23rd ANNUAL “BACH TO BROADWAY” CHORAL CONCERT TO BENEFIT RESTORATION OF PASADENA’S HISTORIC ST. ANDREW CHURCH
Acclaimed Los Angeles Children’s Chorus and Renowned Choristers from the Los Robles Master Chorale to Perform
The acclaimed Los Angeles Children's Chorus Concert Choir and Chamber Singers (“LACC”) will perform Friday, September 29, 7:30pm, at St. Andrew Church in Pasadena in the 23rd annual “Bach to Broadway Concert.” Also performing will be a group of 24 professional choristers from the Los Robles Master Chorale under the artistic direction of Lesley Leighton, the former associate conductor of the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Conducting on September 29 is Allison Cheng, assistant conductor of the Los Robles Master Chorale.
The concert honors Marlene Puccinelli, the music director at St. Andrew who has led various chorus groups for more than 50 years. Concert proceeds will help fund the ongoing restoration of St. Andrew. Built in 1928, the church is an extraordinary example of 10th century Romanesque architecture and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It stands as an enduring symbol of St. Andrew Parish, which has served the Pasadena community for 130 years.
Father Paul Sustayta, St. Andrew’s pastor, stated, “The Bach to Broadway Concert is a rare opportunity to hear world class choral music in an intimate, historical setting. For one unforgettable night a year, it allows concertgoers to participate in the confluence of art, culture, and community on a uniquely personal level.”
The Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, which the Los Angeles Times describes as "hauntingly beautiful," is widely recognized for its agile bel canto sound and artistic excellence. Founded in 1986 and led by Anne Tomlinson since 1996, the LACC is celebrating its 32nd season and performs with leading organizations including LA Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, and more.
Anne Tomlinson, LACC Artistic Director, oversees the educational and artistic development of the Chorus and leads LACC’s renowned Concert Choir and Chamber Singers. She is also Children’s Chorus Mistress for LA Opera. Her film work includes the 2002 Academy Award-nominated documentary Sing!, which chronicles a year in the life of Los Angeles Children’s Chorus. LACC and Tomlinson received the Chorus America’s 2014 Margaret Hillis award for choral excellence.
The Los Robles Master Chorale, led by Artistic Director Lesley Leighton and lauded for its “robust choral tapestry” (Artillery), is one of Southern California’s premier choirs. Celebrating a rich legacy and hailed for its remarkable sound, striking versatility, and commitment to commissioning new choral works, the 100-voice Ventura County-based chorus harnesses the power of music to enrich people of all ages. With repertoire ranging from early music and great choral masterworks to folk, contemporary and world music, LRMC presents its own concert series each season and performs with leading music organizations across the Southland in such iconic venues as Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hollywood Bowl and Royce Hall. The chorale has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New West Symphony and Ventura Symphony, among others.
Lesley Leighton, Artistic Director of the Los Robles Master Chorale and former Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, has been a principal solo artist for more than two decades and has performed with many of the world's eminent conductors. Allison Cheng, assistant conductor of the Los Robles Master Chorale, will be conducting on September 29 and joining her onstage will be 23 remarkable singers and pianist Mitsuko Morikawa.
Claire Bogaard, chair of the St. Andrew Restoration Committee, commented, “St. Andrew Church, a true architectural treasure, is such a special venue for this performance. Its beauty and incredible acoustics complement the majesty of the music and transform a concert into an experience.”
LOS ANGELES CHILDREN’S CHORUS
Los Angeles Children's Chorus (LACC), widely recognized for its agile bel canto sound and artistic excellence, has been lauded as “hauntingly beautiful” (Los Angeles Times), “astonishingly polished” (Performances Magazine), “extraordinary in its abilities” (Culture Spot LA), and “one of the world's foremost children's choirs” (Pasadena Star News). Founded in 1986 and led by Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson since 1996, LACC presents its own concerts and also performs with such leading organizations as LA Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony and POPS, Calder Quartet, Jacaranda and MUSE/IQUE. The Chorus serves more than 400 children ages 6 to 18 from 50 communities across Southern California in six choirs – Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Young Men’s Ensemble, Intermediate Choir, Apprentice Choir and Preparatory Choir – and a First Experiences in Singing program and First Experiences in Choral Singing Ensemble for 6-8-year-olds. LACC, recipient of Chorus America’s 2014 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, the nation’s highest choral honor, has toured North and South America, Africa, China, Cuba, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Europe. It appears on John Williams' latest recording, John Williams & Steven Spielberg: The Ultimate Collection, release in 2017, as well as the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s critically acclaimed Decca recording A Good Understanding, and Plácido Domingo’s Deutsche Grammophon recording Amore Infinito ("Infinite Love"). The subject of a trilogy of documentaries by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Freida Mock, LACC is featured in the Academy Award®-nominated Sing!, about a year in the life of the choir; Sing Opera!, documenting the production of the LACC-commissioned family opera Keepers of the Night; and Sing China!, chronicling its groundbreaking tour to China prior to the Beijing Olympics. LACC has performed with John Mayer on NBC's “The Tonight Show” and was featured on PBS’s “Great Performances,” BBC Radio and Public Radio International's nationally syndicated show “From the Top,” among other credits. For more information, please visit www.lachildrenschorus.org
SOUNDS ABOUT TOWN
Los Angeles Philharmonic presents the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus
Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Young Men’s Ensemble, Intermediate Choir, Apprentice Choir
Sunday, December 3, 2017 | 7 p.m.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
LACC SPRING CONCERTS
Young Men’s Ensemble, Intermediate Choir, Concert Choir
Saturday, May 12, 2018 | 7 p.m.
