The Seattle Girls' Choir, Jerome Wright (Conductor), Jackson Berkey (Composer) | Jackson Berkey meets the Seattle Girls' Choir

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Jackson Berkey meets the Seattle Girls' Choir

by The Seattle Girls' Choir, Jerome Wright (Conductor), Jackson Berkey (Composer)

A sublime journey in beauty; unexpected beauty of choral sound from such young singers, beauty of instrumental gesture, beauty of impeccable performances.
Genre: Classical: Vocal Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Gloria in Excelsis Deo!
The Seattle Girls' Choir
2:46 $0.99
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2. God Be in My Head
The Seattle Girls' Choir
4:25 $0.99
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3. Indian Summer, From South Dakota Shadows Suite
The Seattle Girls' Choir
6:03 $0.99
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4. Evening Shadows, From South Dakota Shadows Suite
The Seattle Girls' Choir
4:52 $0.99
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5. Boxing With Snowflake, From South Dakota Shadows Suite
The Seattle Girls' Choir
5:36 $0.99
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6. Requiem For a Pioneer Woman, From South Dakota Shadows Suite
The Seattle Girls' Choir
5:12 $0.99
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7. Sacramento Sis~joe
The Seattle Girls' Choir
3:13 $0.99
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8. Little Fire
The Seattle Girls' Choir
4:37 $0.99
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9. Song of Solomon
The Seattle Girls' Choir
4:37 $0.99
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10. Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus
The Seattle Girls' Choir
5:10 $0.99
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11. Still, Still Night
The Seattle Girls' Choir
5:32 $0.99
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12. Isaiah 44:3, From Thoughts & Remembrances
The Seattle Girls' Choir
3:59 $0.99
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13. View Me, Lord, a Work of Thine, From Thoughts & Remembrances
The Seattle Girls' Choir
4:23 $0.99
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14. 6pence, From Thoughts & Remembrances
The Seattle Girls' Choir
2:11 $0.99
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15. Balm in Gilead, From Thoughts & Remembrances
The Seattle Girls' Choir
5:56 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Jerome Wright brilliantly conducts the Seattle Girls' Choir "Prime Voci" in this 70-minute CD from SDG Records®. Appearing with the choir is pianist/composer Jackson Berkey along with top instrumentalists from the Pacific Northwest. The exuberant downbeat of the "Gloria in excelsis Deo!" tells you instantly that you're in the midst of expert music making.

What follows is a sublime journey in beauty. Unexpected beauty of choral sound from such young singers. Beauty of instrumental gesture. Beauty of impeccable performances. Premiere recordings of "South Dakota Shadows Suite" and "The Song of Solomon". A "gangbusters" performance of "Sacramento Sis-Joe" (with mallet instruments and piano four-hands) segues to the gentle "Little Fire" with piano and harp. "Still, Still Night" and "Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus" receive especially beautiful readings featuring the harp playing of Juliet Stratton.

The Seattle Girls' Choir CD program closes with the premiere recording of Berkey's "Thoughts and Remembrances". This revealing work was written to celebrate the lives of Jackson's and his lady Almeda's mothers, both of whom died in 1994. Jerome and Jackson's collaboration here is soul-stirring. Included are the ethereal "Isaiah 44:3" and the setting of Thomas Campion's poem "View Me, Lord, A Work of Thine". The dramatic "6Pence" provides an unexpected release of laughter and joviality; "Balm in Gilead" soothes the mind and soul.

"Jackson Berkey meets the Seattle Girls' Choir". Much of the music was set specifically for this premiere American treble force. One spin of the CD immediately reveals why.

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QUOTES & REVIEWS

"Magical."

"The songs are extremely beautiful with incredible depth. I must say that I cannot get through the entire set without crying..."

"This album is incredible. If you are a fan of choral music, this album is not to be missed. The voices of the choristers blend together well. They sound almost like angels.... I would definitely like to see more from this choir."

"This is a beautiful contemplative recording. The 'South Dakota Suite' sends shivers up my spine,... It is rich in texture, and the sound is gorgeous."

"WOW! This is an extremely fine CD! Berkey's arrangements and originalcompositions are wonderful. Wright's interpretation and the ladies' execution of these excellent choral works are outstanding. I look forward to hearing more from these talented musicians. ... BRAVO!

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Jerome L. Wright, FOUNDER & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Dr. Jerome Wright celebrates forty-five years as a professional conductor this season. A native of the State of Washington, he received most of his musical education at the University of Washington, and majored at the graduate level in Symphonic Conducting under the late Stanley Chapple, while studying choral conducting with Rodney Eichenberger. He has five degrees, including two doctorates. He is a master artist-teacher who delights in seeing his students catch the spark of truly passionate, exciting, literate, creative music making. Jerry has earned the respect of his colleagues because of his enthusiasm, energy, professionalism and musical results. In addition to his full-time position with the Seattle Girls’ Choir, he serves as Artistic Director of "Ancora" – a women's choir many of whose singers are alumnae of the Seattle Girls' Choir. He also guest conducts festival choruses, and adjudicates and conducts master classes and workshops.

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JACKSON BERKEY • COMPOSER / PIANIST

Jackson Berkey’s artistry encompasses that of an acclaimed pianist, an inventive and highly creative composer, a meticulous producer and recording artist. His range of accomplishments in music combine with a depth of talent that is formidable indeed. His New York Town Hall Debut in 1969 launched a remarkable and highly varied career.

