Nikki Blackmer is Seattle Choruses' newest staff member, chosen to lead The Supertonics, our just-announced mixed voice a cappella ensemble. We want you to get to know this wickedly talented director, so she answered some questions for us.
What's your music background? I have a Bachelor of Music degree from Wake Forest University in NC and a Master of Music from the University of Washington. I’ve been singing and performing classical music since 1995, and started my career in a cappella in 2003. In 2016, I won the illustrious International Quartet Championship of Sweet Adeline’s International, the largest women’s barbershop organization in the world, with my quartet Frenzy. We are now called Queens of Harmony... and if you ask you can try on my crown! We also won most entertaining quartet with our comedy sets three times in our contest career. Now, we travel around the world singing on shows and teaching workshops.
Why a cappella? It's special because it is just the power of the human voice to make music! When you strip away all of the other instruments, it leaves the singer quite vulnerable. But in that moment, those singers find their greatest talents, and rise to the biggest challenge of all: joining voices with other people to create harmonies that take the audience on an emotional journey! A cappella is probably the hardest type of harmony singing there is, and I love all of its challenges and all of its rewards.
Where have your music adventures taken you? I travel around the US and Canada quite a bit; performing, coaching a cappella ensembles and teaching workshops. I’ve traveled to Germany, England, and even New Zealand and Australia to coach and teach!
What's your favorite singing competition show? The Sing-Off, the a cappella competition show, was my favorite. (And I love every Pitch Perfect movie... even as they got cheesier!)
Can you let us in on what The Supertonics will sing at their holiday concert debut? We will be singing a condensed arrangement of Hamilton but with holiday lyrics! It’s hysterical, and definitely something you don’t want to miss, especially if you’re a Hamilton fan. We are also getting another Christmas song specially arranged for us...you'll have to wait and see.
What else? I live in Kirkland with my partner, Travis, and our rescue chiweenie, Lily. I’m the biggest aca-nerd there is, and I am so proud and thrilled to be part of the SMC and SWC community!