Choral director makes music an experience
April 4, 2013
By Christina Corrales-Toy
Just a year ago, Newcastle resident Bob Ingalls was preparing his 12-member Musica Sacra Chamber Chorale for its first spring concert season.
Since then, the group has grown from 12 to 16, showing marked improvement along the way.
“The group has been getting better and better over that period of time,” Ingalls said. “We’ve had some new voices come in that are sensational, and our concert attendance has grown by leaps and bounds.”
Ingalls, a graduate of the Julliard School of Music, incorporated the select choir in January 2011 as an avenue to celebrate sacred music. The group performs in churches around Seattle, where the choir’s mission is to sing music from a variety of traditions in the space it was originally intended.
Ingalls spent more than 40 years conducting, playing and composing music, but he called his work as artistic director of the Musica Sacra Chamber Chorale the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.
“The ability to create music that’s truly beautiful and yet at the same time, have it be music that is extremely challenging, it’s like a wonderful dream,” he said.
Musica Sacra Chamber Chorale’s 2013 spring concert series has a decidedly British flavor, featuring music written by composers from the British Isles, headlined by Benjamin Britten. Considered among the best English composers of the 20th century, Britten would have celebrated his 100th birthday in 2013, had he not passed away in 1976.
The series, playfully entitled “A Taste of Britten,” is not only a celebration of Britten’s centennial, but a chance to explore the works of composers such as William Byrd, Samuel Sebastian Wesley and Henry Purcell.
A Musica Sacra Chamber Chorale performance is more than concert, Ingalls said. He works tirelessly to incorporate the intimate church setting of the shows to create both an auditory and visual experience for the audience.
“It’s beyond just watching a choral concert,” he said. “It’s the kind of concert that when you walk away, you feel like you’re sort of on a different planet.”
The concerts tend to attract people from all walks of life, but the intent is for audiences to leave with a sense of peace and fruition, Ingalls said.
“My hope is that these concerts will be an oasis in the desert for you,” he said.
The Musica Sacra Chamber Chorale will present “A Taste of Britten” on April 20 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Seattle, April 26 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in West Seattle and April 28 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Bellevue.
The performances in Seattle begin at 7:30 p.m., while the Bellevue performance begins at 3 p.m.
“A Taste of Britten” tickets purchased in advance are $18 to $20, while tickets purchased at the door range in price from $22 to $25.
Discounted group rates of 10 or more are available by calling 277-0809 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.