First known as touring pianist for the Norman Luboff Choir, Jackson has recorded and toured as “Featured Keyboard Artist” with Chip Davis and Mannheim Steamroller for the past 30 years. With his advanced degree in performance from New York’s Juilliard School, Berkey’s musical foundation lies in the classical, sacred, and chamber genre.

His earlier American Gramaphone releases “Sunken Cathedral”, “Ballade”, and 109 featured compelling performances of classical piano works by Scriabin, Beethoven, Debussy, Rachmaninoff and Persichetti. That pursuit now continues with performances of works by Scarlatti, Debussy, Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt. American Gramaphone’s “Holiday Musik” series offers Berkey’s performances of Harpsichord works by Domenico Scarlatti and J. S. Bach.

On SDG Records®, Jackson’s solo CD, “Facets”, includes stunning performances of many “signature” works throughout his career, including classical pieces by Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Sibelius, Beethoven, Chopin, and Fauré. On that label the artist has also released “The Mountains and The Sea”, “Berkey Meets Horowitz on the 503”, “Cape May Preludes”, “Harpsichord Carols”, and in 2004, “Atlantic Fantasy”. All CDs offer performances of original solo keyboard and instrumental works from his published catalog.

An accomplished composer, Jackson Berkey’s publications include music for solo voice, solo instruments, chamber ensemble, orchestra, symphonic band, and choir. His “Chamber Concerto for Organ, Winds, Percussion, and Strings” and his “Conversations for Harp and Chamber Orchestra” were both premièred in 2004. From solo musicians to full orchestra and multiple choirs, Berkey’s compositions create excitement through brilliant rhythmic patterns, metric modulations, and intense dance rhythms. His sensitivity to text and to both joyous and tender melodies give pleasure to every performer, including those oft-neglected players of the inner lines in ensemble music. Every musical force interacts with its musical partners, whether they be solo or duet melodies or a percussion ensemble with organ. His writing reveals careful attention to structure, form, and performance success; even with difficult-to-balance entities such as harp and orchestra. Highly evident in his intelligent and expressive solo piano works is Berkey’s unique ability to shape phrases and draw extraordinary color from the instrument.

Jackson and his wife Almeda - herself a distinguished conductor, singer, and librettist - have documented their work with SDG Records®, which also records the professional choir, Soli Deo Gloria Cantorum. Almeda conducts pristine performances of many of Jackson’s compositions, as well as beautiful music from all periods of classical music and folk music. A beautiful sampling of Luboff choral arrangements is showcased on their nostalgic “Norman Luboff Remembered”. Six other Cantorum CDs include Berkey compositions among other classical works. Also recording two CDs of Jackson’s treble choral music on SDG Records® is the internationally recognized Seattle Girls’ Choir conducted by Dr. Jerome Wright.

An ASCAP award-winning composer, Jackson’s catalog of over 300 works is enjoying hundreds of fine performances across the United States and abroad. Recent honors include First Prize in the New Music for Young Ensembles Composition Contest in New York City for his Piano “Trio Kassarjian”; the Alienor Harpsichord Festival at Hilton Head, S.C; and the Nebraska Individual Artist Fellowship for Performing Arts, Distinguished Achievement in Composition Award. Jackson Berkey appeared on the artist roster of Baldwin Piano and Organ Company for more than two decades. Performances of several of Jackson’s longer works have been conducted by Almeda in New York’s Carnegie Hall. She also conducted the world première of his “L’Ultima Amor” for triple women’s choirs, commissioned for the 400 voices of the AmericaFest 2001 International Women’s Choir Festival. Some works have been set to film and to dance, such as “ Arma Lucis”, performed at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

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Juliet Stratton • Harpist

Juliet Stratton holds degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Washington, and has also studied at the Salzedo School with Alice Chalifoux, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and Southern Methodist University. Ms. Stratton has been Acting and Guest Principal Harpist for the Seattle Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony and Pops orchestras. She has also performed with Chicago’s Lyric Opera and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago under many renowned conductors including Zubin Mehta, Sir George Solti and Pierre Boulez. She currently performs with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Auburn Symphony, and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Her numerous recording credits includes motion picture scores, video games, symphonic, choral, solo, and chamber recordings. Ms. Stratton has been a past winner of the Ladies Musical Club Debut Artist’s Award, the Northwest Young Artist’s Award and the Bushell Concerto Competition. She is a private harp instructor, coach for the Seattle Youth Symphony orchestras, and a faculty member of the Marrowstone Music Festival and Washington Academy of Performing Arts.

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About SDG Records® and SDG Press®

Soli Deo Gloria - "To God, alone, the glory."
J.S. Bach used this phrase as a signature at the end of many of his works. One sees it over doorways and music instruments in Europe. SDG Press® was founded in 1985 to publish the compositions and arrangements of Jackson Berkey.  

For many years, both Almeda and Jackson toured and performed with Norman Luboff, the extraordinary choral performer, composer, and publisher. It was at Norman's suggestion that the Berkeys formed "Soli Deo Gloria Cantorum" which Almeda conducts. SDG Records® was first established as the record label for the Cantorum. 

Jackson Berkey also has many works published by Walton Music Corporation, Norman Luboff's highly regarded publishing company. Berkey's entire published catalog may be viewed at www.berkey.com.  Click "Official Website" above.

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