Sonoro Choral Society is an independent, not-for-profit choral organization based in the south Puget Sound area. It is our mission to inspire passion for choral music through accessibility and education.
In 2007, Director Jeremy Shilley noticed a lack of accessibility in the choral music community. There were few high quality performance opportunities for amateur singers and few opportunities for amateur singers to grow in their art. At the same time, choral music was opaque to the average listener. So Director Shilley founded the Sonoro Choral Society to make choral music even more egalitarian. Through his vision, our organization works to celebrate the arts through education among both our members and fans as well as deliver high quality, community-focused art.
We are currently comprised of two performing ensembles, the Sonoro Women’s Choir (2011) and Elysium (2018).
1. To provide performance opportunities for amateur musicians and to establish a supportive community dedicated to helping its members grow in confidence and vocal technique.
2. To provide excellent choral art to the public made accessible and enjoyable through education, contextualization, and translation.
- Excellence: fostering growth, innovation, professionalism, and quality music.
- Community: A spirit of inclusiveness between members with enthusiastic participation in the broader civic and artistic communities.
- Empowerment: encouraging self-actualization through education, performance, teamwork, and support.
- Stewardship: using our funds and time to support our mission with gratitude, wisdom, and integrity.
Our principal chorus, the Sonoro Women’s Choir (SWC), was originally founded in 2007 as a mixed choir but reorganized as a women’s choir in 2011. Since then the women’s choir has blossomed from a small group of non-auditioned singers to a vetted chorus of approximately 30 high caliber vocalists. The SWC performs a wide range of choral literature from large works such as Gustav Holst’s “Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda” to cutting edge contemporary pieces by Ola Gjeilo to popular show tunes. We strive to celebrate all kinds of music and art and hope to introduce the public to new forms of musical appreciation.
Elysium was founded in 2018 as a first-class women’s ensemble designed for more modern ensemble music. The members were auditioned out of the Sonoro Women’s Choir and are available for hire. See them in action here.
An older ensemble, the Sonoro Scandinavian Children’s Choir (SSCC), was formed in partnership with the Scandinavian Cultural Center at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in the spring of 2015 and was disbanded in 2017. The children’s choir had its inaugural performance at PLU for the arrival of King Harald V of Norway. The SSCC was comprised of girls and boys between the ages of 5-12 that were taught music in the five Nordic languages: Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finish, and Icelandic. The children’s choir participated in the women’s choir concerts and in various Nordic events throughout the Puget Sound. We are currently re-imagining the children’s chorus and looking for a director to lead the relaunching.
Both ensembles are conducted by artistic director and founder, Jeremy Shilley. Director Shilley emphasizes education in all of his work with the choirs of the Sonoro Choral Society. Through his vision, our organization is able to fulfill our core belief in the value of being equal parts artists and educators as we work to develop the knowledge and appreciation for great music, poetry, and composers within our organization and the general public.
Jeremy Shilley has been an active musician in the Northwest since his youth and brings with him a diverse background as a conductor, director, professional baritone, studio voice coach, and bagpiper.
An alumnus of Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Jeremy’s own performance career is active and diverse. He has sung with Tacoma Opera and Bellevue Opera, and was the featured baritone in Tacoma Opera’s 2009 Young Artist Showcase. He has also performed as a supplemental chorister for Seattle Opera.
As an ensemble director, Jeremy has conducted and directed for a variety of groups such as the Tacoma Norwegian Children’s Choir, the Northwest McGregor Pipe Band, the Peninsula Pipes & Drums, the Tahoma Voices Chorale, and Sonoro Choral Society.
The Sonoro Choral Society’s logo is a swirl of ripples symbolizing our music resonating through the community. Similarly, we chose the name “Sonoro” which means “sonorous” or “resounding” because we wanted our music to resound through the community. Fun fact: The ripples were made by distorting the word “Sonoro”.