William White, music director George Shangrow, founder

OSSCS is now Harmonia!

It is with tremendous excitement that the organization formerly known as “Orchestra Seattle (and the) Seattle Chamber Singers” announces the adoption of its new name: Harmonia.

We love this name because it’s such an elegant way of suggesting who we are: a harmonious blend of voices and instruments. It’s musical, memorable and mellifluous. Our board voted unanimously to approve this name, and we hope that you, the valued members of our community, will find a place for it in your hearts as well.

To be clear: this is a change in name, not a change in purpose. The core mission, board, personnel, style and approach of Harmonia is the exact same as that of OSSCS. And that’s for one very good reason: the organization is fantastic!

Everything about it is great, from its devoted following to its talented musicians to its commitment to exploring the unexplored realms of musical endeavor. We know that you come to our concerts for our people and our music, and none of that is going to change.

What’s next?

Now it’s time to make sure people know about the name, and that’s where you can help. If you’ve been a part of our organization — as a musician, an audience member or a friend of a friend — we’d love you to help spread the word about our new name. It’s a fantastic excuse to tell someone about what we are and what we do, and maybe invite them to a concert!

Speaking of which, I’m happy to say that we have planned an optimistic 2021–2022 season with our normal six-concert mainstage series. We’re calling it “Renewal,” a theme that I’m sure will be meaningful to all of us.

So please, have a look at our concert programs for the season and help spread the word. A new dawn is upon us.

Carlos Garcia’s Islandia premieres

Over the past 16 months, we’ve used the opportunity afforded by our performing hiatus to commission several new works which we’ll be rolling out over the course of the coming seasons. One such piece, Sheila Bristow’s When Music Sounds recently debuted at our first post-hiatus concert on August 1. Another of these projects can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home — for free!

Carlos Garcia is a talented multi-instrumentalist and composer based in Everett. He has become one of our close collaborators over the past three years, even playing in our violin section on several occasions. In 2019, he composed Vast Array for our full choral-orchestral ensemble. This time around, he’s written a three-movement string quartet titled Islandia, a reflection on his 2019 trip to Iceland. The music is a fascinating combination of Carlos’ signature cinematic sound infused with Nordic folksiness, channeled through a chamber ensemble. It was brilliantly played by four members of our ensemble: Alexander Hawker, Azzurra Cox, Grant Hanner and Michelle Dodson.

The recording was made in Kenmore’s Bastyr Chapel, one of the finest acoustical venues in the Puget Sound region (where we will perform Handel’s Messiah in December). The video captures the space’s exquisite sonic properties as well as its architectural splendor.