Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth to perform

Grammy- and Pulitzer Prize-winning group to appear at Marylhurst Jan. 29, 30


SUBMITTED PHOTO: NICHOLAS WHITMAN - Grammy- and Pulitzer Prize-winning Roomful of Teeth will perform at Marylhurst University Jan. 29 and 30.

The Grammy- and Pulitzer Prize-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth will be artists-in-residence at Marylhurst University, performing in two distinct events on Friday, Jan. 29 and Saturday, Jan. 30.

Roomful of Teeth is a vocal project dedicated to mining the expressive potential of the human voice. Through study with masters from singing traditions the world over, the eight-voice ensemble continually expands its vocabulary of singing techniques and, through an ongoing commissioning process, forges a new repertoire without borders.

Founded in 2009 by Brad Wells, the band gathers annually at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North Adams, Mass., where they’ve studied Tuvan throat singing, yodeling, belting, Inuit throat singing, Korean P’ansori, Georgian singing, Sardinian cantu a tenore, Hindustani music and Persian classical singing with some of the world’s top performers and teachers. Commissioned composers include Rinde Eckert, Judd Greenstein, Caleb Burhans, Merrill Garbus (of tUnE-yArDs), William Brittelle, Anna Clyne, Fred Hersch, Wally Gunn, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Missy Mazzoli, Michael Harrison, Sam Amidon and Ted Hearne.

The 2015-2016 projects include “The Colorado,” a music driven documentary film that explores water, land and survival in the Colorado River Basin (featuring former Kronos Quartet cellist Jeffrey Zeigler and Wilco’s Glenn Kotche); concerts with the Seattle Symphony performing Luciano Berio's “Sinfonia;” collaborations with NOW Ensemble and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME); appearances at new music festivals in the United States, Mexico and Vancouver, Canada; and partnerships with over a dozen higher education institutions across the country.

"This is truly on of the most astonishingly amazing vocal ensembles I've ever heard," said Justin Smith, director of Choral Activities at Marylhurst. "They take all different world music vocal traditions — Balkan singing, or Inuit singing or Mongolian throat singing — and fuse them all together with amazing musicianship. They are hard to explain, but truly world class — and being based in New York City, they don't make it out West much."

Smith said Roomful of Teeth would be performing the piece for which they won a Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013 — the first time it was awarded to a choral work.

A show and tell performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 29 in the Art Gym on campus, 17600 Pacific Highway. Tickets are $20 general admission, $10 for students and seniors.

Roomful of Teeth will perform with Marylhurst Chamber Choir and Lane Community College Chamber Choir at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 in St. Anne’s Chapel on campus. Tickets to this concert are $35 general admission and $15 for students and seniors. The program features Caroline Shaw’s “Partita for Eight Voices,” written for Roomful of Teeth and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013.

To purchase tickets, call the music department at 503-699-6263 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Roomful of Teeth will perform with the Marylhurst Chamber Choir, conducted by Dr. Justin Smith, director of Choral Activities at Marylhurst.

Subcategories