Ancora

a Seattle-based women's chamber choir

Previous Seasons

Emerald City SINGS!Emerald City SINGS!

May 20, 2017
Saint Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle
Aimee Mell, Artistic Director

Ancora was the featured guest choir, giving a short performance in the festival’s closing concert. The festival, hosted by Sechrist Travel, gave seven choirs the chance to join together into a 250-voice Festival Chorus, which performed under the direction of Dr. Rollo Dilworth.

 

NW Focus LIVE
NW Focus LIVE

May 12, 2017
Aimee Mell, Artistic Director
Janelle Murray, Accompanist

Ancora performed live on the KING FM 98.1, Seattle’s classical radio station. We reprised some of our songs from Wild! and gave a preview of MUSE. Host Peter Newman also chatted with Aimee about our repertoire and with choristers Lisa Sparacio, Zoë Ness, and Anjali Kumar about the choir.

 

Wintertide
Wintertide: A Concert Fantasy for the Holidays
Guest Performers with Seattle Choral Company

December 9 & 10, 2016
Saint Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle
Aimee Mell, Artistic Director of Ancora
Janelle Murray, Accompanist
Freddie Coleman, Director of the Seattle Choral Company + Ancora

We gathered at Saint Mark’s Cathedral for a multi-media concert blending music and images that heightened delight in the winter season. The Seattle Choral Company sang Ola Gjeilo’s popular “Sunrise Mass” with orchestra and visual media presented by Bus No. 8 video productions. As the guest choir, Ancora joined the Choral Company for the world premiere of “Wintertide,” written for the Choral Company and Ancora by Seattle composer Donald Skirvin. Ancora also sang a few other winter-themed pieces, including “Tundra” by Ola Gjeilo.

 

Figgy 2016
The 30th Annual Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition

December 2, 2016
Westlake Center, Downtown Seattle
Aimee Mell, Artistic Director

Ancora members and alums raised over $1700 for the Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank, and we had a tremendously fun time dressing up festively and singing carols.

 

Resonance
Women In Song
with Mägi Ensemble

May 19, 2016
Resonance at SOMA Towers, Bellevue
Aimee Mell, Artistic Director
Janelle Murray, Accompanist

At this joint concert with the Mägi Ensemble, another of our area’s finest women’s chamber choirs, Ancora highlighted pieces from Tempus, a diverse program including madrigals, spirituals, traditional and contemporary choral music, and rousing world music selections. The Mägi Ensemble sang selections from their “Baltic Sounds” CD of choral works and folk songs from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in an evening of sublime song.

 

Tempus
Tempus

May 14, 2016
Trinity Lutheran Church, Seattle
Aimee Mell, Artistic Director
Janelle Murray, Accompanist

Ancora ventured into the realms of Time: human, musical, ephemeral and eternal, in a diverse program of works by Paulus, Clausen, Tavener, Parker, Papoulis, and others.

 

Icicle Creek
Guest Performers with Illumni Men’s Chorale

December 19, 2015
Icicle Creek Music Center, Leavenworth
Aimee Mell, Artistic Director

 

Voices in the Snow
Voices in the Snow

December 13, 2015
Trinity Lutheran Church, Seattle
Aimee Mell, Artistic Director
Janelle Murray, Accompanist

Ancora presented its 12th annual holiday concert, featuring the American premiere of “Voices in the Snow” by Flemish composer Rudi Tas. Also on the program: Elgar, Whitacre, Wessman, Schafer, and seasonal songs in Swedish, Finnish, and Latvian. Ancora was joined by special guests Illumni Men’s Chorale.

 
Seattle Sings! festival 2015

Seattle Sings! festival

October 10, 2015
St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle
Aimee Mell, Artistic Director
Janelle Murray, Accompanist

 

I Will Arise

I Will Arise

June 20, 2015
Trinity Lutheran Church, Seattle
Aimee Mell, Artistic Director
Justin Hansen, Accompanist

From earthy to ethereal, Ancora celebrated the music of the British Isles, including works by Holst, Vaughan Wiliams, Stanford, Daley, Szymko, and Whitacre. The program presented traditional renditions of “waulking” songs, ballads, reels, and favorites such as “Scarborough Fair,” as well as more contemporary settings of texts by St. Patrick, W.B. Yeats, and James Joyce.

 

Alley Deconstruction

Sip & Sing

April 9, 2015
Alki Arts, Seattle
Aimee Mell, Artistic Director
Justin Hansen, Accompanist

Brooke Borcherding, a talented local artist and member of Ancora, donated three painting for us to raffle off at Aimee’s first performance as Ancora’s new director! We sang several pieces from our upcoming concert during this fun evening of art and wine.

