The Marian Singers

The Marian Singers are an auditioned choir for select 10th through 12th grade students and perform at numerous events throughout the school year both within the St. Mary’s community and the Portland metro area. The Marians are the first women’s choir in state history to win a league choir championship title (2013, 2015), the first women’s choir to compete at the Oregon State Choir Championships at the 6A level, the first women’s choir to take home a state trophy (5th place 2013, 2014) and the first women’s choir to be crowned state champions in 2015. The Marians were invited to perform at The White House for holiday guests of President and Mrs. Obama two years in a row (December 2012 & 2013). The Marians repeatedly have numerous singers selected for the elite All-Northwest Honor Choir and highly-esteemed Oregon All-State choir. The choir received the prestigious honor of performing at the 2013 Northwest Region National Association for Music Education conference, where they received rave reviews and were recognized as being among the top performing ensembles in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. In 2009, the Marians were the leading forces at the 150th Anniversary Concert, bringing together musicians from around the country to celebrate the Sisters of the Holy Names sisterhood and the St. Mary’s community through music with a sold-out performance at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

Marian Singers

The Marians study and perform a diverse repertoire of high-quality choral music. Genres ranging from classical to contemporary, sacred to jazz, and multi-cultural to Broadway are represented in their many performances. The young women in Marian Singers master the nuances of different vocal styles and performance practices and are able to tailor their performances for many different occasions and venues. The Marian Singers represent themselves and St. Mary’s Academy with style and poise whether they are belting out jazzy pop a cappella harmonies or providing beautiful sacred music in the cathedral. Their annual Christmas and spring concerts are brilliant showcases of the varying music they have prepared during the school year.

The Marians are a versatile group, having performed on the largest stages in Portland as well as intimate venues for private dinner parties. Performance venues have included The White House (Washington, DC), St. Paul’s Chapel (Manhattan), The United Nations Building (New York City), Clark Family Auditorium, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, the Hilton Ballroom, the Benson Hotel, the Oregon Convention Center, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Marylhurst University, Gerding Theatre, The Town Club, Waverley Country Club, George Fox University, Holy Names Academy, Linn-Benton Community College (Albany), and The Grotto.

The Marian Singers are under the direction of Kathryn E Briggs. Ms. Briggs teaches music at St. Mary’s Academy and also conducts the Women’s Chorale at the University of Portland. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education with an emphasis in Vocal Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her Masters of Music Education with an emphasis in Choral Conducting from the University of St. Thomas. Her research in music education has been nationally published in the American Choral Directors’ Association’s Choral Journal and she was a clinician at the 2013 Northwest Region National Association for Music Education conference. Ms. Briggs has also authored secondary general music classroom lesson plans for The National Association for Music Education and VH1 Music Studios. Ms. Briggs was recognized for outstanding teaching as a finalist in the OnPoint Community Credit Union Excellence in Teaching Awards in 2011, and as the Mt. Hood Conference “Advisor of the Year” in 2009. Under her direction, the choral program at St. Mary’s has grown from less than 25 students to nearly 200 singers. Ms. Briggs’ choirs have performed in New York City, Orlando, Seattle, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, and at the White House. It is Ms. Briggs life-long dream to meet Julie Andrews.