The Sisters got their start in
the spring of 1998, in a concert of music by women composers
in honor of International Womens Day. It seemed the
program would not be complete without something by 12th century
composer and mystic Hildegard von Bingen, so an ad hoc group
of singers was formed to perform a few of her songs. Another
song was added to the program, Ysayas cecinit, whose ink was
When the time came to make the
program, they didn't have a name. Realizing that nuns would
be the people singing the material, half in jest, they called
themselves The Sisters, not thinking it more than
a joke. After the concert, however, they were asked repeatedly
when The Sisters would be singing again. The answer
was whenever asked.
They started out with a core
of three: Kiki Hood, Kathy Sankey
and Rebekkah Graves. Kiki was music director at Pilgrim at
the time, though now she's the soloist and assistant conductor
at University Christian Church, and has a day job
at University Bookstore; she also plays recorder, sings in
the Seattle Chamber Singers, and does some arranging when
she gets the chance.
Kathy started the VoiceWorks
studio in 1998 to incorporate her wide expertise in occupational
therapy with teaching vocal technique. She sings in the Northwest
Chamber Chorus and is a gifted pianist and accompanist.
Rebekkah left for New York (with
her new husband) to pursue more operatic things and left a
gap that was going to be hard to fill.
Thankfully, along came Alison
Hopkins. She is working on her doctoral thesis in early
music at the University of Washington, sings and cantors at
Our Lady of Fatima, and has done several productions with
Seattle Experimental Opera. She the Director of Music at Bellevues
Forest School of the Sacred Heart, where she teaches and directs
around 375 students.
Espeseth is the latest addition. She sings in the Northwest
Chamber Chorus and works for the University of Washington,
where she designs web sites for the Genetic Counseling Office.
She is the groups linguistics expert, and has done extensive
performance of early music.
The Sisters have sung in several
concerts at Seattle's Pilgrim Congregational Church, most
of them to benefit the restoration of the fine but neglected
Hook & Hasting pipe organ.
They have also sung at the University of Washington's Faculty
Club, Orchestra Seattle & Seattle Chamber Singers' fundraising
marathon, and were featured in New Music Tacoma's inaugural
The Sisters can often be heard
around Christmas time at the University Bookstore and are
currently preparing to record a CD of Marian music to be released
after Christmas. It will include many medieval carols as well
as more modern lauds to the Virgin and songs of Advent. For
more information contact The Sisters via email.
samples are available at this site. Watch this space
for more details on upcoming events and recordings!