Chamber Singers, Apprentice Choir, Concert Choir
Sunday, May 13, 2018 | 7 p.m.
Pasadena Presbyterian Church
LOS ROBLES MASTER CHORALE
Los Robles Master Chorale (LRMC), led by Artistic Director Lesley Leighton and lauded for its “robust choral tapestry” (Artillery), is one of Southern California’s premier choirs. Celebrating a rich legacy and hailed for its remarkable sound, striking versatility, and commitment to commissioning new choral works, the 100-voice Ventura County-based chorus harnesses the power of music to enrich people of all ages. With repertoire ranging from early music and great choral masterworks to folk, contemporary and world music, LRMC presents its own concert series each season and performs with leading music organizations across the Southland in such iconic venues as Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hollywood Bowl and Royce Hall. The chorale has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New West Symphony and Ventura Symphony, among others.
The Los Robles Master Chorale’s 2016-17 season is highlighted by a compelling array of world premieres, debut performances and incomparable masterworks. The chorus presents four concerts led by Leighton, including Handel’s Messiah on December 4, 2016, at Church of the Epiphany in Oak Park; “Joyful Noise!,” showcasing Rutter’s Gloria and holiday favorites, on December 18, 2016, at Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza; “Peace and Love,” featuring Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with Agoura High School Chamber Singers and Women’s Chorus, and classic 1960s folk-rock songs on March 19, 2017, at Agoura Performing Arts and Education Center (A-PAEC) in Agoura Hills; and the season finale, an inspirational program of choral music by living composers, including Morten Lauridsen, and LAMC-commissioned world premieres by Composer-in-Residence Jasper Randall and William Cabison, among others, on May 20, 2017, at Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Additionally, the chorale is one of only a handful of choirs selected to perform at the prestigious Chorus American Conference 2017, the nation’s preeminent choral industry convention that draws choral leaders from across the country, June 21-24, 2017, in downtown Los Angeles.
LRMC often collaborates with leading choral composers, such as Lauridsen and Shawn Kirchner, to create fresh insight into the interpretations of their works, and has given dozens of world premieres by John Rutter, Christina Whitten Thomas, Jordan Nelson, Thomas Goedecke and Leighton, to name a few, as well as West Coast premieres by John Tavener, Franz Biebl, Matthew Brown, Bruce Vandervalk, Melanie McCoy and Steve Eisle. LRMC is also recognized for expanding and invigorating the choral repertoire, commissioning some 20 works by Rutter, Randall and Goedecke, among others, and championing through its highly regarded “Los Robles Master Chorale Artist Choral Composer Competition” such rising composers as Lauren McLaren, Tobin Sparfeld, Jordan Nelson and Giorgio Navarini.
During its notable history, the chorale has hosted a number of distinguished guest conductors, including Roger Wagner, Sir David Willcocks, Paul Salamunovich, Vance George and Lloyd Pfautsch. LRMC has toured internationally, sharing its distinctive artistry and resonant sound with audiences in Austria, the Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Ireland and Italy, appearing at Notre Dame Cathedral, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Salzburg Cathedral, Basilica San Marco, the Duomo di Santa Maria del Fiore, Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore and Dvorak Hall, among other cultural landmarks. The chorus has made two recordings under Leighton’s baton, including êkó, a collection of folksongs, spirituals and LAMC-commissioned works by Leighton, McLaren, Southers, Thomas, Philip Welby and Brent Michael Davids; and Sing We Noel!, featuring traditional carols and holiday music.
Founded in 1977 by James Stemen as a community chorus, Los Robles Master Chorale has flourished for 39 years. Leighton, who succeeded Stemen, was appointed artistic director in 2008 and, during her tenure, has considerably expanded the chorale’s reach and versatility. Under her leadership, the organization has more than doubled in size and budget; now includes exceptional singers from Los Angeles and Riverside Counties, in addition to Ventura County; and broadened its repertoire to include choral music of all styles.