 

Icicle Creek
Guest Performers with Illumni Men’s Chorale

December 20, 2014
Icicle Creek Music Center, Leavenworth
Tess Orozco, Artistic Director

 

Leavenworth
Leavenworth’s Christmas Lighting Ceremony – Headliner Performance

December 20, 2014
Front Street Park, Leavenworth
Tess Orozco, Artistic Director

 

Walking in the Air
Walking in the Air

December 13, 2014
Trinity Lutheran Church, Seattle
Tess Orozco, Artistic Director
Dr. Jerome L. Wright, Guest Conductor
Justin Hansen, Accompanist

For her bon voyage concert, our longtime director, Tess Orozco, focused on the simple magic of winter. “Walking in the Air” featured a selection of beautiful arrangements for women’s voices, including “Walking in the Air” from the 1982 film The Snowman and the world premiere of Jeremiah Oliver’s “Ring Out, Wild Bells.”

 

10
10th Anniversary Concert

June 14, 2014
Seattle First Baptist Church
Tess Orozco, Artistic Director
Dr. Jerome L. Wright, Guest Conductor
Kristina Lee, Accompanist

We celebrated our tenth anniversary by singing Ancora’s greatest hits: one or two favorite pieces from each of our previous concerts, plus the world premiere of Jeremiah Oliver’s “Circuitous,” with text by former Ancora singer and cancer thriver, Tályaa Liera.

 

Waiting for AngelsWaiting for Angels

December 14, 2013
Trinity Lutheran Church, Seattle
Tess Orozco, Artistic Director
Kristina Lee, Accompanist

Our holiday concert, Waiting for Angels, struck a beautiful balance between traditional and innovative choral music.  The program, taken from our brand-new CD, evoked hope and holy mystery in the dark nights of winter.  Repertoire included “Song of the Angels” with singing bowls and bells, “Silent Night” with harp, and many more delightful pieces, both accompanied and
a capella.

 

East West Bookshop

December 5, 2013
East West Bookshop, Seattle
Tess Orozco, Artistic Director
Kristina Lee, Accompanist

 

The 27th Annual Great Figgy Pudding Street Corner Caroling Competition

December 6, 2013
Downtown Seattle, Westlake Center
Tess Orozco, Artistic Director

 

Folklife 2013Northwest Folklife Festival

May 25, 2012
Center House Theatre, Seattle Center
Tess Orozco, Artistic Director

 

Answer Them with Spring Answer Them with Spring

April 13, 2013
The Great Hall at Green Lake, Seattle
Tess Orozco, Artistic Director
Jenny Healy, Accompanist

“Love and loss of winter’s melancholy ask the question, and we answer them with spring.”

The women of Ancora heralded in the springtime season with an enchanting evening that featured music by Thomas Morley, John Dowland, and Aulis Sallinen, and a dessert auction with treats from local vendors.

 

Apocalypse: A Lifting of the VeilApocalypse: A Lifting of the Veil

November 30 & December 1, 2012
Fremont Abbey, Seattle
Tess Orozco, Artistic Director
Jeremiah Oliver, Accompanist
– with special guest –
Paul Che oke’ ten Wagner, Narration and Native American Flute

Apocalypse: A Lifting of the Veil incorporated songs from around the globe as well as new suite “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” by local composer Jeremiah Oliver. Ancora’s intent was to educate our audiences about the powerful time in which we are living, and “lift the veil” to show that 2012 is not about the world ending – it’s about the world changing.

Learn more about our Apocalypse project!

 

Christmas Caroling with Seattle Gitls’ Choir Alumnae, pub-style

December 17, 2012
A Terrible Beauty Irish Pub & Restaurant, Renton, WA
Tess Orozco, Artistic Director

Ancora, Erin McNamee, and SGC Alumnae sang our old favorites. SGC alums were invited to bring their red carol books and chime in on all 45 verses of every Christmas song we’ve ever done.

 

Angelic Quodlibet

December 10, 2011
Trinity Lutheran Church, Seattle
Tess Orozco, Artistic Director
Jeremiah Oliver, Accompanist

Ancora’s angelic holiday celebration!  With sweet cherubim, introspective seraphim, and jubilant gospel, our voices covered all the realms of the season, however it pleases.
* Quodlibet: A group of well-known tunes.  From the Latin, meaning “what pleases.”

