About the Choir
The Portland State Chamber Choir is the top choral ensemble at Portland State. Since its founding in 1975, the Chamber Choir has performed and competed in venues across the country and around the world. In 2013, the Chamber Choir competed in the Seghizzi International Competition for Choral Singing in Gorizia, Italy where they earned 15 separate awards and became the first American Choir ever to win the Grand Prize in the competition’s 52-year history. In 1999 and 2005, the Chamber Choir won four medals at choral competitions in Martkoberdorf, Germany. The Chamber Choir appeared at national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association in 1985, 1997, and 2003. The choir has also appeared at conferences for the National Association for Music Education and the International Society for Music Education. This summer the Chamber Choir will compete at the International Choral Kathaumixw in Powell River, Canada and next Fall at the Tolosa Choral Contest in Tolosa, Spain. The group has collaborated with leading conductors such as Frieder Bernius, Andrew Parrot, Robert Shaw, James DePreist, Carlos Kalmar and Eric Ericson.
The Chamber Choir has recorded on the Albany Label. In November 2003, the choir recorded the choral music of Margaret Garwood on the Hildegard Label; and in 2006 the Chamber Choir released the first English language recordings of the choral music of Veljo Tormis, at the request of Tormis himself. In February, 2011 the Chamber Choir collaborated with Portland-born composer Morten Lauridsen, who described their singing as “an absolutely top-notch superb display of choral artistry.” The Chamber Choir’s 2012 album A Drop in the Ocean was favorably reviewed and featured in both Fanfare and Stereophile magazines, and was a finalist for the 2012 American Prize in Choral Music. The Chamber Choir's newest album, Into Unknown Worlds was released September 2014 and is on sale now. You can find their albums at iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby or at any of this season’s concerts.
Hailed by The Oregonian for providing “the finest choral concerts in Portland in recent memory,” Ethan Sperry is the Barre Stoll Professor of Choral Music and Director of Choral Activities at Portland State University, and Artistic Director and Conductor of Oregon Repertory Singers. Sperry began studying conducting at the age of eight, cello at the age of twelve, and singing at the age of eighteen. He earned a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Harvard College and Masters and Doctoral degrees in Choral Conducting from the University of Southern California. Ensembles under his direction have toured to Argentina, Bermuda, Canada, Chile, China, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Guadeloupe, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Puerto Rico, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, and Wales, and have performed at major venues in the United States including The Hollywood Bowl, The Kennedy Center, The Washington National Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, The Nassau Coliseum, Cincinnati’s Music Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and the United Nations.
A prolific arranger of world music for choirs, Dr. Sperry is the editor of the Global Rhythms series for Earthsongs Music, one of the best-selling choral series in the country. Sperry is also a frequent collaborator with film composer AR Rahman and has appeared as a guest conductor for him numerous times, including at Bollywood Night at the Hollywood Bowl and the 2008 Filmfare Awards, the Indian equivalent of the Oscars. He also serves as a consultant for the KM Music Conservatory in Chennai, the first classical music school in India, which opened in 2009. From 2000-2010, Dr. Sperry was on the faculty at Miami University in Ohio where he conducted the Men’s Glee Club, Collegiate Chorale, and Global Rhythms Ensembles. From 2000-2006 he was the artistic administrator of the Arad Philharmonic Chorus in Arad, Romania, and from 2001-2003 was the principal conductor of the Choeur Regional de Guadeloupe, the only symphonic choir in the French West Indies.
The 2018-2019 Portland State Chamber Choir