The Federal Way Chorale


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Press Releases and Announcements

Saturday September 2, 2017 Federal Way Mirror

Local music takes stage in Federal Way arts center’s inaugural season!

  The Performing Arts and Event Center has partnered with several Federal Way music makers for multiple shows in the 2017-2018 season.

– Leading the pack is the Federal Way Symphony, which had long performed at St. Luke’s Church. Led by Maestro A. Brian Davenport and established in 1983, the symphony shows the love for great music ranging from pure classical to New Orleans jazz. The PAEC Premier Debut is Oct. 7-8 and includes Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist Anastasia Dedik, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 featuring the Federal Way Chorale, Symphony Singers and the Boeing Employees Choir. Other symphony shows this season include Handel’s Messiah on Nov. 19; Holiday Pops on Dec. 2 and 3; Flavor of New Orleans on March 3; Season Finale with violinist Marjorie Kransberg-Talvi on April 7 and 8.

– The Jet Cities Chorus has been singing sweet songs in Federal Way for more than 30 years. The chorus sings four-part, A cappella harmony in a barbershop style. Their Oct. 28 fall show will feature the GQ Quartet, a Baltimore-based female barbershop-style group that has appeared on “A Prairie Home Companion.”

– The Federal Way Chorale will warm the coldest ears at its winter performance with a number of Christmas pieces – some lesser known, like Nelhybel’s “Estampie Natalis.” The Dec. 9 show includes an orchestra to accompany the emotionally moving songs of the winter season. In the May 18 spring concert, the Chorale will deliver American classics from black composers including selections from “Porgy and Bess.”

– The Federal Way Harmony Kings stand among music royalty in the South Sound. The men’s barbershop chorus has been performing for more than 56 years at local events and are well-known for their four-part harmonies and Singing Valentines. The group will present its 57th Annual Show on May 19 and will pay homage to the Pacific Northwest.                


Tue Sep 20th, 2016 Federal Way Mirror

Federal Way Chorale raising funds to aid Christmas show

The Federal Way Chorale, a group of local singers that puts on high-quality vocal performances in Federal Way and in the greater Puget Sound region, is seeking donations to help with their annual Christmas performance.

The group is looking to add a second dress rehearsal of their holiday show and said dress rehearsals, with musicians’ fees, rehearsal space fees and labor costs, come in at more than $1,600.

The nonprofit choir is running its donation drive Sept. 4-30, setting a goal of $1,775, under the name “Federal Way Chorale Power2Give” fundraising campaign. It also has sponsors matching some of the funds received.

“The Power2Give campaign is a wonderful way to make your tax-deductible donations go even further!” the group said in a release. “For every dollar donated through Power2Give, an additional $0.50 will be donated to the Chorale thanks to their generous sponsors such as Boeing and the Raynier Institute and Foundation.”


May, 2016 Federal Way Mirror

The Federal Way Chorale is pleased to announce Mr. Joshua Carlisle as the recipient of the 2016 Federal Way Chorale “Don Barrows Memorial” Scholarship. Mr. Carlisle will receive $2,000 toward his college tuition.

Mr. Carlisle is a graduating senior at Puyallup High School with 12 years of piano and vocal instruction culminating in performing with the Norselander Ensemble. His choir teacher, Mr. George Gunther, is his musical inspiration. Mr. Carlisle has devoted over 500 hours in community service in the youth program through the YMCA and has been on the Dean's List for Running Start program over the last four quarters. Although first accepted into Berklee College, Boston for Piano Performance, Mr. Carlisle will be attending, in the fall, Pacific Lutheran College majoring in Vocal Performance. His goal is to obtain his Master's degree and become a professor of music.
Please join the Federal Way Chorale in congratulating Mr. Carlisle for this scholarship award at the Federal Way Chorale’s spring concert. “An Evening of American Folk Music” featuring Ron Kean's "American Mass" will be May 13th at 7:30 pm and May 15th at 2:00 pm. The location is St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 515 South 312th, Federal Way, Washington.