 

Incantations CD Release Party

October 15, 2011
Wine World Warehouse, Seattle
Tess Orozco, Artistic Director
Jeremiah Oliver, Accompanist

Friends and fans celebrated the release of Ancora’s Incantations CD.  We enjoyed local wines, had a bite to eat, socialized, and won door prizes!  Ancora sang selections from the CD live.

 

C² Concert at the Columns

August 19, 2011
The Columns by Pike & Boren, Seattle
Tess Orozco, Artistic Director

Ancora performed a wide range of material at this summer’s C² Concert at the Columns series, including hyped madrigals, some Ancora classics, and a sprinkle of jazz.

 

National Anthem (Seattle Storm)

August 13, 2011
Key Arena, Seattle
Seattle Storm vs. Atlanta Dream
Tess Orozco, Artistic Director

Ancora sang the national anthem for the 3rd year a row.  This year we sang before the Seattle Storm game against the Atlanta Dream.  It has been a privilege to work with the only winning professional sports organization in the Pacific Northwest. We look forward to our continued partnership with the Seattle Storm.

 

Incantations

October 22 & 23, 2010
Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Tess Orozco, Artistic Director
Jeremiah Oliver, Accompanist

Ancora performed two sold-out showings of our Incantations production. The wild sound of these exquisite women’s voices was presented in the intimacy of the historic Good Shepherd Center, an appropriately haunted setting for this entrancing collection of music.  The repertoire, selected by director Tess Orozco, was simultaneously spooky and spiritual, and featured the “Witches Chorus” from Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth, Franz Schubert’s “The Erlking,” and “Double Trouble” from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by American cinematic composer John Williams.

 

A Festival of CarolsA Festival of Carols

December 11, 2008
Trinity Lutheran Church, Seattle
Dr. Jerome L. Wright, Artistic Director
Tess Orozco, Assistant Artistic Director
Jeremiah Oliver, Accompanist

This festival of carols provided a broad repertoire of holiday favorites spanning multiple generations.  From favorites like “Winter Wonderland” and “Carol of the Bells” to the more traditional “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” by John Rutter, this concert provided something for everyone.  The “Apple Tree Wassail” carol has since become a favorite for Ancora fans!

 

Scandinavia: Songs of the Sea

June 8, 2008
Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle
Dr. Jerome L. Wright, Artistic Director
Tess Orozco, Assistant Artistic Director
Jeremiah Oliver, Accompanist

This spring 2008 concert was a collaboration between Ancora and the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle.  The beautiful museum played stage to Ancora’s collection of Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, and Estonian pieces, featuring works from Zoltán Kodály, Jean Sibelius, Daniel E. Gawthrop, and Henrik Colding-Jorgensen. A reception followed the performance, comprised of Scandinavian delicacies prepared by members of the Nordic Heritage Museum.

 

Songs of Our Lady

December 16, 2007
Trinity Lutheran Church, Seattle
Dr. Jerome L. Wright, Artistic Director
Tess Orozco, Assistant Artistic Director
Jeremiah Oliver, Accompanist

Songs of Our Lady presented a reverent collection of pieces honoring the Virgin Mary. This concert featured two premiere performances of original compositions specifically for Ancora.  William Butler Yeats’ poem “Mother of God” was set to music by Seattle Girls’ Choir alum Deborah Kelley.  “Ave Maria, Amen” was composed by Ancora’s own accompanist, Jeremiah Oliver.  This piece quickly became a crowd and Ancora favorite.

 

Garden of Songs

June 9, 2007
Trinity Lutheran Church, Seattle
Dr. Jerome L. Wright, Artistic Director
Tess Orozco, Assistant Artistic Director
Jeremiah Oliver, Accompanist

This evening concert showcased music celebrating the pleasures of early summer, including works by Randall Thompson, Zoltán Kodály, Elizabeth Posten, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky.  The program was presented in four brief segments: Spring Planting & Growing; Storms & Reflections; Roses & Thorns; and Trees, Nature & the Divine.

 

Co-Dependent Love Songs

June 10, 2006
Trinity Lutheran Church, Seattle
Dr. Jerome L. Wright, Artistic Director
Tess Orozco, Assistant Artistic Director
Jeremiah Oliver, Accompanist

Ancora’s premiere performance featured songs of women scorned throughout the centuries and across the globe.  The performance began with Alice Parker’s Appalachian folk song “I Am In Love, I Dare Not Own It,” portraying the pain of betrayal in both the harmony and the lyrics.  “An Chloe” by W.A. Mozart, “Fire, Fire” by Thomas Morley, and “O mio babbino caro” by Giacomo Puccini rounded out the feelings of co-dependence, and J.S. Bach’s “Bist du bei mir” concluded the program with lush, tender loving sentiments.