Seasons With Chorale: 18
Season Joined: 1999-00
Hometown: Cedar Falls, Iowa
MA in Choral Conducting (University of Iowa); BA in Peace Studies (Manchester University); foreign language and cultural studies at the Dalian Foreign Language Institute (Dalian, China); voice with Elsa Charlston (Chicago); piano with Joan Smalley and George Katz.
Do you also have a non-singing "day job"? If so, what do you do?
I keep out of trouble (and get into some) writing music. I also attempt(!) to run my own publishing company, and have recently launched a new website that has full backstory of every piece I've ever written. I also work with several publishers: Bo
Where else do you teach/gig/conduct/sing/perform?
I often work with choirs that are performing/commissioning my pieces; I share leadership of the vibrant church music program at La Verne Church of the Brethren with LAMC mezzo Niké St. Clair.
Last year, I performed with Atlanta Master Chorale at the national ACDA convention on a new piece of mine; other recent composer residencies include Lorelei Ensemble (Boston), Cal State LA, Choral Arts Northwest (Seattle), and San Diego Summer Choral Festival.
My Neruda settings Tu voz and Tu sangre en la mia are featured on Conspirare's Grammy-nominated recording Pablo Neruda: the Poet Sings; my Heavenly Home set is featured on a new recording from Santa Fe Desert Chorale; choral singing on three dozen feature film soundtracks.
Highlights of your musical career:
Serving as LAMC's Swan Family Composer in Residence (2012-2015) and the subsequent world premieres of Plath Songs, Inscapes, and Songs of Ascent; having my arrangement Wana Baraka featured in celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee at Windsor Castle, sung by the Nairobi Chamber Choir; directing music for a nationally-broadcast CBS Christmas Eve special in 2004, Enter the Light of Life; writing and recording my bluegrass album Meet Me on the Mountain.
Favorite choral work(s):
James Macmillan's Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis; Arvo Pärt's The Beatitudes; works of Heinrich Schutz and J.S. Bach, Irving Fine's Have you seen the white lily grow?
A defining moment of favorite LA Master Chorale onstage experience:
LAMC's amazing 2004 Duke Ellington Sacred Services collaborative concert with the Luckman Jazz Orchestra and the mesmerizing Darius de Haas, the beaming, show-stealing tap dancer Ardie Bryant, and the incomparable Nolan Shaheed on trumpet.
What are you listening to these days?
In general, I can't listen to much, because I'm always in deadline-mode trying to finish a new composition. But I can really enjoy some Dan Fogelberg, The Eagles, Dolly Parton, Soweto Gospel Choir, and Roberta Flack. And KCRW is great on drives home from evening rehearsals.
Anything you'd like to add about yourself?
I'm a triplet - my brother (older by 5 minutes) is a college professor and my sister (younger by 4 minutes) is a physician. Our personalities are very different, but our interests are very similar: gardening, travel and languages, music and theater, quality time with friends and family.
Where do you live in L.A.?
What L.A. experience do you consider essential for visitors/newcomers?
I consider the natural wonders of the LA area to be the essentials: hiking at Ice House Canyon in the San Gabriel mountains -- there's even snow in the winter! -- or swimming in the ocean in Santa Monica or Laguna.