Zanaida Robles Directs Resonant Witness

Alumna Zanaida Robles led the San Gabriel Valley Choral Company in “Resonant Witness,” a journey through grief, loss, and injustice, on the way to hope, healing, and reconciliation. Highlights included a rare performance of “Amazing Grace” written in the Cherokee language and involving Native American flute, and Zanaida’s arrangement of “Lift Ev’ry Voice,” the Black National Anthem, for solo and chorus, which was recently published by E.B. Mark Publishing for distribution by Hal Leonard.

Chamber Choir at CASMEC

The Bob Cole Conservatory Chamber Choir performed a concert of works to bring awareness of the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at CASMEC, the California All-State Music Education Conference. The responses were extraordinary.

Armenian composer Kevin Memley (pictured here with conductor, composer, and alto section leader of Chamber Choir, Vasken Ohanian) wrote of Chamber Choir’s concert: “After attending your concert last night, I was left stunned and mostly speechless.  I could go on about how your fine technique and tone was pure musical perfection, but I would consider it an insult to you to do so.  Your singing was so much more than that, and it found its way right to my core as a human being.”

A Better Nectar

The Chamber Choir, directed by Dr. Jonathan Talberg, recorded music for a new multi sensory installation, “A Better Nectar” by Jessica Rath, based on the co-evolutionary communication between flowering plants and their pollinators. The exhibit is open January 27 – April 12, 2015.

In A Better Nectar, Jessica Rath creates an immersive rhythmic experience, using sculpture, light, and sound to consider how bumblebees learn and remember multisensory floral signals to find better nectar. Visitors are provided with a human-scaled experience of a bee’s intimate sensorial journey from its underground nest to an audibly and visually pulsating world, based on the Rath’s research and discussions with the scientists at Leonard Bee Lab at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The exhibition’s highlight, “Resonant Nest,” is a responsive acoustic sculpture taking the form of a human-scaled bumblebee nest. Human voice interpretations of bee communication emanate from the sculpture, designed in collaboration with Ian Schneller of Specimen Products, Chicago. The score, created by Los Angeles-based composer Robert Hoehn, shifts with live changes in weather, season, and time, as well as to the viewer’s presence in the gallery.

Graeme Langager Prepares Pårt for Vancouver Symphony

Alumnus Graeme Langager (MM Choral Conducting,1996) prepared the Phoenix Chamber Choir in Vancouver for a performance of Arvo Pärt’s Berliner Mass with the Vancouver Symphony and Maestro Bramwell Tovey.

Dr. Langager also serves as Director of Choral Activities at the University of British Columbia. It is his arrangement of “Irish Blessing” that the Chamber Choir sings to end every choral concert.

Graeme Langager Prepares Pårt for Vancouver Symphony

Graeme Langager (MM Choral Conducting,1996) prepared the Phoenix Chamber Choir for a performance of Arvo Pärt’s Berliner Mass with the Vancouver Symphony and Maestro Bramwell Tovey.

Dr. Langager also serves as Director of Choral Activities at the University of British Columbia; he commutes between Vancouver and Phoenix. It is his arrangement of “Irish Blessing” that the Chamber Choir sings to end every choral concert.

Jon Talberg Outstanding Alumnus in the Arts from Chapman

Dr. Jonathan Talberg was honored as Outstanding Alumnus in the Arts 2014, “In recognition of his Distinguished Professional Achievements, Performance and Leadership in the Arts”  last weekend at Chapman University’s American Celebration. Dr. Talberg’s mentor at Chapman, William Hall, conducted the orchestra for the event and spoke about the role seminal Jon has played in choral music.

Mostly Kosher Releases Sneak Peek

Mostly Kosher, with alumni Leaav Sofer, Mike King, Will Brahm, Eric Hagstrom, Casey Solow, has released a sneak peak of their new album.

Mostly Kosher is a klezmer band based in Southern California, but has the feel of Lower Eastside New York 1930s “radio show” and Depression Era elation and angst. Directed by the multi-talented clarinetist, pianist and singer, Leeav Sofer, in cahoots with Janice “Rachele the Matchmaker” Mautner Markham on violin and shtick. Band members also include Casey Solow, Mike King, Will Brahm, Adam Levy, Eric Hagstrom and Michael Bolger. Mostly Kosher continues to perform throughout Southern California with plans to tour the East Coast and Europe in the not too distant future.

Beth Peregrine to Sing with The Golden Bridge

Senior Beth Peregrine has been invited to sing in a new 24-voiced professional choral ensemble is being created in Los Angeles for the English conductor Lady Suzi Eatwell (Digby), OBE. The project is called The Golden Bridge, and its purpose is to explore the relationship between the English and American choral traditions. The hope is that exchanges between England and California become the norm, particularly with the rich choral tradition present at Cambridge University – where Lady Eatwell is based.