Select chamber chorale celebrates sacred music

April 5, 2012

By Christina Lords

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After graduating from the Juilliard School of Music and making a more than 40-year career out of conducting, playing and composing, music has given Bob Ingalls a way to live.

Now the longtime Newcastle resident says he’s at a stage in life where he’s compelled to give something back.

“The ability to help people is an important thing,” Ingalls said. “The ability to create concerts — not just good concerts, but fabulous concerts — is an important thing to me.”

Contributed Bob Ingalls (center), Newcastle resident and Musica Sacra Chamber Chorale Artistic Director, kneels before the chorale’s full ensemble in December.

Ingalls incorporated the Musica Sacra Chamber Chorale in January 2011. The select choir with 12 core members formed to celebrate sacred music as well as serve as an avenue to benefit the people and environment around us.

Through the performance of traditional music, Ingalls said he hopes the chorale will connect with people on a musical and spiritual level while its performances serve as benefit concerts for various volunteer or nonprofit groups.

“The goal was to put together a very small, very elite group and establish an audience,” Ingalls said, “and then use that audience as a source to be able to do benefits when the timing was right … It ended up far surpassing my own thoughts about what this was going to be. It’s sensational.”

Ingalls has spent his career performing as a clarinetist for the New York State Opera, the Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Opera, the San Francisco Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet, and conducting for the St. Madeleine Sophie Catholic Church Choir in Bellevue and the Holy Rosary Catholic Church Choir in West Seattle.

“Sacred Music: Different Views” — the theme of a concert series to be presented by the Musica Sacra Chamber Chorale on April 28 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Bellevue and May 4 at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in West Seattle — features three examples of four sacred texts, with each setting taken from a different historical period or viewpoint.

“The goal is to present sacred music in the sacred space which it was originally intended when the composer wrote it,” Ingalls said. “When you’re dealing with a chamber chorale, which is more of a select, intimate group, you want to be in an intimate space where you can establish a connection with the audience.”

The performance will include choral music from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern eras.

“The concept is, as a listener, you come to the concert and you can hear how different composers treated these texts based on the tradition of the period in which they were living,” Ingalls said.

Well-known composers, such as Mozart, Bruckner, DeLassus, Biebl and Morten Lauridsen, will be presented as well as lesser-known composers Michel-Richard DeLalande, Jacobus Gallus, Colin Mawby and Ralph Manuel.

Both performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and will benefit the Nature Consortium, a nonprofit organization that aims to connect people, arts and nature.

The group offers programming and volunteer opportunities in three areas: its West Duwamish Greenbelt forest restoration project, its Youth Art Program and its Arts in Nature Festival.

“This money will help us continue with our programming, such as art classes for kids or putting trees in the forest,” Nature Consortium Director Nancy Whitlock said. “We have 300-plus days a year where we have things going on. Sometimes we’re so busy doing our work that we often don’t have the time to tell the world about it. This gives us that chance.”

The Nature Consortium has programmed projects through Eastside Catholic High School and other areas on the Eastside.

Working synergistically with the choir will allow the organization to reach a new audience, Whitlock said.

“Our organization has one foot in the environmental world, and one foot in the art world at all times,” she said.

“Sacred Music: Different Views” tickets purchased in advance are $18 to $20, while tickets purchased at the door range in price from $22 to $25. The Nature Consortium will receive $5 of each ticket sold.

Discounted group rates of 10 or more are available by calling 277-0809 or emailing

Learn more about the choir by calling the Musica Sacra Chamber Chorale at 277-0809 or go to

On the Web

Learn more about Musica Sacra Chamber Chorale at, like the choir’s Musica Sacra Chamber Chorale Facebook page or follow the group on Twitter at @MSChamberChoral.

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