Dave Gerhart Gives Clinics, Performs as Soloist

Lecturer Dave Gerhart recently gave master classes at Minnesota State University and North Dakota University. He also performed Passageways by Baljinder Sekhon with RimShots! Percussion Ensemble, and judged the MacPhail Percussion Showcase.

Dr. Gerhart is shown here with Clovis North High School’s Percussion Ensemble with whom he also performed Passageways at the National Percussion Ensemble Festival in Indianapolis.

Alyssa Wills in “Frau Schindler”

Alumna Alyssa Wills performed in the premiere of Thomas Morse and Ken Cazan’s new opera “Frau Schindler” at USC. Told from the perspective of Emilie Schindler, Frau Schindler is a serious, poignant opera about one woman’s survival and heroism in the heart of one of the darkest periods in human history. Alyssa wrote, “It’s such a profound and moving piece about these people who saved so many lives and I’m so proud to be part of it.”

Beth Peregrine to Ravinia Festival

Alumna Beth Peregrine will perform Tan Dun’s “Water Passion after St. Matthew” with 32 singers of the Los Angeles Master Chorale at the Ravinia Festival this June. Ravinia, North America’s oldest music festival, stands today as its most musically diverse, presenting over 140 different events throughout the summer. These concerts run the gamut from Yo-Yo Ma to John Legend to the annual summer residency of The Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Alan Shockley’s Toy Piano Miniature at International Toy Piano Festival

Pianist Mark Robson played Alan Shockley’s toy piano miniature “the reverse balducci” on his program at the International Toy Piano Festival in Tampa, Florida in mid-January.

In addition Dr. Shockley’s paper “Inversions of all this chambermade music”: ‘Napoleon Symphony, the Wake,’ and Mature Counterpoint’ has been accepted for the 25th International James Joyce Symposium hosted by the University of London this June.

Alumni work with the Street Symphony

Alex Ross, critic for the New Yorker, named The Street Symphony’s performance of Handel’s “Messiah” as one of the 10 “notable” concerts of 2015 in the US.

Alumna Zanaida Robles conducted the performance, and alumnus Leeav Sofer prepared the choir. Alex Ross wrote, “About a hundred homeless people listened intently, and burst into applause at the end. The experience left me with a clash of emotions: joy, shame, sorrow, wonder. I do not know what it meant to those who mattered.”

The performance was on Skid Row, at The Midnight Mission.  Residents of the Skid Row community in our audience will be invited to sing alongside the newly formed Street Symphony Chamber Singers, comprised of members of the LA Master Chorale. They also partnered with the Urban Voices Project, a Skid Row singing project, as well as the City of Angels Community Choirs.

View a short preview video of a rehearsal which shows Zanaida Robles conducting and Leeav Sofer on keyboard.

Leeav Sofer Gets Raves Reviews

Alumnus Leeav Sofer wrote the music for and is starring in the play, Man Covets Bird.  The reviews are coming in and they are terrific. From a radio review on KCRW: ”24th Street’s production is as sophisticated as the script. When you walk into the theater it’s an empty stage: no set, no props – just a couple of small boxes, a guitar, a keyboard, and a clarinet on the margins. But once the play starts the world transforms. First, through the two remarkable and lovable actors Andrew Huber and Leeav Sofer who play the man and the bird – and those instruments. They enchant us with their wonderful, open presence and their gorgeous singing voices. Once their journey begins, the blank walls of the theater come to life with simple line-drawn animations that turn a stack of blocks into a loving mother and an empty wall into a glowing cityscape. It’s theater magic.”

Musicals in LA wrote, “Written by leading children’s playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer, Devine has taken the one-man play with music and staged it for two men (Andrew Huber as Man and Leeav Sofer as Bird) incorporating an original score by Sofer using his clarinet as the voice of the bird. That decision alone adds a profound sensitivity to the piece… With Sofer taking on double duty as both composer and actor, there is always a sense of the space being filled with possibility, even in the deliberate silences. The two actors connect intimately and deeply, and because of their open-hearted commitment, we go along with them not quite knowing what to expect but realizing that by the end of the 75-minute journey we will have been part of something extraordinary.


Amber Alarcòn in “Tsar’s Bride”

Alumna Amber Alarcòn performed in the Independent Opera Company’s production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Tsar’s Bride” at West LA’s Lutheran Church of the Master. She received an great review in Singerpreneur: “Amber Alarcon was delightful as Dunyasha, the darling confidante of the soprano lead, Marfa, singing with a warm, clean mezzo and a captivating stage presence.”

Raymond Torres-Santos’ Requiem premiered in NYC

Raymond Torres-Santos’ Requiem for soprano, baritone, mixed chorus, children’s chorus and orchestra had its New York premiere by the Albany Pro Musica, the New York Capital Youth Chorale and members of the Albany Symphony with the participation of Lucile Beer, Robert Honeysucker and Oliver Nathanielsz on May 2, 2015 at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, New York. Dr. Torres-Santos gave a pre-concert talk.

Also, his organ concert piece, “Jubilum,” is the subject of a doctoral dissertation at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music.

Maayan Voss de Bettancourt Cast in Three Roles

Alumna Maayan Voss de Bettancourt has been case in three roles this summer: Nancy Lowe in Baby Shower (a new opera by Bruce Trinkley & Jason Charnesky) with The Fresh Squeezed Opera Company; The Child in The Bewitched Child (Ravel) with the Midwest Institute of Opera, and Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart) with OperaRox Presents.