Guest conductor Jolene Dalton Gailey of Port Angeles leads the RainShadow Chorale in rehearsal for two concerts in Chimacum this week. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

Guest conductor Jolene Dalton Gailey of Port Angeles leads the RainShadow Chorale in rehearsal for two concerts in Chimacum this week. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

Music, poetry: ‘The Illumination of My Soul’

Guest conductor to lead RainShadow Chorale performance

CHIMACUM — The RainShadow Chorale will return to the concert stage this week with two performances of not only music but poetry by Maya Angelou, Robert Frost and Langston Hughes.

With guest conductor Jolene Dalton Gailey of Port Angeles, RainShadow’s 40 singers will appear at 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 45 Redeemer Way. Pianist Lisa Lanza and a Sequim City Band wind ensemble will join both concerts.

The theme of this spring program: “The Illumination of My Soul,” an expression of Gailey’s love of song. The conductor, who led the choir program for decades at Port Angeles High School before her retirement in 2020, had to cancel the farewell concerts that had been planned for the end of the school year.

“During the pandemic shutdown, I had to query myself: In time of darkness, what is the light of my life? I spent a lot of time thinking about that while we were sequestered away,” Gailey said.

“This concert is my answer to that,” she said.

The performances encompass songs that bring light — to dispel lingering gloom: from a chant for women’s voices by medieval composer Hildegard Von Bingen to Sweet Honey in the Rock’s song “Wanting Memories.”

There are pieces by J.S. Bach and Johannes Brahms, all with texts that speak about wisdom, peace and the beauty of the world.

And the poetry: Hughes’ piece “To Sit and Dream” is set to music by contemporary composer Rosephanye Powell.

It “is just stunning,” Gailey said.

Frost’s “Choose Something Like a Star” is also on the program, describing the mystery of a star and its capacity to console us, she added.

The existence and wonder of stars also surfaces in three other contemporary pieces by Eriks Esenvalds, Frank Ticheli and Erik Barnum.

Angelou’s poem “Continue,” with music by Giselle Wyers, is a commissioned piece. The composer wrote the music to honor Gailey and her husband Doug, who also retired after a long career as a music teacher. The work says what the pair wanted to say about this transition.

“Into a world which needed you / My wish for you / Is that you continue,” Angelou wrote.

“Continue / To be who and how you are / To astonish a mean world / With your acts of kindness / Continue / To allow humor to lighten the burden / of your tender heart …”

The RainShadow Chorale will perform a good portion of the poem but not its entire length, Gailey said.

The concerts this time are only about an hour and 15 minutes long, yet they feature songs in four languages: English, German, Latin and Ukrainian. The conductor plans to offer a Ukrainian prayer as the encore.

Tickets for the performances will be available at the door for suggested donations of $20 for adults and $10 for students — or whatever the patron can afford. Tickets can also be reserved by sending an email request to [email protected], specifying the number of tickets and whether the guest prefers Friday’s or Saturday’s concert.

Proof of full COVID vaccination with photo ID is required for admission, masks must be worn at all times inside the church; the chorale is immunized and has been masking during all rehearsals. For more information, see rainshadowchorale.org.

Sopranos of the RainShadow Chorale — including, from left, Elizabeth Bindschadler, Cherry Chenruk-Geelan and Rebecca Carroll — are among the 40 voices to sing in Chimacum this Friday and Saturday. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

Sopranos of the RainShadow Chorale — including, from left, Elizabeth Bindschadler, Cherry Chenruk-Geelan and Rebecca Carroll — are among the 40 voices to sing in Chimacum this Friday and Saturday. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

More in Entertainment

Lisa Jensen
Port Townsend Rhododendron Festival Royality are, from left, Princess Brigitte Palmer, Queen Jenessah Seebergoss and Princess Hailey Hirschel. Seebergoss will not be able to attend this year.
Stop and smell the rhodies again

Rhododendron Festival begins Wednesday

Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group 

Denny Henson of NW Rustic Cuts works on carved bears at the Logging Show at the Sequim Irrigation Festival on Friday. The show continues today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. as well as a variety of other events during the festival’s grand finale weekend. The highlight will be the Grand Parade through downtown Sequim from noon to 1:30 p.m. today. For more information, see irrigationfestival.com and facebook.com/SequimIrrigationFestival.
Art with bear hands at Irrigation Festival

Denny Henson of NW Rustic Cuts works on carved bears at the… Continue reading

Prelude canceled; Juan de Fuca Fest to go on

The Prelude to a Festival has been canceled, but… Continue reading

Sam Chase and his band, the Untraditional, will be among the performers at a new event, a prelude to the upcoming Juan de Fuca Festival.
‘Prelude to a Festival’ Sunday at Elks ballroom

Concert will include blend of music and space for dancing

Chicago Bob Longmire, pictured playing solo at the Rothschild House last summer, will bring the Midnight Train Blues Band to Port Townsend’s Discovery Bay Brewing Co. for the monthly blues jam starting Sunday. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
First blues jam of season set for Sunday

Midnight Train Blues Band to lead session

Cabled Fiber & Yarn owner Beth Witters will demonstrate weaving on Saturday.
Second Saturday Art Walk offers demonstrations, artwork

The Second Saturday Art Walk offers free demonstrations and… Continue reading

Boat school’s Hull Raiser this weekend

The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding will host a… Continue reading

Guest conductor Jolene Dalton Gailey of Port Angeles leads the RainShadow Chorale in rehearsal for two concerts in Chimacum this week. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Music, poetry: ‘The Illumination of My Soul’

Guest conductor to lead RainShadow Chorale performance

Most Read