The Marian Singers are an auditioned choir for select 10th through 12th grade students. Auditions are held during the last week of school each spring. The Marians rehearse after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and perform at numerous events throughout the school year both within the St. Mary's community and the Portland metro area.
The Marians are the first women's choir in state history to win a league choir championship title (2013 Mt. Hood Conference Choir Contest Champions) and the first women's choir to compete at the Oregon State Choir Championships at the 6A level, performing in 2008, 2012, and 2013. The Marian placed 5th at the OSAA State Choir Championships in 2013, the first treble choir to take home a trophy at the 6A level in state history. In December, 2012 the Marians were invited to perform at The White House for holiday guests of President and Mrs. Obama. The Marians won first place at the 2011 A Cappella in Albany Vocal Jazz Festival and During the 2012-2013 school year the Marians had six individual singers selected to be members of the elite All-Northwest Honor Choir and two singers selected to perform with highly-esteemed Oregon All-State choir. The Marians received the prestigious honor of performing at the 2013 Northwest Region National Association for Music Education conference, where they received rave reviews and were recognized as being among the top performing ensembles in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The Marian Singers are four-time recipients of the Gold Award from the Oregon American Choral Directors' Association in recognition of their excellence in choral music.
The Marians Singers
The Marians study and perform a diverse repertoire of choral music. Genres ranging from classical to contemporary, sacred to jazz, and multi-cultural to Broadway are represented in their many performances. The young women in Marian Singers master the nuances of different vocal styles and performance practices and are able to tailor their performances for many different occasions and venues. The Marian Singers represent themselves and St. Mary's Academy with style and poise whether they are belting out jazzy pop a cappella harmonies or providing beautiful sacred music in the cathedral. Their annual Christmas and spring concerts are brilliant showcases of the varying music they have prepared during the school year.
The Marians are a versatile group, having performed on the largest stages in Portland as well as intimate venues such as living rooms for private dinner parties. Performance venues have included The White House (Washington, DC), Clark Family Auditorium, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, the Hilton Ballroom, the Benson Hotel, the Oregon Convention Center, St. Mary's Cathedral, Marylhurst University, Gerding Theatre Balcony, George Fox University, Holy Names Academy, Linn-Benton Community College (Albany), St. Paul's Chapel (Manhattan), The United Nations Building (New York City), and The Grotto.
The Marian Singers are under the direction of Kathryn E Briggs. Ms. Briggs has 16 years teaching experience and is in her 8th year as the music director at St. Mary's Academy. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education with an emphasis in Vocal Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her Masters of Music Education with an emphasis in Choral Conducting from the University of St. Thomas. Ms. Briggs was recognized for outstanding teaching as a finalist in the OnPoint Community Credit Union Excellence in Teaching Awards in 2011, and as the Mt. Hood Conference "Advisor of the Year" in 2009. Her research in music education has been nationally published in the American Choral Directors' Association's Choral Journal and she was a clinician at the 2013 Northwest Region National Association for Music Education conference. Ms. Briggs has also authored secondary general music classroom lesson plans for The National Association for Music Education and VH1 Music Studios. Under her direction, the choral program at St. Mary's has grown from less than 25 students to over 150 singers. Under her direction, the Marians are the first women's choir in state history to win a league choir championship title (2013 Mt. Hood Conference Choir Contest Champions) and the first women's choir to compete at the Oregon State Choir Championships at the 6A level, performing in 2008, 2012, and 2013. The Marian placed 5th at the OSAA State Choir Championships in 2013, the first treble choir to take home a trophy at the 6A level in state history. In 2009, The Marians and Concert Choir were the leading forces at the 150th Anniversary Concert, bringing together musicians from around the country to celebrate the SNJM sisterhood and the St. Mary's community through music with a sold-out performance at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. In 2011, the Marians won first place for their performance at the A Cappella in Albany Vocal Jazz Festival. In December, 2012 the Marians were invited to Washington, DC to perform for guests of President and Mrs. Obama at The White House. Under Ms. Briggs' direction, the Marians received the prestigious honor of being invited to perform at the 2013 Northwest Region National Association for Music Education conference where they received rave reviews, recognizing them as being among the top performing ensembles in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. In April 2012 Ms. Briggs lead a group of St. Mary's students from both the choir and orchestra programs to Europe for a music history tour through Vienna and Salzburg. During her years of teaching, Ms. Briggs' choirs have performed in New York City, Disney World (Orlando, Florida), Seattle, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, and at the White House.
Hear the Marians sing:
Grace Before Sleep -- by Susan LaBarr
Commissioned by The Marian Singers
World Premiere, May 2014
Flos Regalis - Anonymous
Ave Maria - by David MacIntyre
Songs of Survival, Vol 1: Largo - by Antonin Dvorak, Arr. Dryburgh & Chambers
Hotaru Koi - by Ro Ogura
How Do I Love Thee? - by Nathan Christensen
Ride On, King Jesus - by Moses Hogan
O Come, O Come Emmanuel - arranged by Neil Johnson
My Soul's Been Anchored in the Lord - arranged by Moses Hogan
Sing Me to Heaven -- by Daniel Gawthrop
Voice Dance - by Greg Jasperse
Music Down In My Soul -- arranged by Moses Hogan
Fa Una Canzone - by Orazio Vecchi
'Tis a Gift - by Nancy Grundahl
Ave Maria - by Eleanor Daley
Mata del Anima Sola - by Antonio Estevez
Mon Coeur Se Recommande a Vous -- by Orlando di Lasso
Wie Melodien Zieht es - by Johannes Brahms
2014-2015 Audition Information