Aaron Giles

Music

While I have always been a fan of music, it is only since around 2007 that I began to actually get involved in making music. Since then I have worked hard to grow musically in many different directions.

As a Singer. I started off as a choral singer in our church choir, then moved on to local community choirs, gradually getting more and more involved, until finally culminating in the creation of my own summer choir in 2016. Today I am active in 4 choral groups and take regular voice lessons. Here is a list of major repertoire I have had the chance to perform.

As an Administrator. I served for 5 years as the General Manager of the (now defunct) Sacred Music Chorale, am and currently serving my second term on the board of directors for the Greater Seattle Choral Consortium.

As a Composer. I have composed a couple of original works, created a few choral arrangements, and done a series of orchestrations for the Sacred Music Chorale. Find a complete list over at my Compositions & Arrangements page.

As an Engraver. I enjoy the art of music engraving, being familiar with using both Dorico (preferred) and Sibelius. I have so far worked on a mix of my own works, works by friends, and re-settings of existing difficult-to-read scores or scores that needed transposition. My engraving work is now (or soon will be) hosted at my new site asgengraving.com. You can also see some of my early engraving efforts.

As a Student. I studied and completed first-year Music Theory at Bellevue College, and also took a summer course on Gregorian Chant and Renaissance Polyphony from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.

As an Instrumentalist. I am currently active in the St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church handbell choir. Beyond that, I can some fairly basic piano playing and can strum some chords on a guitar.

As a Programmer. Since my instrumental skills are limited, I have developed some tools that allow me to produce and publish rehearsal tracks for learning choral music. These are currently hosted on my own rehearsaltracks.net site. Also, much of my web development work is related to music and singing.

All that being said, singing is by far my primary musical endeavor. Below I’ve listed out my choral singing experiences, split up into active projects and past projects. Unless otherwise specified, I’ve participated as a member of the choir in the tenor section.

 

Active Projects

Summer Fling Singers Logo
2016–present: Summer Fling Singers

Project choir that I founded in 2016. Each year, I gather a small ensemble of around 16 voices to learn a different genre and work with a different coach/conductor over a 3 week period in the summer. We hold a short, free concert the weekend before Labor Day weekend.

Christ Episcopal Church
2016–present: Vicars of Christ Church Compline Choir

Each Wednesday evening the Vicars get together for a shared meal, rehearsal, and singing of the Office of Compline. Music ranges from Gregorian chant to Renaissance to modern ATB harmony. Currently I am working with the director to produce a freshly-engraved Hymnal which codifies our service music.

Seattle Bach Choir Logo
2015–present: Seattle Bach Choir

Great choir with challenging repertoire mostly (but not exclusively!) focused on the Baroque period and J.S. Bach in particular. During the summer of 2017, I had the opportunity to tour through the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany with the group. In 2018, we got the chance to perform Bach’s masterpiece, the Mass in B minor, with a period orchestra.

St. Margaret’s Logo
2007–present: St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church Choir

My spiritual home, and the choir that sucked me in. I’ve had great experiences with three different directors over the years, and found that the week-in-week-out cycle of music has done wonders for my ability to sight read and learn quickly. Shortly after joining, I got the chance to perform Missa Gratulationis, a setting of the Latin mass by John David Gordon, and that experience is what kicked my choral love into overdrive.

 

Past Projects

Seattle Wind Symphony
2016: Seattle Wind Symphony’s Star Spangled Spectacular

Fun once-a-year project to offer choral support to the Seattle Wind Symphony for their big 4th of July concert. Thus far, I’ve only been able to participate once, but hope to try it again sometime.

Random Barbershop
2015: Unnamed barbershop quartet

This was a precursor to the Summer Fling Singers, and my attempt to try something a little different. I found a fellow singer who had some experience, helped pick out some pieces to sing, and found a bass and a tenor to round us out to 4. After doing it weekly for the whole summer, we actually had a couple of pieces sounding pretty good!

Midsummer Music Retreat
2014–2015: Midsummer Music Retreat

A fun week-long camp held on the Whitman College campus in Walla Walla, WA. A great chance to sing some different repertoire and participate in fun elective courses taught by the amazing staff. I got to do it two years in a row, but since the formation of the Summer Fling Singers, it has been hard to get away for a week.

Ballet Bellevue
2012: Ballet Bellevue Handel’s Messiah chorus

A funky attempt to choreograph a ballet set to a subset of the Messiah. As a member of the 20-voice chorus, I got to stand on stage with the dancers—my first experience with “blocking.” This was a great opportunity for me to really learn most of the Messiah choruses, and it has gone on to become easily one of my favorite works. Also, my first paying gig. Guess that makes me a pro!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
2011: Mozart’s Requiem for 9/11 10th Anniversary

A moving, one-off project to perform Mozart’s amazing Requiem. This was my first chance to tackle a large-scale work with orchestral backing, and only cemented my love of choral music that much more. I have fond memories listening to a recording in the car and belting it out during the preceding summer as I learned it.

Sacred Music Chorale
2009–2016: Sacred Music Chorale

My first community choir experience. I joined and got involved almost immediately, first as the Librarian, then as the Webmaster, and then finally as the General Manager for the last 5 years of my participation. As manager I took on a lot of tasks: I designed our logo, created programs, arranged ticket sales, did publicity, etc.

As the years went on, we did more work with small chamber orchestras and I had the opportunity to assist in creating arrangements for many of our works. In addition to singing tons of great music, we also got to participate in two huge, multi-choir performances in Benaroya Hall: once for Verdi’s Requiem, and once for Mozart’s Grand Mass in C Minor.

 

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