Artists in Residence

The Byrd Ensemble

The Byrd Ensemble, described as “Seattle’s own masters of ancient polyphony” (Seattle Times), is a vocal ensemble specializing in the performance of chamber vocal music, particularly Renaissance polyphony. The ensemble of eight to twelve singers have performed programs of medieval, renaissance, baroque and modern music in the greater Seattle area since 2003 (formerly under the name, “The Renaissance Singers”) and have appeared across the United States on a recent tour to New York, Boston and Maryland with guest conductor Peter Phillips (director of the Tallis Scholars). The Byrd Ensemble is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. The group’s creative efforts are led by Markdavin Obenza.


The Sound of the Northwest

The Sound of the Northwest is a group of singers from the Greater Seattle area who have come together to share with others the joy music brings to their lives. The Sound is directed by its founder, Juan Huey-Ray and made its debut in 1987 at the 4th Annual Convention of the Inter-national Association of Minister’s Wives and Widows, Incorporated.

Since then, The Sound has participated in several special events including the Friendship Concert with the Vladimir Chamber Chorus of Russia and the Seattle Peace Chorus; An African-American Song Celebration with the Concord Choir of Portland, Oregon conducted by Ysaye Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock, The Sound s Tenth Anniversary Concert also conducted by Ms. Barnwell, and A Concert of Sacred Music by Duke Ellington  with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. Christmas with The Sound is a collection of a cappella spirituals recorded in 1992.

A remarkable group of talented performers, they are dedicated to increasing the universal awareness and appreciation of the rich African American musical heritage. The Sound’s programs are inspirational, varied, entertaining and we promise to evoke an emotional experience.


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