May 11,2015 Federal Way Mirror

The Federal Way Chorale announced Marissa Moultrie and Joy Ellis as the recipients of the 2015 Federal Way Chorale Don Barrows Memorial scholarships.

Moultrie will receive $2,000 toward her college tuition majoring in vocal performance/music education at Pacific Lutheran University. Ellis will receive $1,000 toward her college tuition majoring in vocal performance at a college of her choice.

Moultrie is a graduating senior at Stadium High School with years of performance as well as directing of choirs. She has volunteered over 700 hours in choral leadership and is an efficient organizer. Her choir teacher is her musical inspiration and has created a profound enthusiasm and dedication to music education. She has already been accepted at Pacific Lutheran College in the fall, receiving the Mary Baker Russell Music Scholarship, and enjoys listening to Shania Twain and Renee Fleming on the radio.

Ellis is a graduating senior at Federal Way High School, is a member of choir and performs in musical theater. Her mother was a former student of Don Barrows (the namesake of this scholarship) at Thomas Jefferson High School.

“Passion!” best describes her love of music and her vocal performance as she is driven toward her goal of becoming an opera diva, according to the Federal Way Chorale. She will begin her study towards her operatic career at her choice of Chapman University, University of Washington or Loyola University in the fall.

In April, both girls attended the Washington State Solo Ensemble contest at Central Washington University in where they received highest marks. The public is invited to join the chorale at their spring concert at 7:30 p.m. on May 15 and 4 p.m. on May 17 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 515 S. 312th St., Federal Way.


May 2,2014
Federal Way Mirror

The Federal Way Chorale announced that Elizabeth Chamberlain is the recipient of the 2014 Federal Way Chorale “Don Barrows Memorial” Scholarship. Chamberlain will receive $2,000 toward her college degree in music education at Western Washington University in Bellingham.

Chamberlain is a graduating senior at Thomas Jefferson High School with a 3.95 GPA. She also participated in Running Start full-time and achieved an Associates Degree with an emphasis in education.

She was a kindergarten volunteer through Sunnycrest Elementary and wants to inspire kids to love music. Her mother, a single parent and pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Federal Way, is her inspiration.

Not only did Chamberlain believe her mother appreciates the economic advantage of receiving a degree through the Running Start program prior to college admission, but also credits her mother as supporting her decision to pursue her dreams - music education. Chamberlain says that “you always learn from those you teach.” She wants to come back to the Seattle area to teach music at the elementary level.

Chamberlain has also been involved in musical theater at Thomas Jefferson, noting, “… It has brought out so much in me.”

Her favorite vocalist is Julie Andrews and shelves soundtracks from musicals, such as Les Miserables. When asked what song she would perform if she were on American Idol, her quick response was, “What I Did for Love” from A Chorus Line.

Join the Federal Way Chorale in awarding this honor to Chamberlain by attending the scholarship ceremony at the upcoming Federal Way Chorale concert – “Songs of Love – from Brahms to Billy Joel to The Beatles” May 17 (7:30 p.m.) and May 18 (4 p.m.) at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church (515 S. 312th, Federal Way).

May 31, 2013 Federal Way Mirror

The Federal Way Chorale announced this year's $2,000 scholarship award winner as Sarah Martin, a 2013 graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School.

Sarah has be singing since she was in the fourth grade. She has won many awards including the Adrian Senai Award. Her performance in Thomas Jefferson's musical "Urinetown" in 2012 earned a 5th Avenue Theater nomination. She will be attending Pacific Lutheran University in the fall majoring in music education.

Fall 2011 / Winter 2012 Federal Way Arts Commission

Arts Commission News Letter


2011 Arts in the Garden Federal Way Mirror

2011 Arts in the Garden


Mar 25 2011 Federal Way Mirror:

Beethoven's Ninth Symphony returns to Federal Way | Concert is April 3

The Federal Way Symphony will celebrate its 3rd millennium concert of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in a stellar and magical performance with the Federal Way Chorale on April 3.

