• Aug 26, 2021

Pacific Chorale Announces 2021-2022 Season with Return to In-Person, Indoor Performances

Written by Natalie Hunter 

Press Contact:

Libby Huebner, libbyhuebner562@gmail.com, 562.799.6055




Highlights of 54th Season, Spotlighting Contemporary Composers, Include:

  • Two Tarik O’Regan World Premieres Bookending Season;
  • West Coast Premieres by Damien Geter and Frank Ticheli;
  • Works by Paul Fowler, Galina Grigorjeva, Edie Hill, Jake Runestad, Caroline Shaw, Dale Trumbore, and Hyo-Won Woo;
  • Choral Masterworks by Rachmaninoff, Vaughan Williams and Martin;
  • Acclaimed Guest Artists Sopranos Aundi Marie Moore and Liv Redpath, Grammy Award-winning bass-baritone Dashon Burton, Pacific Symphony Principal Cellist Warren Hagerty, and the Pacific Symphony;
  • Signature Candlelight and Family Holiday Programs;


Ticketholders Required to Show Proof of Vaccination and Wear Masks Inside Venues


COSTA MESA, CA (August 26, 2021) – Pacific Chorale Artistic Director Robert Istad and Andrew Brown, President & CEO, today announced the chorus’ 2021-2022 Season featuring its return to in-person performances at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, beginning in October, with sweeping programming that builds upon its trailblazing legacy of championing contemporary composers. The “A-list ensemble” (Los Angeles Times) acclaimed for its “polish, poise and tonal splendor” (Orange County Register) presents five transformative programs, bookending the 54th season with two world premieres by Grammy-nominated former Composer-in-Residence Tarik O’Regan, the first, The Stillness Chained, a Pacific Chorale commission set to the poetry of Yone Noguchi.

Each of the five programs includes a range of compelling works by some of the most groundbreaking composers of our time, including the West Coast premieres of Damien Geter’s profound Cantata for a More Hopeful Tomorrow, a message of hope refracted through the lens of Bach’s musical legacy interwoven with African-American spirituals, featuring celebrated soprano Aundi Marie Moore and Pacific Symphony Principal Cellist Warren Hagerty; and Frank Ticheli’s Until Forever Fades Away, a poetic meditation on the elusive nature of time.

Among other vibrant contemporary choral works, Istad conducts Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw’s and the swallow, a setting of Psalm 84 inspired by the Syrian refugee crisis, and her playful Music in Common Time for choir and orchestra; Paul Fowler’s wordless, hypnotic Calling; and Edie Hill’s poignant We Bloomed in Spring, set to the words of St. Teresa of Avila. Pacific Chorale also performs leading Estonian composer Galina Grigorjeva’s On Leaving, a contemplation on the soul’s release from the mortal body; Spiritus Mundi, Dale Trumbore’s hymn of gratitude for the fruits of the earth; Jake Runestad’s exuberant setting of Walt Whitman’s Proud Music of the Storm; and South Korean composer Hyo-Won Woo’s dramatic Me-Na-Ri (Space Music), a work for three choirs and percussion that stretches the boundaries of choral music.

Adding further breadth to the season are three iconic 20th century choral masterworks: Rachmaninoff’s evocative a cappella Vespers (All Night Vigil), Op. 37; Martin’s Mass for Double Choir, a tour-de-force laced with vocal fireworks; and the choir’s first-ever performance of Vaughan Williams’ poignant Dona Nobis Pacem, giving voice to the plea, “Grant us peace,” and featuring renowned guest artists soprano Liv Redpath and Grammy Award-winning bass-baritone Dashon Burton.

Pacific Chorale’s signature holiday programming returns with two performances each of “Carols by Candlelight” – spotlighting timeless repertoire from the Renaissance and beyond, including works by contemporary British composers Bob Chilcott, Patrick Hawes, Cecilia McDowall, and Will Todd – and the beloved family favorite “Tis the Season!,” chock-full of festive carols, seasonal delights, and even a visit from Santa Claus. This year, “Tis the Season!” will conclude with the first live performance of Emmy Award-winning composer Gary Fry’s new arrangement of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” which Pacific Chorale commissioned and premiered during last season’s virtual holiday concert.

“As Pacific Chorale resumes singing in person, I wanted to select works that both recognize the challenges we have all faced in recent times and reflect the diverse repertoire that our singers love to perform and our audiences have come to expect,” says Istad. “Composers creating artistic statements right now are deeply connected to our current human experience. I sincerely hope their messages resonate with our singers and audiences in an immediate, powerful way. At its core, Pacific Chorale exists to unite people through choral music, so returning to live performances enhanced by the sparkling acoustics of Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall will, no doubt, be an incredibly joyful experience for all of us on the stage and in the theater.”

