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SEATTLE'S PROFESSIONAL VOCAL CHAMBER ENSEMBLE

Hailed as “a superb choir” (Gramophone), as well as “a choir to watch” (Fanfare), the Tudor Choir and its director Doug Fullington have received national and international attention as interpreters of Renaissance polyphony and early American music. Founded by Fullington in 1993, the Tudor Choir is a Seattle-based professional vocal chamber ensemble of 12 core singers; the group can expand to up to 40 members for works such as Thomas Tallis’s monumental Spem in alium. The Tudor Choir is a resident ensemble at historic Blessed Sacrament Church in Seattle's University District.

Doug Fullington and the Tudor Choir have established themselves as leading interpreters of early American music. Their Shapenote Album (Loft) is widely regarded as the definitive professional recording of the shapenote genre and has been regularly broadcast on National Public Radio. Other recordings—Gentle Words: Shaker Songs arranged by Kevin Siegfried and An American Christmas, shapenote carols from New England and Appalachia (both Loft)—have reinforced this reputation. In 2006, the choir recorded another CD of Americana, Simple Gifts (Gothic).

The Tudor Choir has also received international recognition for its performances of Renaissance polyphony. Reviewing the choir’s disc of Flemish polyphony, Jacob Clemens non Papa: Requiem and Motets (Loft), Gramophone magazine stated, “Let us hope this is the first of many recordings of this repertoire by this superb group.” The choir's newest release is O splendor gloriae: Sacred Music of Tudor England (Scribe Records), featuring works by Taverner, Tallis, Byrd, and Sheppard.

The Tudor Choir has performed extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest, including concert appearances in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. The choir has been a Resident Ensemble at St. James Cathedral, Seattle; Artists-in-Residence at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle; and a Resident Ensemble at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Medina. The Tudor Choir presented an annual concert series from 1993 through 2007, and has performed under guest conductors, includingPeter Phillips, Paul Hillier, Andrew Parrott, Stephen Cleobury and Martin Haselböck.The choir has made guest appearances with Mark Morris Dance Group, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Early Music Guild of Seattle.

The Tudor Choir has cultivated relationships with a number of world-renowned conductors and especially with Peter Phillips, director of the Tallis Scholars. Mr. Phillips has conducted the choir in a number of performances, including joint performances with members of the Tallis Scholars for the opening of the Tallis Scholars Summer School USA in Seattle, co-hosted by the Tudor Choir, since 2005. The choir has also sung under the direction of Stephen Cleobury (King's College, Cambridge), Martin Haselböck (Vienna), Paul Hillier (Hilliard Ensemble, Theatre of Voices) and Andrew Parrott (Taverner Choir).

Photo by Jesson Mata.

   
DOUG FULLINGTON, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Doug Fullington is the founder and artistic director of the Tudor Choir. He is a specialist in the music of Tudor England and early American music. As a countertenor, he performs with the Tudor Choir under guest conductors and has sung with the London-based Tallis Scholars in England, France, and the United States.

Mr. Fullington has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Washington's School of Music as an auxiliary member of the faculty. He also coaches ensembles preparing for performances of early music and prepares editions of Tudor and other Renaissance vocal music for the Tudor Choir and other groups, such as the Tallis Scholars and the New York-based ensemble Vox.

As a dance historian, Mr. Fullington is a fluent reader of Stepanov notation, a classical ballet notation system developed in Russia and used in the Imperial Theater, St. Petersburg, between about 1894 and 1915. His articles on ballet and the Stepanov notations have been published in Ballet Review (New York), Dancing Times (London), Ballet Alert! and Dance View (both Washington, DC). He has reconstructed dances from Stepanov notations for Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Seattle; the Bolshoi Ballet, Moscow; and the Bavarian State Ballet, Munich. He is currently Assistant to the Artistic Director and Education Programs Manager at Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Dance Historian on the consulting staff of Pacific Northwest Ballet School, both in Seattle.

Photo by Marc von Borstel.