Rainshadow Chorale to perform spring concert

Laurie de Leonne

Laurie de Leonne

PORT TOWNSEND — RainShadow Chorale will present two performances of its spring concert, The Seal Lullaby, in June.

Performances are at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 3, at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 45 Redeemer Way, Chimacum, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 4, at First Presbyterian Church, 1111 Franklin St., Port Townsend.

Tickets for the performances will be available at the door.

Tickets are for a suggested donation of $20 for adults and $10 for students.

With these performances, artistic director Laurie de Leonne completes her first year with RainShadow Chorale.

“When I auditioned for and was offered this position, I knew it was the choir I was waiting for,” she said in a press release.

”RainShadow reminds me of the choir my mother sang with, Choral Arts Society of Washington, and of going to all her concerts at the Kennedy Center, listening to all the wonderful repertoire. I knew back then that a career in music was my future.

“Conducting a choir of RainShadow’s capability and potential for that level of music is a high point for me. The singers have been open to and worked hard at whatever I’ve thrown at them – symphonic repertoire, art songs, jazzy tunes, singing in foreign languages.”

De Leonne is a composer, music arranger, singer, voice teacher, music educator, and choir builder. She has conducted a full spectrum of choirs, from children to adults, and currently splits her conducting time between RainShadow Chorale and three other ensembles.

She is comfortable in a variety of music genres, including crooning at a coffee house in her acoustic rock duo blurry may, or belting tunes with her cover band Phase 5. She is also a multi-instrumentalist, and a champion at juggling all of it.

For the spring concerts, she promises an evening pairing classical pieces with newer composers. For example, the choir will sing two arrangements of “Sure on this Shining Night” which will open and close the concert.

Samuel Barber’s 1938 version in the classical style was the standard for the text by James Agee for many years, organizers said. Morten Lauridsen’s more recent arrangement, composed in 2005, is in contrast a probing, serene contemporary setting.

“I love the vetting process of picking quality repertoire. Eighty percent of success is in the selection, in finding the right music for the group. The rest is in the details – learning the notes, expressing the text, and putting the group’s own stamp on it.”

The program also includes works by Johannes Brahms, Maurice Durufle, and Gabriel Faure, as well as contemporary composers Eric Whitacre, Daniel Pinkham, and Ola Gjeilo.

“The audience will feel the connections between them,” said de Leonne.

RainShadow Chorale singers are grateful to sing together after a long, forced absence, organizers said.

“We feel so fortunate to have Laurie in this role, and to know that our tradition of excellence will continue under her direction,” said Board President Pat Vaughan. “And she is a powerhouse of energy and efficiency. Rehearsals are exciting and fun, and we hope never to have to lose that privilege again.”

For more information, check the website at www.rainshadowchorale.org, or call 360-379-3458.

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