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ISing Choir readies for 10th anniversary concerts at Village Baptist Church

Village Baptist will host what may be the group's most wide-ranging performances


TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - World Classical Harmonic Champion Susan Sauter performs with her sister Madeleine at Scholls Heights Elementary School on Tuesday, April 28.It’s time to sing.

It’s time to sing praises.

It’s time again, for the 10th year in a row, to sing the praises of the ISing Choir, which will celebrate a decade of music making with a pair of concerts set for May 1 and May 3 at Village Baptist Church, 330 S.W. Murray Blvd. in Beaverton.

The two anniversary concerts, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 1, and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 3, will serve as a fundraiser for the Beaverton Police Activities League and also as a celebration of ISing’s 10 years of musical performances.

Due to the anniversary aspect of these performances, ISing is pulling out all the stops, breaking into its decade-long repertoire to present an incredibly wide array of music and performance.

“Our repertoire is vast and great,” said Conductor and Artistic Director Stephen Galván. “We took 10 years of repertoire, put it all in a bucket and boiled it all down (for these concerts). It was a big process — and painful.”

The coming anniversary concerts — set at Village Baptist’s 800-seat space — will

include many of the influences that have served as the basis for the group’s previous 26 concerts. Indeed, the two coming weekend performances will include (among many other things) aerialists, jugglers, twirlers, dancers and more.

“We’re bringing in everything so we’ll definitely have some staging issues,” Galván said.

Concertgoers will be greeted by the Cloud City Garrison (a chapter of The 501st Legion of Stormtroopers) as the concerts open with “Duel of the Fates” from the Star Wars movie “The Phantom Menace.”

In addition to music from movies, the choir will perform world music, new age, gospel, classical and brand-new choral compositions with artists Dan Miller on organ, Yvonne Yang on piano, Kevin Lefohn and Sara Watts on violin, Leslie Knight on viola, Jerry Bobbe on cello and Lisa Ochoco on flute. Gospel singer Sue Ellen Hodnot, the Jayanthi Raman Dance Company, Brass Unlimited, and Hispanic folk music group Grupo Condor will also share the stage, along with the Intel Singers.

Also featured will be World Classical Harmonica Champion Susan Sauter from Beaverton’s Sister City of Trossingen, Germany; she will premiere a new and challenging piece for the occasion

“She just brings her instrument to life,” Galván said of Sauter, who’s been affiliated with and performed with ISing since 2011. “We definitely wanted her to be a part of our 10th anniversary.”

A production of this breadth does create some monetary issues for the choir — “Financially, this is very challenging,” Galván said — but ISing will manage it thanks to its own fundraising efforts as well as financial support from both the Meyer Memorial Trust and the Cultural Coalition of Washington County.

In any case, the expense and logistical challenges associated with these kind of performances are well worth it, both for the chance to help Beaverton PAL and the opportunity to once again perform for local audiences.

“We prefer local charities. Sometimes it’s groups that perform services, sometimes it’s education or the arts,” Galván said of ISing’s beneficiaries, which apply for support on the choir’s website and are later selected by its board of directors. “We want it to be something that impacts the community. We really try to be careful about it.”

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