Los Angeles Children's Chorus Announces 2019-20 Season
The Los Angeles Children's Chorus (LACC), led by Artistic Director Fernando Malvar-Ruiz and considered among the world's leading children's choirs, announces its 2019-2020 season. Showcasing the Chorus' wide ranging repertoire and musical excellence, the 34th season includes performances with such arts partners as LA Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Pasadena Symphony and POPs and culminates with the Chorus' first tour to Spain. These engagements, in addition to LACC's own presentations and community concerts, are designed to enrich the overall experience of its 400 young singers, ages 6 to 18 from 40 communities across Southern California. LACC has seven progressive choirs - Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, SATB Ensemble (soprano, alto, tenor, bass), Young Men's Ensemble, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this season, Intermediate Choir, Apprentice Choir and Preparatory Choir - and also offers a First Experiences in Singing introductory program and First Experiences in Choral Singing Ensemble for 6-8-year-olds.
"Los Angeles Children's Chorus has become such an outstanding choral organization because of the rigorous music training the choristers receive in a fun and supportive environment," says Malvar-Ruiz, who is in his second season at LACC's helm. "Our young singers come to rehearsal extremely well prepared because they have a solid musical foundation that enables them to actively participate in - and understand - the creative process. Every chorister takes group and private vocal classes at LACC and also receives extensive music theory training, based on the Kodály method. As a result of their music literacy, choristers read music, understand harmonic progressions and are well versed in music terminology, all of which makes rehearsal a joyful, collaborative process that enables the singers to tackle challenging and varied repertoire, helping them to grow as artists and musicians."
Since joining LACC, Malvar-Ruiz has redoubled efforts to ensure the choristers' experience is enriching, enjoyable and rewarding. He states, "At LACC, we make certain that music is at the service of the children, not the other way around." Since beginning his tenure with the Chorus a year ago, LACC's membership has grown considerably.
Highlights for LACC's 2019-2020 season include appearances in LA Opera's productions of La Boheme and Magic Flute, both led by James Conlon at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and a featured performance of Britten's Ceremony of Carols, led by Malvar-Ruiz, on the Los Angeles Philharmonic's prestigious "Sounds About Town" series at Walt Disney Concert Hall. LACC also appears with the celebrated Tenebrae Choir of London at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove and presents its Spring Concert as well as a number of community concerts. The season culminates with the Concert Choir's tour to Spain.
In addition to overseeing LACC's extensive musicianship training, this season Malvar-Ruiz prepares LACC for a busy slate of performances with a number of leading artists, including
appearances in LA Opera's recent season-opening production of La Boheme, staged by theatrical dynamo Barrie Kosky and featuring an all-star cast (September 14 - October 6, 2019), and Magic Flute, Mozart's dazzling and inventive celebration of love conquering all (November 16 - December 15, 2019), both conducted by James Conlon at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
LACC joins the famed Grammy-nominated Tenebrae Choir of London, conducted by Nigel Short and hailed as "phenomenal" (The Times of London), at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove (November 20, 2019), to perform Owain Park's Footsteps, inspired by the travelers who find comfort in the sky and stars while walking the Camino de Santiago, Spain's Medieval pilgrimage route. The performance launches LACC's season-long exploration of works affiliated with Camino de Santiago, which culminates in summer 2020 with LACC Concert Choir's international tour to Northern Spain. The tour, LACC's first to the Iberian Peninsula, is particularly poignant for Malvar-Ruiz, who was raised in Northern Spain.
LACC, conducted by Malvar-Ruiz, rings in the holiday season with A Ceremony of Carols, one of Benjamin Britten's most beloved works, in the sparking acoustics of Walt Disney Concert Hall as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's prestigious "Sounds About Town" series (December 8, 2019). Harp virtuoso Cristina Montes Mateo joins the Chorus as special guest. LACC adds a unique twist to A Ceremony of Carols, interspersing between its 12 movements accompanying works that link either musically or thematically to them. Among the companion works are Swedish composer Jan Sandström's ethereal 1990 choral arrangement of Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming; National Medal of Arts recipient Morten Lauridsen's quintessential setting of O Magnum Mysterium; Ola Gjeilo's stunning soundscape Tundra, set to lyrics by Charles Anthony Silvestri that reflect the barren and beautiful Norwegian mountain plateau where the composer's father grew up; and ?'riks Ešenvalds breathtaking Stars, a setting of words by Sara Teasdale composed in 2011 for choir and water-tuned glasses. In addition, LACC has commissioned a new arrangement of Silent Night from award-winning Spanish composer Juan Colomer, which is being premiered at the concert.
The Chorus is featured in matinee and evening performances of the Pasadena Symphony and POPS' popular Holiday Candlelight, conducted by David Lockington with special guest Broadway star Sarah Uriarte Berry, at Pasadena's All Saints Church (December 14, 2019) and "Bach to Broadway," a fundraising event for St. Andrew Church in Pasadena (October 4, 2019).
Other performances include LACC's Spring Concert (May 2019), as well as a number of community concerts throughout the season.
Los Angeles Children's Chorus' educational, performance, and scholarship programs are made possible, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, Adams-Mastrovich Family Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Ann Peppers Foundation, City of Pasadena, Colburn Foundation, Green Foundation, James C. Stewart Charitable Foundation, Pasadena Arts League, Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, Pasadena Tournament of Roses® Foundation and Ralph M. Parsons Foundation. LACC is also deeply grateful to lead patrons Helen and Peter Bing and the hundreds of individual, foundation, corporate and government donors whose dedicated support sustains LACC's annual choral music program for children.
For more information on Los Angeles Children's Chorus, visit www.lachildrenschorus.org or call 626.793.4231.
Photo Credit: Ben Gibbs