“Roomful of Teeth,” Grammy-winning and Nominated Vocal Ensemble Performs January 27, 2016 at WWU PAC

Photo by Bonica Ayala

Photo by Bonica Ayala

Presented by BFM, Whatcom Symphony, Whatcom Chorale, Bellingham Music Club, Western Washington University Department of Music

Eclectic Ensemble Explores Vocal Traditions from Around the World


For immediate release: December 15, 2015—Bellingham, WA. If you thought opera singers underwent rigorous training to develop their vocal technique, consider Roomful of Teeth, the Grammy-winning and 2016 Grammy-nominated vocal ensemble.

Dedicated to mining the expressive potential of the human voice in its myriad ethnic and cultural idioms, the nine-member group has studied everything from Tuvan throat singing, yodeling, belting, Inuit throat singing, Korean P’ansori to Georgian singing, Sardinian cantu a tenore, Hindustani music and Persian classical singing. They employ these techniques in traditional music and are forging a new “repertoire without borders” through works by commissioned composers such as Rinde Eckert, Judd Greenstein, Caleb Burhans, Merrill Garbus (of tUnE-yArDs), William Brittelle, Anna Clyne, Fred Hersh, Wally Gunn, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Missy Mazzoli, Michael Harrison, Sam Amidon and Ted Hearne.

Their performances exhibit such an extraordinary and irresistible color and vitality that the group’s recordings have been awarded a Grammy (2014 Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance) and–just this month, a Grammy nomination (for their second album, Render). In addition, ensemble member and composer Caroline Shaw, received the Pulitzer Prize for Music (the youngest composer, at age 30, ever to win) in April 2013 for Partita for 8 Voices, the four movements of which appeared on the group’s debut album.

Roomful of Teeth comes to Bellingham for a one-night only, incomparable performance, January 27 at 7:30 pm at the WWU Performing Arts Center. The concert is presented through an unusual partnership of Whatcom County arts groups including the Bellingham Festival of Music, Whatcom Symphony, Whatcom Chorale, Bellingham Music Club, and Western Washington University Department of Music.

Tickets to the concert are $13-28; free for students with I.D. and those under 18. For ticketing information, call (360) 650-6146. Or purchase online

For more information: click here.



Nestled between snow-capped mountains and island-studded bay, Bellingham, Washington’s spectacular natural beauty provides the ideal backdrop for the celebration of classical music. Since 1993, the Bellingham Festival of Music has enlivened the summer season with outstanding live orchestral performances and chamber music recitals for Northwest Washington audiences. Under the direction of co-founder and noted American conductor Michael Palmer, the festival orchestra is composed of some of the finest musicians in the United States and Canada, many of them principals in such illustrious orchestras as the New York Philharmonic and the Boston, Chicago, and Atlanta Symphonies. They are joined by eminent soloists who have included Garrick Ohlsson, Lynn Harrell, Arnaldo Cohen, Vadim Gluzman, Joshua Bell, Frederica von Stade, and Pepe Romero. In addition, the festival boasts a resident chamber ensemble, currently the Calidore String Quartet, which presents recitals as well as participating in community educational and engagement activities.

Of equal importance to its summer season are the Festival’s year-round outreach initiatives which extend the beauty of classical music to youngsters in the region. Among these programs are masterclasses, and both the Play it Forward Chamber Music Residency and Beethoven in the Schools project which bring music to K-12 classrooms. In 2014-15, BFM also helped kick start the return of the Fifth Grade Strings program in the public schools.

The Festival’s artistic excellence has been recognized widely throughout the country and its concerts and recordings have been broadcast nationally, first by NPR and most recently by American Public Media on its Performance Today show. Among these recordings are the three-CD set of the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos featuring Garrick Ohlsson with Michael Palmer conducting the Festival Orchestra. These performances were recorded live at the Festival on the Natural Soundfields label in 2000.

The recipient of grants from several entities, the Festival received National Endowment for the Arts grants in 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2015—a resounding endorsement of the quality of its performances and the contribution it makes to regional and national cultural life.