District (Foster High School and Showalter Middle School) to directing multiple adult choirs, including the Norwegian Ladies Chorus and Magnolia Chorale.
It has been about a month since Joseph started leading the Magnolia Chorale and I asked him how it feels to coordinate his many music jobs. He admitted, “My head is all over the place, but I enjoy the challenge because I love directing choirs and making music with people.”
An article in the Queen Anne & Magnolia News, noted that one of Joseph’s goals as the new director of the Chorale is to “introduce the choir to new music from new voices: people of color, women, regional composers, and possibly a student.” He also wants to create an inclusive, welcoming environment where everyone can enjoy music together.
The Winter concert features a mix of music from many different parts of the world, including works in Yiddish, Hebrew, Estonian, Spanish, English, and Latin. The Chorale will be accompanied at the concert by a string quartet and an organist
Magnolia Chorale is a non-profit community choir open to all singers with previous choral experience. We value diversity, equity, and inclusion and work on music from diverse cultures and styles. The past few years of the COVID pandemic have been a challenge for singers and choral groups everywhere, and Magnolia Chorale is working to bring an extensive variety of music to the community as well as expand its membership as the pandemic slows. At the same time, we’re still taking preventive measures to keep members and audiences safe during COVID times. Members wear masks during rehearsals; and masks will be required for audience members at the concert.
As a new member of Magnolia Chorale myself, it’s refreshing to sing in a choir with such a varied repertoire and a dedication to a challenging and fun choral community. I have a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance as well as a Master’s of Music in film scoring and I love the mix of musical styles and cultures we’ve been singing, as well as the pace we’ve been working through them. I joined the group in September because I wanted to sing in a choir, but rehearsal and performance schedules are usually too big of a time commitment for me with my work as a music composer. I liked the fact that Magnolia Chorale rehearses for two hours weekly with performances typically twice a year in the winter and spring. This much was feasible for me and I’ve loved singing with the choir so far.
For more information on Magnolia Chorale and upcoming performances, check out our home page.
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A community of singers who enjoy spending time together making great music.