Ryan Smit is in his fourth season as artistic director of Bellingham Chamber Chorale, which performs its first concert of the season, “Heading East: Ceremony of Carols,” at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at First Congregational Church, 2401 Cornwall Ave.
Smit was first a singer in the ensemble, then an assistant conductor, and in 2010-2011 served as guest artistic director.
He has taught choir, general music, and music theory at Lynden Christian School since 2005, and conducts the middle and high school choirs at Lynden Christian School, the Third Christian Reformed Church choir, and the Whatcom County Christian Reformed Church Christmas Choir Cantata (every December, this year on Dec. 14).
Under his direction, the concert choir at Lynden Christian High was invited to sing in Carnegie Hall in a massed choir performance of Beethoven’s Mass in C major with John Rutter.
Smit is a member of the Male Ensemble Northwest, a group comprised of choral teachers and professors who perform and host workshops for young male singers throughout the Northwest. He also has served as chorus master for the Skagit Opera’s production of “M. Butterfly.”
He teaches private voice during the summer, serves community choirs and student musicians as a vocal clinician, and performs occasionally as a tenor soloist with the Lynden Choral Society. Smit lives in Lynden with his wife, Amie, and their two children, Caleb and Emilyn.
“Striving” and “seeking” means that I don’t always hit the mark, but these are certainly spiritual and professional goals I have for myself.
They are a wonderful contrast to each other, and yet they share one key element, the use of harp as accompaniment. “Carols and Lullabies” also features classical guitar and marimba, making the entire work an absolute delight for the ears.
Joining us for these works will be local musicians Jill Whitman on harp, Squalicum High School band teacher Kay Reilly on marimba, and Western Washington University professor of guitar studies David Feingold on guitar.
All ages are welcome to this concert, though I imagine it would be most appreciated by those 10 and older. I also want to encourage those who speak or enjoy the Spanish language to attend; the carols and lullabies of the Southwest are nearly all in Spanish and Spanish dialects.