We offer young singers (K-12th grade) a choral experience based on the approach fostered by Zoltan Kodály, which has produced tremendous success with children’s choirs. All choirs rehearse at the Maple Leaf Lutheran Church in North Seattle’s Maple Leaf neighborhood.
- CHILDREN’s CHORUS
- CHAMBER SINGERS
The Children’s Chorus is the beginning choir and the first performing level for Kindergarten through 2nd graders. There is no audition for Children’s Chorus.
Boys and girls in the Children’s Chorus will improve their unison singing skills and may begin singing in two parts.
The beginning choir meets on Wednesdays from 4:00 through 4:50. Parents may observe class at this level.
The Children’s Chorus rehearsals begin in early September.
Mary K McNeill, Conductor
Mary K is one of Seattle’s most loved music teachers, having taught in several Seattle schools over the past 20 years. Mary K organized the mass choir of over 1,000 voices when the Dalai Lama spoke at Safeco field. Mary K has completed three levels of training in the summer Kodály program at Seattle Pacific University.
The Interludes-A and B choirs each spend some time alone with their conductor and some time combined into one large choir.
Children with no previous choir experience are accepted into these levels. They will sing with other boys and girls who have progressed through the Children’s Chorus. Interludes-A singers will continue to develop their part-singing skills with vocal techniques and pentatonic sight-singing being emphasized. The group includes children from 3rd and 4th grade. The children will also begin a written music theory program. Interludes-B includes children from 4th through 7th grades.
Singers in the Interludes-A levels are expected to practice their music at home daily for 15 minutes and work on theory at least once a week between rehearsals.
Interludes-A choir meets on Wednesdays from 5:00 through 6:15.
Interludes-B choir meets on Wednesdays from 5:30 through 7:15.
These rehearsals are available for observation upon special request.
The intermediate choirs begin rehearsals in early September.
The Interludes-B choir joins with the Interludes-A choir on Wednesdays at 5:30 for 45 minutes, then stays for an additional hour to work on a separate repertoire all their own. They have performed at the 2000 Organization of American Kodály Educators, Benaroya Hall, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and the Festival of Trees in Tacoma as well as many local music festivals.
An audition is required for entry and older beginners are accepted at this level.
Interludes-B members will learn two- and three-part singing as well as more advanced sight-reading skills. Singers receive instruction in language studies and the written theory program is continued. This level includes children in the 3rd through 7th grade range.
The importance of each members’ responsibilities, particularly in their individual preparation for each rehearsal and performance is stressed. Singers at this level are expected to practice their music at home daily for 20-25 minutes and work on theory at least once a week between rehearsals.
Interludes-B meets on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7:15. This rehearsal is available for observation upon special request.
The Interludes-B Choir begins rehearsals in early September.
Sarah Riskind, Conductor
Dr. Sarah Riskind is a recent graduate of the University of Washington’s doctoral program in Musical Arts in Choral Conducting.
Sarah has also attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and Williams College in Williamson, MA, receiving, respectively, a Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting and a Bachelor of Arts in Music. She has also done selective coursework at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.
Among the many musical interests Sarah pursued in university are Spanish traditional music, Jewish composers, Medieval and Renaissance music and Brahms’ choral music. Sarah’s most recent conducting history includes Music Director at the Magnolia United Church of Christ, graduate assistant with the University of Washington Chamber Singers and University Chorale and co-conductor of University Singers, and Choral Director at the Walden School of Young Musicians. Sarah’s other conducting experiences span 8 years, beginning as Interim Conductor of the Schola Nocturna, in Newton, MA, where she lead approximately a dozen singers in plainsong and polyphony for Compline services.
The Chamber Singers is our advanced performing choir. They have performed at the Organization of American Kodály Educators, Benaroya Hall, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and the Festival of Trees in Tacoma, O’Christmas Trees in Seattle as well as many local music festivals.
Chamber Singer members include singers from 6th through 12th grades who have established good vocal technique, are good sight-readers, have ability to leap in vocally wider and more dissonant intervals and can hear dissonant harmonization. The Chamber Singers is the only non-treble voiced choir, taking male singers whose voices have changed. Often some of our male alums and/or dads will fill out the bass and tenors sections. An audition is required for youth entry.
This choir sings almost solely in three- and four-part harmony. A much greater emphasis is placed on the performance of foreign language as well as advanced choral technique and accelerated reading readiness. Advanced sight-singing and written theory continue in this level.
The importance of each member’s responsibilities, particularly in their individual preparation for each rehearsal and performance is stressed. Singers at this level are expected to practice their music at home daily for 20-30 minutes daily and work on theory at least once a week between rehearsals.
The Chamber Singers meet for 2.25 hours on Mondays from 5:15 – 7:30. This rehearsal is open for observation.
The Chamber Choir begins rehearsals in early September. Get the full 2017-2018 schedule here soon.
Susan Senft, Conductor
Susan Senft is the founder and artistic director of Pacifica Choirs. She founded Pacifica Children’s Chorus in 1993 in response to the growing interest in choral music education that engaged both girls and boys and that celebrated world music through local community partnerships. Susan holds a Master of Music degree with Kodály Emphasis from Holy Names College in Oakland CA and a B.FA. in Music from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. Susan was the Music Director of the Puget Sound Revels in Tacoma for 10 years, appearing in many of the productions, too. She taught at Seattle Pacific University for 20 years in the summer Kodály program, teaching choir, conducting and musicianship.