Reflecting on SGC’s 2023-2024 Season

A season of passion, dedication, and growth

Dear SGC community,

As our 2023-2024 choir season draws to a close, we’d like to share some reflections on the year with you and highlight some standout accomplishments!

We are so proud of the passion, dedication, and growth we’ve seen among our 220 choristers this year, made possible by the support of their families, all of our volunteers, SGC donors and supporters, and our talented faculty of conductors, accompanists, theory instructors, teaching assistants, and vocal coaches. Every member of our community helps us advance our mission to provide high-quality music education and a place for choristers to belong.

Season Highlights

There were so many bright spots in our season this year – here are a few standouts:

  • We served nearly 100 choristers in our two youngest choir levels this year! After opening a second section of Piccolini last season, we also opened a second section of Dolcine this fall. We are thrilled to have so many young singers finding their voices at SGC!
  • During the holiday season, SGC choirs performed fifteen times in the span of just one month:
    • Prime Voci put on two moving performances of Carmina Angelorum, sang at five performances of The Nutcracker at Pacific Northwest Ballet, and performed for residents of Horizon House.
    • Sorella performed on Argosy Cruises’ Christmas Ships and at the Ballard Farmers Market.
    • Cantamus premiered their own holiday concert, Tidings of Joy, at St. Dunstan’s.
    • Allegra performed a joint Lessons & Carols with Cantamus and the Byrd Ensemble.
    • Vivissimi performed at the Providence O’ Christmas Trees Gala
    • Entrata and Dolcine performed at Providence Mt. St. Vincent.
    • Piccolini put on two winter recitals – for many, this was their first choir performance ever!
    • Seven SGC choirs performed at Gift of Song.
  • From January through June, our choirs put on another seventeen performances, including several collaborative performances with outside groups, a full week of spring recitals, community performances at retirement homes and farmers markets, our annual Voices fundraiser at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, and our all-choir Spring Concert at Town Hall.
  • SGC strengthened and expanded our community connections through collaborations with Music of Remembrance and Northwest Boychoir, Seattle Pro Musica, the Byrd Ensemble, a workshop with Victoria Children’s Choir, new performance opportunities at Horizon House, and participation in the Pacific Northwest Harmony Sweepstakes Regional competition where Sorella took third place overall.
  • SGC’s middle school and high school level choirs are going on tour this summer! Cantamus will travel to Denver, CO to participate in the Sing A Mile High Festival, and Prime Voci will travel to the United Kingdom to perform in London with Aurora Nova, and compete in the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales.

Throughout a busy year of rehearsals, retreats, recitals, and concerts, we saw choristers make good progress in their vocal technique, ear training, theory, and overall musicianship, while also building strong bonds with their peers and trusted adults. These relationships not only foster a supportive learning environment for our choristers, they are also one of the strongest protective factors in reducing risk of mental health crisis among youth.

Our Resources

SGC is moving through a period of significant organizational transition – this was our second season with Artistic Director Sarra S. Doyle at the helm, during which we said goodbye to former Executive Director Meaghan Leferink and onboarded new Executive Director Lauren Kastanas, all while our long-time Office Manager Stacia Cammarano moved toward retirement. We have been restructuring Stacia’s responsibilities across the Operations team, which also includes our Program Coordinator extraordinaire Jamie, and the newest member of our team, Administrative and Accounting Coordinator Anne Sanders. We’re incredibly grateful for Stacia’s continued interim support through the transition, and excited to move forward with our new leadership team into next season. At the end of this season, we also said goodbye to our dear faculty member Cassi McDougall who has been building the Piccolini program for seven years, teaching assistant Joely Loucks, and accompanist Yu Dong. We are deeply grateful for their time and talents.

We are also grateful for the financial support of our community this year. Your generosity yielded over $87,000 in individual donations, $24,000 in grants, $11,000 in corporate matching gifts, and over $34,000 through other fundraising activities at our Voices event – thank you so much for investing in SGC’s mission and programs.

What’s On Next Year

Next year, we look forward to connecting even more with the rest of the PNW arts community, including bringing back performance opportunities at Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Christmas Ships, and Harmony Sweepstakes, further collaborations with other choral organizations, and new workshop opportunities with choral leaders and cultural practitioners in our region.

We’re also excited to announce that we are planning an Unsung Voices album recording project for Prime Voci in 2025! This recording project will feature choral music written exclusively by women dating as far back as the 12th century through the modern day, including a number of local PNW composers and – if we can raise sufficient funds – a newly commissioned piece. It’s been over a decade since SGC last released an album recording, and we’re especially excited to showcase the work of women composers throughout history with this project.

If you’re interested in making a contribution to support the recording project (named sponsor opportunities available), please reach out to Lauren at [email protected]. If you’d like to donate toward SGC’s mission and programs, please visit our website to make a gift. Your donation directly supports our music education programs, including our ability to provide tuition assistance to every family that needs it.

Thank you again for being an integral part of the SGC community! We look forward to another wonderful year of joyful singing, musical excellence, and meaningful connections with you come fall.

-Sarra, Lauren, and the whole SGC team