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Photo by Carlin Ma
Photo by Carlin Ma

iSing Silicon Valley

Founded in 2013 by artistic directors Jennah Delp Somers and Shane Troll, award-winning girlchoir iSing Silicon Valley brings together more than 300 talented young singers in Silicon Valley. Celebrated for innovative choral education methods and for the gorgeous vocal blend and joyous singing of its choruses, iSing has achieved recognition on the national and global stages through award-winning new music commissions, international competition wins, and collaborations with world class artists including Joyce DiDonato, Angel Blue, Meredith Monk, and Voces8. A World Choir Championship winner at the World Choir Games in (Korea, 2023), iSing’s newest album release is love & light (Avie Records, 2023).

*Programming and artists subject to change, please refer to the participating organization’s calendar listing for the most up-to-date program.

Performance Times

Thursday November 9th, 7:30PM

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iSing Girlchoir peforms two new commissions by female composers, Santa Ratniece and Tracy Wong

iSing Silicon Valley presents two iSing-commissioned works, from a performance at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph (San Jose, CA) in May 2023: the world premiere of Lenggang Kangkung (2023), composer Tracy Wong’s setting of a traditional folk song from the Malay Archipelago, and Latvian composer Santa Ratniece’s work, Where the Insects Cry (2022), for treble voices and four cellos based on texts from Japanese writers.


Traditional folksong, Malay ARCHIPELAGO, Arr. Tracy Wong


Program Notes

iSing Silicon Valley presents two iSing-commissioned works recorded at a performance at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph (San Jose, CA) in May 2023, featuring a musical journey to Asia.

Lenggang Kangkung is Tracy Wong’s rhythmic setting of a well-known folk song from the Malay archipelago featuring simple, catchy, and repetitive melodies. Folksongs from this region are usually lively and festive; they introduce new melodies and encourage children to sing freely. The lyrics often tell a story or bear advice intended for young people, although some are humorously written and are meant to entertain. Featuring choreography by Mohd Fairus bin Mohd Tauhid, Lenggang Kangkung tells the story of a person moving along in a carefree manner (lenggang), like water spinach (kangkung) swaying or dancing in the paddy field. The text speaks to the carefree nature of folks who work in the fields: Even though they have a simple life, they are proud of their work and are content with what they have.

Latvian composer Santa Ratniece’s work Where the Insects Cry was inspired by two of Japan’s most famous writers. Although Japanese Buddhist monk Ryōkan spent the majority of his life living in simplicity and solitude at the base of Mount Kugami, he became well-known during his lifetime for his Zen poems and calligraphy. Murasaki Shikibu is the author of The Tales of Genji, said to be the world’s first novel. Both writers describe the subtleties of nature and the passing of time. Santa uses extended vocal and cello techniques to create a fascinating, immersive soundscape.