Fanfare: Fall 2017
Author: Stephanie Argy, Kathryn Kirkland
Posted: September 15, 2017

Big win in Bali

THE PORTLAND State Chamber Choir, the first American choir ever to compete in the Bali International Choral Festival, won the Grand Prix at the July 14-20 festival, which included more than 100 choirs. “This trip was a profound experience for our students,” says Ethan Sperry, the Barre Stoll Director of Choral Activities in the PSU School of Music. “Asian choirs have a distinctive approach to music, and our ears were opened to a new palette of sounds. I hope that we offered a similar experience for the people hearing an American choir for the first time.” As they enjoyed the island’s scenic attractions, choir members also sang at a charity concert to raise money for homeless youth. Sperry is pictured above holding the trophy.


Hear them for yourself

SOON AFTER returning from Bali, members of the Portland State Chamber Choir saw its new CD, The Doors of Heaven, the first American recording of works by Ēriks Ešenvalds, released by Naxos Records. The CD made it to #1 on Billboard’s Traditional Classical Albums chart—the first university ensemble to ever hit the charts. Conducted by PSU Choral Director Ethan Sperry, the recording originated with the choir’s performance at a national conference in 2015. Naxos Records took note and contacted Ešenvalds, a prize-winning Latvian composer, about creating an album with the PSU Chamber Choir. Ešenvalds will return to Portland for the choir’s upcoming performances November 10 and 12 at the First United Methodist Church, 1838 SW Jefferson. Visit for details. 


New Works

More Powerful
CD by George Colligan (jazz faculty), Whirlwind Recordings, 2017

Video game by Steve Gaynor ’05, The Fullbright Company, 2017

Amish Weddings
By Leslie Gould MA ’09, Bethany House Publishers, 2017

Love’s Last Number: Poems
Christopher Howell MA ’71, Milkweed Editions, 2017

Death Brew
By Bob Jonas MS ’92, Vagabond Librarian Publishing, 2017

Blockchain for Dummies
By Tiana Laurence ’14, For Dummies, 2017

Animated film by Bill Plympton ’69 and Jim Lujan, 2016

The Horse Latitudes
By Matthew Robinson MFA ’15 (English faculty), Propeller Books, 2016

Guerrillas of Desire: Notes on Everyday Resistance and Organizing to Make a Revolution Possible
By Kevin Van Meter (geography faculty), AK Press, 2017

Disinheritance: Poems
John Sibley Williams MS ’11, Apprentice House, 2016

Brave the Strange
CD by Robert Wynia ’01, Cavity Search Records, 2017