Beethoven’s masterpiece — featuring “Ode to Joy” — was a musical tribute to world peace, the essential goodness of humanity, and the hope of worldwide brotherhood when performed by the Federal Way Philharmonic (now the Federal Way Symphony) at the 1990-1991 Goodwill Games in Seattle’s Opera House. It featured a 150-voice Interfaith Choir and the Seattle Chamber Singers all directed by A. Brian Davenport, conductor and music director of the Federal Way orchestra.

This was a sellout performance that helped make a regional impact on Federal Way with the Goodwill Games construction of the King County Aquatic Center.

Ten years later in 2000, the second millennium concert of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was performed as an entertainment piece of the highest caliber with musical sensitivity and immaculate technique by the Federal Way Symphony and the Federal Way Chorale.

This masterpiece could mean something different and personal to everyone who hears it. The Ninth Symphony emerges from a whispering mist to towering fateful proclamations. Beethoven, who remains one of the most influential composers of all time, greets us person to person as the theme of the chorale finale is a setting for the song “Ode to Joy.”

Joan Tabrum, a founding member of the Federal Way Chorale, said this was a special occasion “not only that we all performed together, but the last time the symphony performed Beethoven’s Ninth was at the Goodwill Games.

This (2000/2001) millennium concert was somewhat a logistical feat with the combination of both the symphony and chorale members of about 160 people at St. Theresa’s Church.”

The Federal Way Symphony and the Federal Way Chorale have become premier professional groups that have been inspirational to the Federal Way community.

“This is a fantastic and ambitious partnership with the symphony and the chorale again presenting Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony,” said Mary Gates, executive director of the symphony, regarding the April 3 concert. “It presents the members of the community with a memorable musical experience in their own backyard.”

Beethoven’s Ninth is known as the “choral” because of the four vocal soloists and the choir who join in the 4th movement, singing the words to Schiller’s poem “Ode to Joy.” This will be an intoxicating dialogue with a major composer using voices in a symphony punctuated by a delicious mix of the Federal Way Symphony and the Federal Way Chorale.

Like so much of Beethoven’s later music, his Ninth Symphony is demanding for all performers, including choir and soloists.

For concertgoers and Beethoven fans, the first half of the concert will include Beethoven’s “Hallelujah” and R. Vaughan Williams’ “Serenade to Music” sung by the chorale.

“The most important message of this particular concert is that the two long-standing arts organizations located in Federal Way are collaborating to solidify a strong presence in the community,” said Laird M. Thornton, artistic director of the Federal Way Chorale.

“Especially with plans for the building of a new performance facility, it is important to show that there are strong arts groups and get the community to rally around it,” he said. “There is no better way to do this than through an absolutely festive and celebratory spirit of Beethoven’s Ninth.”


May 18, 2010 Federal Way Mirror:


Federal Way Chorale teams with Washington Korean Chamber Ensemble


Federal Way Chorale will team up with the Washington Korean Chamber Ensemble at 8 p.m. May 22 and 2:30 p.m. May 23 at St. Luke's Church, 515 S. 312th St. They will do a selection of Western and Korean choral works, including Hall Johnson's "Ain't Got Time to Die," which will combine both choirs and features a solo by Laird Thornton, and is conducted by Bob Kim. Musical theater selections by Stephen Schwartz include "Pippen," "Godspell," "Children of Eden" and "Wicked." Tickets are $15-$18, children 12 and under are free.


March 30, 2010 Seattle Times:
The Federal Way Chorale will be performing with the Auburn Symphony on April 10-11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Auburn Performing Arts Center in Auburn. Under the direction of well-known conductor, Stewart Kershaw, the Symphony, along with Kyra Humphrey, Contralto, and the Federal Way Chorale bring this piece, also known as 'The Battle on Ice', reflecting 13th and 20th century history and basis of one of the most famous historical movies, to life. Click here to read a review. 2010 Review Auburn Symphony Alexander Nevski


September, 2009:

Director Laird Thornton was recently interviewed by KING FM [Read More] [Listen to the interview]

Director Laird Thornton at KING FM


June, 2009:

The Federal Way Chorale announced that Brian Fitzgerald, Katee Brown and Kelli Peterson are the winners of the 2009 scholarship competition.