“We are extremely grateful to the Pacific Chorale’s loyal patrons, vital community partners and committed donors for helping the organization transition through the extended closure brought about by the global pandemic,” says Brown. “While we made it a top priority to remain artistically connected to our patrons during this challenging time by pivoting to create innovative, digital programming, there is nothing like the visceral aspect of a live performance. We are thrilled to be able to, once again, welcome patrons back inside the concert hall and showcase the Pacific Chorale’s artistry in a concert setting.”


In addition to presenting its own concert series, the Chorale makes guest appearances on five Pacific Symphony programs this season. They include Handel’s Messiah, led by Robert Moody (December 5, 2021), and four presentations under the baton of Carl St.Clair – A Lunar New Year program (February 5, 2022), Cathedrals of Sounds (February 17-19, 2022), Verdi’s Otello (April 7,9,12, 2022), and Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor (May 19-22, 2022).


Pacific Chorale continues to make the health and safety of its patrons, artists and community its top priority and has adopted the requirement that all audience members attending indoor performances be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In order to be considered fully vaccinated, patrons must confirm that at least 14 days have passed since receiving the second dose of FDA or WHO authorized double-dose vaccines or that at least 14 days have passed since receiving the sole dose of FDA or WHO authorized single-dose vaccines. Audience members may display proof of vaccine on a smartphone or by showing a physical copy of their vaccination card or official vaccination record. Children under 12 and those who are unvaccinated due to a medical or religious reason must provide proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken no more than 48 hours prior to attending. Rapid or antigen tests will not be accepted. All guests, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks while inside the concert venue. These safety protocols will be re-assessed on an ongoing basis and may be adjusted as public health circumstances evolve. The Chorale is closely monitoring industry and government guidance regarding the COVID-19 virus, including information supplied by the State of California, California Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Orange County Department of Public Health. For information on Pacific Chorale’s most current health and safety protocols, please visit https://www.pacificchorale.org/covid-returning-to-live-performances/.


Season tickets are available in packages of 3 to 5 concerts, ranging in price from $67 to $469. Single tickets to individual performances will go on sale on Tuesday, September 7. All Pacific Chorale concerts are presented in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, CA, except for “Carols by Candlelight” and “Songs of the Soul,” which are presented in Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Newport Beach, CA. For tickets and information, visit www.pacificchorale.org or call 714-662-2345.


ROBERT ISTAD, who “fashions fluent and sumptuous readings” (Voice of OC) with his “phenomenal” artistry (Los Angeles Times), was appointed Pacific Chorale’s Artistic Director in 2017. Under his leadership, the chorus continues to expand its reputation for excellence for delivering fresh, thought-provoking interpretations of beloved masterworks, rarely performed gems and newly commissioned pieces. His artistic impact can be heard on two recent recordings featuring Pacific Chorale: “Mahler’s Eighth Symphony” with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel on Deutsche Grammophon (2021), for which he prepared the chorus, and “Ecstasies Above: The Music of Tarik O’Regan,” which he conducted, on Yarlung Records (2020). Istad has also prepared choruses for such renowned conductors as Esa-Pekka Salonen, John Williams, John Mauceri, Keith Lockhart, Nicholas McGegan, Vasilly Sinaisky, Sir Andrew Davis, Bramwell Tovey, Carl St.Clair, Eugene Kohn, Giancarlo Guerrero, Marin Alsop, George Fenton, and Robert Moody. He regularly conducts and collaborates with Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, Sony Classical Records, Yarlung Records, Berkshire Choral International, and Long Beach Symphony Orchestra. An esteemed educator, Istad is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at California State University, Fullerton, where he was recognized as CSUF’s 2016 Outstanding Professor of the Year. He conducts the University Singers and manages a large graduate conducting program, in addition to teaching courses on conducting and performance practice. Istad, who is on the Executive Board of Directors of Chorus America and serves as Dean of Chorus America’s Conducting Academy, is in demand as guest conductor, lecturer, and clinician.

PACIFIC CHORALE, an Orange County “treasure” with a “fresh viewpoint” that “can sing anything you put in front of it, with polish, poise and tonal splendor” (Orange County Register) has “risen to national prominence” (Los Angeles Times) since its inception in 1968. Hailed for delivering “thrilling entertainment” (Voice of OC), the resident choir at Segerstrom Center for the Arts is noted for its artistic innovation and commitment to expanding the choral repertoire. It has given world, U.S., and West Coast premieres of more than 35 works, including numerous commissions, by such lauded composers as John Adams, Jake Heggie, James Hopkins, David Lang, Morten Lauridsen, Ravel, Tarik O’Regan, Karen Thomas, Frank Ticheli, András Gábor Virágh, and Eric Whitacre. In addition to presenting its own concert series each season, Pacific Chorale enjoys a long-standing partnership with Pacific Symphony, with whom the choir made its highly anticipated Carnegie Hall debut in 2018. The chorus also regularly appears with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and has performed with such leading orchestras as the Boston Symphony, National Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, and Musica Angelica, among others. Pacific Chorale has garnered international acclaim as well, having toured extensively to more than 19 countries in Europe, South America, and Asia, and through collaborations with the London Symphony, Munich Symphony, L’Orchestre Lamoureux and L’Orchestre de St-Louis-en-l’Île of Paris, National Orchestra of Belgium, China National Symphony, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Estonian National Symphony, and Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Argentina, among others.  Deeply committed to making choral music accessible to people of all ages, the organization, which has a discography of 14 self-produced recordings and an extensive collection of exceptional free digital offerings, places a significant emphasis on choral music education, providing after-school vocal programs for elementary school students, a choral summer camp for high school students, and an annual community-wide singing event at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. www.pacificchorale.org


