The Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC) opens the doors of Walt Disney Concert Hall to the public on Friday, May 2, 2014, 11 am and 1 pm, for two free concerts culminating the Chorale’s highly regarded High School Choir Festival, which this year features the world premiere of Es Tu Tiempo composed for the Festival’s 25th anniversary by 2011 MacArthur Fellowship recipient Francisco Núñez, artistic director of the Young Peoples Choir of New York City who is acclaimed for seamlessly fusing a wide gamut of cultural and musical idioms. The 11 am performance features a concert by the professional Los Angeles Master Chorale Chamber Singers under the direction of Associate Conductor Lesley Leighton. At 1 pm, one of the largest high school choir festivals in the nation showcases the remarkable vocal talents of nearly 1,000 students from 28 Southland high schools in a massive chorus conducted by LAMC Music Director Grant Gershon. The afternoon concert also includes three songs performed by the prestigious 80-voice Festival Honor Choir, comprised of students from the participating high schools who were nominated by their teachers.
“This is an amazing concert showcasing the extraordinary talents of the next generation of singers,” says Gershon. “When I hear these students perform, I know that the future of choral music is very bright.”
In addition to Núñez’s premiere, the massed chorus performs Hanacpachap cussicuinin by Juan Pérez Bocanegra, National Medal of Arts recipient Morten Lauridsen’s Dirait-on, the old American folk song Zion’s Walls arranged by Aaron Copland, Rosephayne Powell’s The Word Was God, and the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.
The Festival Honor Choir performs David Dickau’s Awake, My Heart, Eric Whitacre’s i will wade out, and the spiritual Hold On! arranged by Jester Hairston.
Participating choirs include Agoura High School Mixed Choir (Agoura), Chad Bloom, director; Arleta High School Concert Choir (Arleta), Greg Broadous, director; Arroyo High School Chamber Singers (El Monte), Jennifer Stanley, director; Bellflower High School Vocal Ensemble (Bellflower), Carolyn Kelley, director; Birmingham Community Charter High School (Lake Balboa), Michael Sufolk, director; California High School Chamber Singers (Whittier), Dan Hawkins, director; Charter Oak High School Advance Choral Ensemble (Covina), Rebecca Schmalzbach, director; Covina High School Voices (Covina), Susan Silver, director; Duarte High School Cantabile Singers (Duarte), Clari Hsu, director; Eagle Rock High School Vocal Ensemble (Eagle Rock), Rachel Lee, director; El Monte High School A Cappella Choir (El Monte), Joel Whisler, director; Fullerton Union High School Concert Choir (Fullerton), Scott Hedgecock, director; Glendale High School A Cappella Choir (Glendale), Grace Sheldon-Williams, director; and Glendora High School Royal Stewarts (Glendora), Brian Trevor, director.
Also featured are Granada Hills Charter High School Honor Choir (Granada Hills), Sarah White, director; Louisville High School Ensemble Royale (Woodland Hills), Maura Crawley, director; Loyola High School of Los Angeles Choir (Los Angeles), Steven Speciale, director; Mark Keppel High School Aztec Singers (Alhambra), Tony Azeltine, director; Montebello High School Golden Keys (Montebello), Jessie Flasschoen, director; Norwalk High School Singers (Norwalk), Nancy Lanpher, director; Ramón C. Cortines High School for the Arts Music Academy Concert Choir (Los Angeles), Desiree Fowler, director; San Gabriel High School Matador Choir (San Gabriel), Cecilia Revilla, director; South High School Southland Singers (Torrance), Elizabeth Turner, director; Taft High School Vocal Ensemble (Woodland Hills), Tom Pease, director; Torrance High School Troubadours (Torrance), C. David Wright, director; Venice High School Allegros (Los Angeles), Wendy Samoff, director; West Torrance High School Aristocracy (Torrance), Kathleen Jensen, director; Wilson High School Chamber Singers (Long Beach), Curtis Heard, director.
The High School Choir Festival is a yearlong in-school program presented by the Chorale that includes intensive teacher training; classroom rehearsals and master classes for students and choral directors led by members of the LA Master Chorale Chamber Singers; area rehearsals; a dress rehearsal and the culmination concert at Disney Hall.
The Los Angeles Master Chorale’s High School Choir Festival is FREE and seating is first come, first served. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 South Grand Avenue at First Street in Los Angeles. For information, please call (213) 972-7282 or visit www.lamc.org/HSCF.