• Oct 15, 2018

Pacific Chorale Hires Andrew Brown as President & CEO

Written by Ryan McSweeney

For release: October 15, 2018


Molly Buzick Pontin, DMA, Managing Director

Ryan McSweeney, Director of Marketing & Box Office



Costa Mesa, CA, October 15, 2018 –Pacific Chorale today announced the appointment of Andrew Brown as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Brown comes to the Chorale following a 17-year tenure at Los Angeles Master Chorale, where he worked his way up from administrative assistant to Chief Operating Officer. He has an undergraduate degree in music education from Ball State in Muncie, Indiana and an MA/MBA in Arts Management from the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. He will begin his tenure with the Chorale on December 3, 2018.

Brown said, “I am absolutely thrilled to be taking on this leadership role with the Pacific Chorale, an institution with a rich Southern California legacy and recognized for its leadership in the national choral community.”

He adds, “I am most looking forward to partnering with Artistic Director Rob Istad to make his broadminded artistic vision a reality. Rob brings such vitality, creativity and artistry to an ensemble built on an already solid musical foundation. I know we will make a great team and I am eager to work with Rob, the board, staff and musicians to endeavor to make the Pacific Chorale one of the best unkept secrets of Orange County.”

Artistic Director Robert Istad said, “Andrew has been a valued colleague in the choral field for years, so I can’t wait to work with him here at Pacific Chorale. He will be a tremendous leader to carry our 50-year legacy in this community forward into a bright future.”

Thomas Pridonoff, Pacific Chorale’s Board Chair, said, “We could not be more excited to welcome Andrew to the Pacific Chorale family. He comes to us with the perfect combination of vision, experience, and proven accomplishment, and we can’t wait to see where he and Rob Istad will take the Chorale in the coming years.”

Brown’s selection was facilitated by the Los Angeles-based firm Michelle Whiting & Associates (MWA). MWA is an accomplished nonprofit consulting group whose comprehensive chief executive and chief development officer recruitment efforts have resulted in successful leadership placement at over 60 organizations throughout the country.


Andrew Brown most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the leading professional choral arts organization in the country and a resident company of Walt Disney Concert Hall. As COO, he led the Master Chorale’s artistic production, marketing, and education departments and guided the organization’s artistic and strategic planning. He also led the management team in union collective bargaining negotiations and manages guest artist contracting. During his tenure, the Master Chorale transitioned to a fully-professional ensemble and experienced unprecedented growth in expanding the Master Chorale’s artistic footprint both inside and beyond Walt Disney Concert Hall.

He has executive produced several of the Master Chorale’s most recent media and recording projects, including Festival of Carols, the ensemble’s first self-produced album, on its own label. Most recently, he facilitated the Master Chorale’s appearance as the featured chorus on John Williams’ score of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Over the past several years, he has produced two significant projects to expand the Master Chorale’s presence well beyond Walt Disney Concert Hall. Big Sing California, a live-streamed, sing-along concert event, featuring the Master Chorale and hosted by Artistic Director Grant Gershon and Artist-in-Residence Eric Whitacre was broadcast from Walt Disney Concert Hall on July 21, 2018, to 4,500 participants in 5 hub locations across California. The performance was live-streamed on the internet, reaching an additional 3,500 viewers.

The second is the Master Chorale’s first independent international tour of Lagrime di San Pietro (The Tears of St. Peter).  This production of 21 a cappella singers performing Orlando di Lasso’s Renaissance masterpiece was staged by acclaimed director Peter Sellars and will be presented around the world beginning September 2018 in such locations as Melbourne, Mexico City, London and Paris.

Andrew worked at the Los Angeles Master Chorale for more than 17 years, and during that time has served in many capacities throughout the organization, including managing the Master Chorale’s award-winning community and education programs for seven years.

As a professional singer, Andrew sang with the LA Master Chorale for ten seasons and in several other Southern California professional choral ensembles, as well. He can be heard on numerous film and television scores.

He holds a M.A. in Arts Management and M.B.A. from the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University and a bachelor’s degree in music education from Ball State University, in Muncie, Indiana.


Pacific Chorale has delighted national and international audiences with concerts of great choral music performed at the highest musical standards since 1968.  Under the artistic leadership of Robert Istad, the organization produces a series of concerts each year at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, where it serves as the sole resident choir. The mission of Pacific Chorale is to inspire our community through artistry and innovation in choral music performances and education programs.

Pacific Chorale is recognized for exceptional artistic expression, preserving and performing classical choral music as well as stimulating American-focused programming. Pacific Chorale presents a substantial performance season of its own and is sought regularly to perform with the nation’s leading symphonies. Pacific Chorale has infused an Old World art form with California’s hallmark innovation and cultural independence, developing innovative new concepts in programming, and expanding the traditional concepts of choral repertoire and performance.  The organization boasts over 30 world premieres and has released 14 self-produced recordings.

In addition to its long-standing partnership with Pacific Symphony, with whom Pacific Chorale made its Carnegie Hall debut in April 2018, the Chorale has performed with such renowned American ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and Musica Angelica.

Pacific Chorale has also toured extensively to more than 19 countries in Europe, South America and Asia, and has collaborated with the London Symphony, the Munich Symphony, L’Orchestre Lamoureux and L’Orchestre de St-Louis-en-l’Île of Paris, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the China National Symphony, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Estonian National Symphony, and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Argentina.

Pacific Chorale also places a significant emphasis on choral music education, offering grades 1-6 after-school programs, a high school student summer camp, and a community-wide singing event at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.