LRMC Artistic Director, Assistant Conductor, and Pianist
Lesley Leighton, noted conductor, singer and music educator, is the Artistic Director of the Los Robles Master Chorale (LRMC). Appointed to the post in 2008, she has earned high praise from music critics for her “ravishing” (Los Angeles Times) conducting that leaves audiences “mesmerized” (Orange County Register) and merits “enduring applause” (Asia Journal). About one particular performance, the Huffington Post proclaimed, “The Chorale’s Lesley Leighton stole (the) show.” Leighton has had a tremendous impact on LRMC during her tenure considerably expanding the chorale’s reach and versatility. Under her leadership, the organization has more than doubled in size and budget; now includes exceptional singers from Los Angeles, Ventura and Riverside counties; and broadened its repertoire to include choral music of all styles. In addition to her work with Los Robles Master Chorale, Leighton has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the world renowned Los Angeles Master Chorale, based at Walt Disney Concert Hall, for which she was named assistant conductor in 2010 and, a year later, was promoted to associate conductor, the first in the organization’s history, a post she held from 2011 to 2016. She regularly conducted the Los Angeles Master Chorale Chamber Singers and also created Los Angeles Master Chorale’s first Young Composer’s Competition in 2016, conducting the world premiere of the winning composition at the annual High School Choir Festival in April 2016 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Additionally, Leighton, a “seasoned musician” (USC News), has earned tremendous respect within the music industry for preparing choirs for Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, John Adams, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Bramwell Tovey, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas, Boris Brott, Marcello Lehninger and Grant Gershon for performances at the Hollywood Bowl, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Royce Hall and Shrine Auditorium, among other major venues. A principal solo artist for more than two decades, Leighton has performed as a soprano with many of the world’s eminent conductors, including Salonen, Dudamel, Tovey and Frühbeck de Burgos, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta, the Lorin Maazel and Simon Rattle. Her opera credits include principal appearances with New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Köln Opera, Paris Opera and Glyndebourne. Her voice can also be heard on more than 65 major film soundtracks, including most recently, Storks, Star Trek Beyond, Suicide Attacks and Minions. A native of Los Angeles, Leighton studied conducting with Paul Salamunovich at Loyola Marymount University, where she earned a B.A. in choral music. Following choral study at UCLA with Bill Hatcher, she obtained an M.M. in vocal performance with Judith Oas Natalucci and a D.M.A. in choral music from the University of Southern California, where she studied with Don Brinegar and Jo-Michael Scheibe.
Allison Cheng is the assistant conductor for Los Robles Master Chorale. She is also the director of Carol Choir, Heaven Bound Singers, and Teen Bells at the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Choral Music at the University of Southern California. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from La Sierra University where she studied conducting with Dr. Lesley Leighton and Dr. Ariel Quintana. In 2016 Allison soloed with Los Robles Master Chorale and the LA Philharmonic in the Green Umbrella Concert conducted by John Adams.
Mitsuko Morikawa (pianist): Mitsuko has been an active soloist, accompanist and chamber musician in United States as well as in Asia. She has collaborated with highly acclaimed musicians from a vast array of genres spanning instrumental music, vocal music, musical theater and chamber ensembles. Some of the artists that Ms. Morikawa has performed with include Julia Migenes, Rodney Gilfry, Kristinn Sigmundsson, Timothy Mussard, Michel Debost, James Walker, Denis Bouriakov, Leone Buyse, Carol Wincenc, Jean Ferrandis, Marianne Gedigian, Martin Chalifour, Roberto Cani, Megumi Kanda, Randy Hawes, and Timothy Higgins. Ms. Morikawa has also recorded music for the New World Records label and has been featured on radio programs such as KUSC, WCLV, Cleveland and NHK-FM, Japan. Apart from her accomplishments as a performer, Ms. Morikawa has also distinguished herself as a unique and highly regarded coach/accompanist. She has served on the faculties at Occidental College, Santa Monica College, the Meadowmount School of Music, Idyllwild Arts Academy Summer Program, National Flute Association Annual Convention, Oberlin College Conservatory, the Oberlin Flute Institute, Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory and the ENCORE School of Strings. She is currently working as an accompanist at the Colburn School, UCLA and Los Angeles Children’s Chorus. Ms. Morikawa’s degrees consist of a B.M. in piano performance from the Toho School of Music, Japan, an M.M. in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music, a Professional Studies Certificate in piano performance from The Cleveland Institute of Music and a D.M.A. in Keyboard Collaborative Arts at the University of Southern California. Some of Ms. Morikawa’s teachers include Alan Smith, Norman Krieger, Sergei Babayan, Cheng-Zong Yin, Paul Schenly, Sara Davis Buechner and Hisako Ueno.