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Reviews & Comments

Reviews

"For many years now, the Pacific Chorale has been operating at peak form. The virtues one expects from choral performance – unity, clarity, balance – have been artfully drilled into place by the Chorale's leader John Alexander. Add to that stylistic flexibility and insightful programming. It's a remarkable ensemble, capable of doing so much." [read more]

— Peter Lefevre, Orange County Register


"The Pacific Chorale is a terrific group. John Alexander, for 36 years its leader, has turned it into a luxury model – super polished, richly blended, smooth riding. One hardly notices the road when enveloped by its sound. The sound is just there, seemingly exactly as it should be. What's more, the Chorale's 140 singers move as one. There is rarely any lumbering around corners or over-thickness in the textures. We're lucky to have these dedicated musicians." [read more]
— Timothy Mangan, Orange County Register


"The nearly 160-strong chorale demonstrated its clarity and rhythmic precision in bringing this [music] to vivid life." [read more]
— Michael Rydzynski, Los Angeles Times


"The first movement ('A Song for All Seas, All Ships') was spine tingling, the hushed feeling of the second ('On the Beach at Night Alone') enthralling and the third ('The Waves') was, for the most part, crisp and exhilarating. The final movement ('The Explorers') sagged a mite at the beginning but built inexorably to a thunderous 'steer to the deep waters only' before gradually evaporating into the sea mists."
— Robert D. Thomas, Pasadena Star-News


"[Alexander] conducted with an incisive hand throughout, pacing with assurance and digging into [the work's] meat. The chorale sang magnificently, richly voiced, polished and secure...." [read more]
— Timothy Mangan, Orange County Register


"The erudite, adventurous conductor John Alexander, who crushed Bach against Ligeti..., showed the composers to be, at least for the moment, soul mates.... The singers displayed admirable focus and concentration. They held and sustained the unresolved harmonic tension without drifting toward the comforts of home." [read more]
— Peter Lefevre, Orange County Register


"...longtime artistic director John Alexander displayed the chorale's stunning range, its command of colors and dynamics, its textual sensitivity, its vocal power and the potency of its quiet singing.... With the sterling and immaculate collaboration of the Pacific Symphony, the total performance was a model of stylishness."
— Daniel Cariaga, Los Angeles Times


"The Pacific Chorale is artistically exemplary, with a broad, interesting repertoire and the stylistic versatility to match....The education programs are exemplary, a model for other organizations to follow."
— California Arts Council


"The Pacific Chorale displayed its trademark mastery of elocution, dynamics and style..."
— Daily Pilot


"...hauntingly beautiful...a subtle yet vibrant performance. The Chorale's singing and most importantly, Hopkins' composition combined to make ‘Songs of Eternity' one of the most moving experiences I have had as a music critic."
— Pasadena Star News


"Alexander and his singers triumphed with purity, focus, refinement and artistry…. The Chorus shone in a cappella sections, captivating with rich, unforced sound, hushed and evocative."
— LA Times


"The [John Alexander] singers brought out the work's unfailing joy and optimism, its seamless harmonic transitions, its startling melodic entry points. The Gloria unfolded radiantly: glassy tones, crisp Latin pronunciation, a solid core in the lower ranges."

"The Pacific Chorale paid engaging attent to dynamics [in Fauré's Requiem], offered lush fortissimos and nicely weighed pianissimos, and produced melodic lines that blossomed in pastels."
— OC Register


Audience Comments

"When they begin to sing, my mood transforms into euphoria."
— Anthony


"Their pianissimos are absolutely unbelievable!"
— Tanya


"After subscribing for 20 years, they're like family."
— Mary


"We thought we were in heaven. My heart was pounding and burning like fire... my soul was renewed."
— Rachel, Braille Institute of OC


"I always come away from their concerts with renewed spirit."
— Stephen


"It was the most wonderful experience of my life. I am the first in my family to attend a concert like this one. Thank you!"
— student, Taller San José


"While listening, I closed my eyes and I started to cry. It was the most beautiful piece I have heard in a long time. Being there made it even more special than hearing it on the radio."
— Ana, Tustin High School


Singer Comments

"There is something magic about singing and nowhere better than with Pacific Chorale. It is a dream come true for me. Music touches the very soul and brings forth emotions seldom felt in reading the printed word. With the maestro's touch, simple black notes on paper turn into a wondrous creation that speaks to all hearts, no matter the language. This is what it has been for me to sing with Pacific Chorale. It is truly an aesthetic experience that cannot be topped."
— Rhonda Bright, singer


"We are singers. We sing for joy, for sorrow, for life. Singing with Pacific Chorale has spoiled me for singing with anything less than the best."
— Kathy Gibson, singer


"At the end of the most harried of days, it is like passing through the pearly gates to leave daily demands behind and immerse myself in a roomful of magnificent music led by a genius and sung by very talented people who care deeply about this endeavor. Singing in Pacific Chorale is one of the greatest joys of my life!"
— Sally Rans, singer


"Music feeds my soul. For 30 years Pacific Chorale has been an essential part of my life. To sing and make music with this outstanding group has been the experience of a lifetime."
— Steve Morris, singer