100 Years of Statehood
Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 8:00 PM
The neighboring states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania were dominated by foreign powers right into the latter half of the twentieth century. The indigenous population did not have access to professional music-making, yet was always united through the expression of folk song. As the Baltic countries began to assert their independence it was these national songs that drew their people together and, as a result, choral music became the most dominant musical genre. From 1940 to 1990, when the country suffered the restrictions of Soviet occupation, large song festivals and choral singing in general played a crucial role in rallying, strengthening and inspiring the people. Singing remains central to the cultural life of this small nation.
All three Baltic countries will jointly celebrate their centennial anniversaries of statehood and independence, which will be taking place in 2018, one hundred years after the emerging Baltic states chose to submit their own Declarations of Independence.
On March 24, 2018, the Seattle Choral Company will salute this centennial with a concert demonstrating the sheer beauty and excellence of choral music from the Baltic countries. In the Baltics, singing is cultural and historical. Choral music was vital in developing and maintaining a sense of national identity during many years of occupation, as well as providing a means of creative resistance; and so it retained its central role within the culture.
By sustaining a strong choral tradition, the Baltic area has fostered a continuing respect for tonal music, and when the pendulum of music fashion started to move away from the avant-gardism of the 1960s and 1970s, many Baltic composers found themselves on the crest of a wave: obvious examples include Arvo Pärt, Veljo Tormis, and Pēteris Vasks. During the second half of the twentieth century, Baltic composers have excelled in producing fresh and exciting choral music that is rooted in a tonal language—music that has won popularity among choral singers worldwide.
Included on the program will be choral gems from all three Baltic countries.
Te Deum (by Rihards Dubra)
The Fruit of Silence (by Pēteris Vasks)
Northern Lights (by Ēriks Ešenvalds)
Three Psalms (by Cyrillus Kreek)
Two Songs After Ernst Enno (by Veljo Tormis)
Angelis suis Deus (by Vytautas Miškinis)
O Sacrum Convivium (by Vytautas Miškinis)
Participating with the Seattle Choral Company will be seven area choral ensembles:
Redmond Chorale (Directed by Laurie Betts Hughes)
Seattle Girl’s Choir (Directed by Jacob Winkler and Alex Gagiu
Columbia Choirs (Directed by Steve Stevens)
Illumni Men’s Chorale (Directed by Christopher McCafferty)
Ancora (Directed by Aimee Mell)
Mägi Baltic Ensemble (Directed by Heather MacLaughlin Garbes)
Roosevelt High School Advanced Choir (Directed by Jean-Marie Kent)