Formed in 1851 and celebrated as “The First Organized Choir in the Oregon Territory,” the Chancel Choir leads our Sunday morning worship throughout the entire year. From September through the second week of June, rehearsals are Thursday evenings from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm. During the summer months rehearsals are on Sunday mornings at 9:30, making it convenient for newcomers to give the choir a try. As a part of our community outreach, the Chancel Choir performs with the Columbia Symphony and other organizations. Directed by Erick Lichte, this choir offers great musical experiences and fellowship.
Holy! Holy! Holy!
The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy!
Holy time in eternity! Holy eternity in time! Holy the
hands that drop a question on your plate!
Holy the sea holy the desert holy the shawl holy the
plate holy the visions—and revisions—holy the
eye holy the abyss!
Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours!
bodies! suffering! magnanimity!
Holy the kindness of the soul!
In the last ten years, Erick Lichte has carved out a distinct niche in the vocal music world and concert life in North America. The Washington Post has hailed the “audacity” of his programming, the Chicago Tribune has noted the “meticulous preparation” of his choirs and Fanfare Magazine declared that he created and helmed “the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States.”
As a founding member, singer and Artistic Director of the male vocal ensemble Cantus, Lichte created and sustained one of only two full-time vocal ensembles in the United States. From 2000-2009, Lichte’s programming and artistic direction were heard in over 60 concerts a year in such venues as Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Merkin Hall, San Francisco Performances, Oregon Bach Festival, UCLA and Elora Festival. He has collaborated with artists such as Bobby McFerrin, the Boston Pops, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Doc Severinsen, Minnesota Orchestra, James Sewell Ballet and poet Robert Bly.
His work with Cantus garnered the 2009 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, the highest honor for the professional choral organization Chorus America. He has also been awarded major grants from Chamber Music America and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Lichte is also a champion of new music and has been a part of the creation of over 50 new works. Composers Lichte has worked with include Lee Hoiby, Gavin Bryars, Steven Sametz, Edie Hill, Mary Ellen Childs and Peteris Vasks. Lichte himself is an active arranger and composer whose music has been heard across the United States. He is especially known as a co-creator and musical arranger of the theatrical work All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, which has been broadcast nationally and has been presented in three national tours.
As a choral conductor, Lichte has served as guest chorus master for the professional chorus of Chicago’s Music of the Baroque as well as the Great River Chorale, and One Voice Mixed Chorus. Lichte has also served on the faculty of Augsburg College and the University of Saint Catherine. He currently conducts the Portland State University Man Choir and University Choir, the Chancel Choir at Portland’s First United Methodist Church and is Associate Conductor of the Oregon Repertory Singers.
Lichte is a graduate of St. Olaf College where he studied with the renowned choral conductor Dr. Anton Armstrong and is currently studying with Dr. Ethan Sperry at Portland State University.
Lichte is an ardent audiophile and is a Contributing Editor for Stereophile Magazine where he writes equipment reviews of high performance audio equipment.
We want to give a warm welcome to the combined Chamber and E! Choirs from
South Medford High School to our worship service on April 22. They will be
singing Baba Yetu — a Swahilli version of The Lord’s Prayer.
SMHS Chamber Choir — directed by Andrea Brock
A 30 –voice auditioned advanced choral ensemble. This group has acquired a reputation for quality singing, and has appeared on the OSAA State Choir Championships for seven years.
SMHS E! Choir – directed by Pam Nordquist
A 30-voice auditioned advanced choral ensemble known for its’ eclectic repertoire — jazz, a cappella, novelty, choreographed, classical, and show tunes.
This group performs a lot in the community and has placed in the Pleasant Hill Jazz Festival in consecutive years.
Throughout the Sundays of Lent, the Chancel Choir has sung movements of Requiem by Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986).
Though his meticulous perfectionism limited his published output to a mere handful of works, Duruflé has demonstrated an ability to borrow from those things good and beautiful composed for us by masters throughout the centuries and bind them all amidst the constant underpinning of Gregorian chant. This has resultied in some of the most sublime and resplendent music of our time. His work has contributed immeasurably to the art of liturgical music and has opened for us a better understanding of the applications of chant in the modern church.
The Requiem, Duruflé’s longest and most substantial work, was composed in 1947 and follows the form and character of the setting by Gabriel Fauré. Like Fauré, Duruflé chose to break away from the operatic and highly dramatic Requiem settings of Berlioz and Verdi. He sought to focus his setting not on visions of hell and damnation but on images of rest and peace.
Our presentation of Requiem will culminate on Palm Sunday as we sing the Sanctus. Translated from the Latin: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts. Heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Hosanna in the highest! (Translation by Ron Jeffers.)
Wow! Here we are! Christmas is coming, ready or not. I am still in the “not ready” group, but making head-way. I hope you are as well.
We will help our congregation in their journey to the manger this Sunday as we sing “Gloria” and “Fantasia on Christmas Carols”.
This Thursday the choir will meet IN THE CHAPEL AT 7:00 and work on spots that need it with Carol Young. Erick and Jonas will be working with the brass and timpani from 6:30 – 7:30. At 7:25 we will quietly go into the chancel and be seated ready to do the “Gloria” with the brass and timp. We have until 8:00 to do that, then the players leave. Then we will work on the Vaughan Williams piece.
Be prepared: I heard that Erick might ask us to come early on Sunday morning!
Christmas Eve we sing at 7:00 and 9:00 services. We are singing Vaughan Williams again and also “O Holy Night”. So, please turn in “There Is No Rose” (in the wire basket please).
REMEMBER THAT WE EACH BRING SOME SORT OF YUMMY FOOD THING TO SHARE BETWEEN THE SERVICES ON CHRISTMAS EVE.
- We take it to room 202 ahead of our 6:30 call time so that the music committee members can set it up.
- Then please remember to take your dish back to your car before the 9:00 service so that the room is cleaned up.
After this Sunday, you can turn in the “Gloria”, but keep the “Fantasia on Christmas Carols” for Christmas Eve.
See you all on Thursday a little before 7:00 in the Chapel.
Thanks!! It is all going to be wonderful!
The Chancel Choir Party has been scheduled for December 4th at 4:00 at the home of Jonas and Nancy Nordwall. More info to follow!
This Sunday the Portland State University Man Choir will join our Chancel Choir Men to sing both the anthem and offertory. We welcome them to our choir. Wouldn’t it be nice if some of them loved us so much that they came on Thursday to a rehearsal!! Erick directs this group of 40 men at PSU. Ladies, you have the day off and can listen to the music from the congregation!