WHO WE ARE
The Northwest Firelight Chorale sings from the core, giving joyful, soul-stirring performances that create an exhilarating and memorable experience for all who hear us. We are a vibrant mixed-voice ensemble based in Seattle, Washington, now in our fifteenth season. The Northwest Firelight Chorale is celebrated not only for our musical excellence but our unique ability to connect with audiences. Our broad repertoire includes folk, gospel, Broadway, classical and world music. We’re a local choir with a global vision, reaching out to communities far afield through musical collaborations, and through fundraising for local and global causes.
We are a playful choir that is serious about good music! Deeji’s teaching philosophy focuses on developing all voices in the choir and giving everyone their opportunity to shine.
The Northwest Firelight Chorale loves to take its show on the road! Over our 15 years in existence we have performed for tens of thousands in a variety of venues, both locally and abroad. For our local performances, in addition to our regular concerts which are performed in churches throughout the region, we have enjoyed making frequent appearances at area retirement homes as well as being featured performers for the world famous Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival, the internationally acclaimed Northwest Folklife Festival, the Greater Seattle Choral Consortium’s ‘Seattle Sings’ Festival, the “Green” Festival, Sustainable Ballard, and many national conferences. We have also performed as the opening act for Celtic Thunder’s Emmet Cahill.
Internationally we have performed for audiences in France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, and Ireland helping raise money for local charities. On our international tours we have had the privilege of singing in some of Europe’s great churches, including the Maria Laach Benedictine Abbey Church, the Mont Sainte Odile Basilica, the Cologne Cathedral, and the Strasbourg Notre Dame Cathedral, where we had the honor of being invited to sing for a mass celebrating their 1000 year anniversary.
In addition to being a seasoned choral conductor, professional singer, and choreographer, our director Deeji has over 30 years of experience teaching private voice lessons. Rehearsals are fun and energizing, and begin with warm-up exercises designed to develop excellent vocal technique.
The Northwest Firelight Chorale aspires to build community within our membership, between ourselves and our audiences, and globally. Our annual retreats help us get to know one another outside of our rehearsals and performances, and we’ve been known to meet up at local restaurants after rehearsal ends! We extend our warm and loving energy to our audiences and seek ways to support our local community. Choir members come from all levels of musical experience, various professions, different neighborhoods of the city (and suburbs!), and diverse walks of life.
The Northwest Firelight Chorale is a popular participant in fundraisers for charities and causes. As part of our commitment to our community, we have helped to raise over $100,000 for the homeless, environmental causes, education, and victims of natural disasters. Some of our most cherished performances are at senior homes, bringing our music to those who can’t come to our regular concerts.
The Northwest Firelight Chorale was founded by a husband and wife team, Deeji Killian and Bob Tangney. Both are professional opera singers who met in 1994 while singing together as Musetta and Colline in Puccini’s La Bohème. They shared a vision of nurturing a joyous, non-competitive performing arts group that would gear its activities toward raising money for the needy.
Deeji Killian– Director
Soprano Deeji Killian has been singing for as long as she can remember and performing professionally for the last thirty years. Before graduating from college she began her professional career after being invited to audition for Seattle Opera, where she went on to perform roles in several mainstage productions with such notables as Renee Fleming, Ben Heppner, Susan Graham, Jane Eaglen, and Carol Vaness. Deeji is also a former Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Regional Finalist. She studied music at both Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she was awarded a full tuition scholarship, and Cornish College of the Arts, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Deeji has also appeared as a soloist with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Lieder Society, Kitsap Opera, Musical Experiences, 16 Visions, Tacoma Opera, The Esoterics, and On the Boards. She also performs frequently in concerts and recitals and has been a featured soloist on King FM, KUOW, and National Public Radio. Before beginning the Northwest Firelight Chorale, Deeji served as music director at a Seattle church for eight years and also ran a community children’s choir whose performances helped to raise thousands of dollars for the Ballard Food Bank, Tent City, and the Central Asia Institute, an organization that builds schools for girls in Afghanistan.
While maintaining a busy private voice studio in the Ballard district of Seattle, over the last 10 years she has also channeled her creative energies into founding and directing The Northwest Firelight Chorale. Contact Deeji if you are interested in more information about private voice lessons.
Bob Tangney– Assistant to the Director
Bob began studying the piano at age six and became a professional singer in 1988. He sang in his high school choir and has, in fact, been singing in choirs non-stop ever since, including 16 years with the Seattle Opera Chorus and 14 years (and counting) with the Northwest Firelight Chorale. He met his extraordinary wife, Deeji Killian, in 1994 while performing in La Boheme with Kitsap Opera, and has been the accompanist for her voice studio ever since. He has appeared as featured soloist with Fred Kronacher’s Musical Experiences, the Northwest Chamber Chorus, and 16 Visions, where he created the title role in Garrett Fisher’s opera “Agamemnon” as well as The King in Fisher’s “Dream of Zeus.” He has also performed in the premieres of works by local composers Randy Hathaway, Jay Hamilton, Elizabeth Hoffmann, and David Hunter. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Washington and followed that with a Master of Library Science degree, also from the UW. When he’s not making music, Bob works at his dream job as the music librarian at the Seattle Public Library.