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The 100-voice ANGELES CHORALE is a volunteer organization of auditioned, professional-level choral singers who rehearse and perform in the greater Los Angeles area. Its mission is to perform an array of world-class music – from beloved classics to groundbreaking new commissions – that will enrich the lives of the ethnically diverse community of music lovers who call Southern California home. Last season, which focused on works by British composers, is a case in point: works the Chorale presented ranged from Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols and John Tavener’s Song of Athene (sung at the funeral of Princess Diana) to the West Coast Premiere of Sir Paul McCartney’s Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart)
The Chorale’s history is as rich and varied as its programming. It began almost 40 years ago, when Bill and Ada Beth Lee founded a choral ensemble known as the Valley Master Chorale. In the fall of 1987, after John Alexander became Artistic Director, the Valley Master Chorale merged with the Masterworks Chorale at California State University Northridge, which Bill Lee had also founded. In 1993, the name of this ensemble was formally changed to Angeles Chorale.
A milestone for Angeles Chorale was reached three years later, when Donald Neuen, director of Choral Activities at UCLA, became Artistic Director of the Chorale. Under Dr. Neuen’s direction, the Angeles Chorale became best known for its productions of classical masterworks written for chorus and orchestra.
The Chorale’s 39th Concert Season, 2013-2014, titled “Conversations of the Soul,” marks its forth season with Artistic Director, Dr. John Sutton, at the podium. These performances will take both the audience and choir on a stirring, musical journey of hope, faith, and love. “We're bringing to life the spirit and melodic voices of such great composers as Bach, Brahms and Beethoven not only through their music but through their letters as well,” says Sutton.
Upcoming concerts include Romancing the Soul: An Intimate Evening of Johannes Brahms (Saturday, March 22, at 7:30 pm at First United Church in Pasadena) and The Faith of Beethoven: A musical journey of Hope (Saturday, June 7, at 8 p.m. at UCLA’s Royce Hall). John Sutton will conduct Romancing the Soul while former artistic director Don Neuen will return to the podium for June’s production. Additionally, as it did last season, the Chorale will make a commitment to showcasing the voices and artistry within its own membership during the March 2014 performance.
The Angeles Chorale has performed with many local orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Glendale Symphony, Long Beach Symphony and Pasadena Symphony. It also appeared with the American Youth Symphony in a concert of music by film and TV composer and Academy Award winner Jerry Goldsmith, conducted by Academy Award nominee David Newman. Recent groundbreaking performance highlights include joining a chorus of 800, when Gustavo Dudamel, Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted the Mahler 8th (Symphony of a Thousand) at the Shrine Auditorium and appearing with Barbra Streisand when the singer brought her show, “Back to Brooklyn,” to the Hollywood Bowl. This year also marks the Angeles Chorale’s second appearance with Julie Andrews at Disney Hall for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Holiday Sing-Along. (December 21)
Chorale voices can also be heard in many Hollywood movie trailer choral scores, including “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” (Warner Brothers), “Tangled” (Disney), “Meet the Parents: Little Fockers” (Paramount Pictures), “No Ordinary Family” promos (an ABC fall Season Series), and “Prince of Persia” (Disney. For the past five years, Angeles Chorale has worked as well with Immediate Music, one of the largest lending libraries for upcoming movie previews and television commercials.