# # #




2021-2022 SEASON



Rachmaninoff Vespers

Saturday, October 30, 2021 – 7:00 p.m.

Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Robert Istad, conductor

Pacific Chorale

Aundi Marie Moore, soprano

Warren Hagerty, cello

Hyo-Won WOO Me-Na-Ri (Space Music)
Tarik O’REGAN The Stillness Chained (World Premiere)
Damien GETER Cantata for a More Hopeful Tomorrow (West Coast Premiere)
RACHMANINOFF Vespers (All Night Vigil), Op. 37


Carols by Candlelight

Saturday, December 4, 2021 – 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021 – 8:00 p.m.

Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, Newport Beach

Robert Istad, conductor

Pacific Chorale


Featuring timeless seasonal repertoire from the Renaissance and beyond

NILES / Arr. Leonard Enns I Wonder as I Wander
Will TODD The Call of Wisdom
Arr. Mack Wilberg & Peter Stevens Ding! Dong! Merrily on High
Arr. John Rutter O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Arr. Reginald Jacques In Dulci Jubilo
DERING / ed. Richard Lyne Quem vidistis, pastores?
Arr. Sarah Quartel This Endris Night
Arr. John Rutter The Holly and the Ivy
HOWELLS “Magnificat” from Collegium Regale
Arr. David Willcocks God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen
Cecilia MCDOWALL Lo He slumbers in his manger
GRUBER / Arr. Bob Chilcott Silent Night
Patrick HAWES Reflexionem
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Excerpts from Fantasia on Christmas Carols
Bob CHILCOTT Dona Nobis Pacem


Tis the Season!

Sunday, December 19, 2021 – 5:00 p.m.

Monday, December 20, 2021 – 7:30 p.m.

Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa

Robert Istad, conductor

Pacific Chorale

Members of Pacific Symphony


A family-friendly program replete with festive carols, holiday favorites and a visit from Santa Claus

Gary FRY O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Arr. David Willcocks O Come, All Ye Faithful
Bob CHILCOTT Angel Voices Ever Singing
Arr. Jackson Berkey God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Morten LAURIDSEN O Magnum Mysterium
Arr. Will Todd Once in Royal David’s City
Ji-Hoon PARK Gloria from “Lightning Bug” Mass
Arr. Mack Wilberg Joy to the World
HERMAN / Arr. Jerry Rubino We Need a Little Christmas
José FELICIANO /Arr. Paul Langford Feliz Navidad
STYNE & CAHN /Arr. Teena Chinn & Marc Riley The Christmas Waltz
BERLIN / Arr. Marc Riley & Mac Huff White Christmas
Mariah CAREY & Walter AFANASIEFF / Arr. Mac Huff & Marc Riley All I Want for Christmas Is You
Arr. David Willcocks Jingle, Bells
Rosephanye POWELL Christmas Memories from “Christmas Give”
BIEBL Ave Maria
GRUBER / Arr. Dan Forrest Silent Night
Arr. Gary Fry We Wish You a Merry Christmas


Songs of the Soul

Saturday, March 19, 2022 – 8:00 p.m.

Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, Newport Beach

Robert Istad, conductor

Pacific Chorale

Paul FOWLER Calling
Edie HILL We Bloomed in Spring
Galina GRIGORJEVA On Leaving
Caroline SHAW and the swallow
Dale TRUMBORE Spiritus Mundi
MARTIN Mass for Double Choir


Dona Nobis Pacem

Saturday, May 7, 2021 – 5:00 p.m.

Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa

Robert Istad, conductor

Pacific Chorale

Liv Redpath, soprano

Dashon Burton, bass-baritone

Pacific Symphony

Tarik O’REGAN World Premiere
Caroline SHAW Music in Common Time
Frank TICHELI Until Forever Fades Away (West Coast Premiere)
Jake RUNESTAD Proud Music of the Storm



Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa

600 Town Center Drive

Costa Mesa, CA 92626


Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, Newport Beach

2100 Mar Vista Drive

Newport Beach, CA 92660


Season subscriptions available; single tickets go on sale September 7


Artists, dates, programs and venues subject to change