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Who We Are

We inspire our community through artistry and innovation in choral
performances and education programs.

Core Values

  • Artistry
  • Commitment
  • Inspiring Curiosity
  • Innovation
  • Community

Vision

Inspiring love of choral music and lifelong learning.

Mission

We inspire our community through artistry and innovation in choral performances and education programs.

About Pacific Chorale

The Grammy Award-winning 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 the 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, Tarik O’Regan, Karen Thomas, Frank Ticheli, András Gábor Virágh, and Eric Whitacre. Among other artistic highlights, Pacific Chorale’s “The Wayfaring Project,” a stunning original concert film conceived and conducted by Istad and produced during the pandemic, was picked up by PBS SoCal and KCET and will be streamed through December 1, 2024 on pbssocal.orgkcet.org and the PBS app, reaching audiences across the Southland and around the globe.

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, with which it won the 2022 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance for its contribution to the live recording of “Mahler: Symphony No. 8, ‘Symphony of A Thousand,’” conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, Los Angeles Master Chorale, National Children’s Chorus and Pacific Chorale. The choir 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

Artistic Director Emeritus John Alexander

John Alexander is one of America’s most respected choral conductors. His inspired leadership both on the podium and as an advocate for the advancement of the choral art has garnered national and international admiration and acclaim.

Alexander’s long and distinguished conducting career has encompassed hundreds of choral and orchestral performances nationally and in 27 countries around the globe. He has conducted his singers with orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, the former Soviet Union and South America and, within his own Southern California community, with Pacific Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Musica Angelica and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Alexander is equally proficient behind the scenes, having prepared choruses for many of the world’s most outstanding orchestral conductors, including Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, Michael Tilson Thomas, Leonard Slatkin, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, Lukas Foss, Max Rudolf, Carl St.Clair, Gerard Schwarz, Marin Alsop, John Mauceri, John Williams, and Keith Lockhart.

Alexander is the Artistic Director Emeritus of Pacific Chorale, having served as Artistic Director and Conductor from 1972 to 2017. Under his direction, the organization grew to become one of the foremost symphonic choirs in the nation, enjoying thirteen international tours throughout Europe, Asia, and South America; establishing productive artistic partnerships with Pacific Symphony and Segerstrom Center for the Arts; performing dozens of world and United States premieres; and releasing numerous recordings.

Alexander is nationally recognized for his leadership in the musical and organizational development of the performing arts.  He is a board member and former president of Chorus America, the service organization for choruses in North America. Alexander also has served on artistic review panels for national, statewide and local arts organizations, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

Alexander holds the title of Professor Emeritus at California State University, Fullerton, where he taught as Director of Choral Studies from 1996 to 2006. From 1970 to 1996, he held the same position at California State University, Northridge. Today Alexander continues his involvement in the pre-professional training of choral conductors. He is in demand as a teacher, clinician, and adjudicator in festivals, seminars, and workshops across the United States. In 2003, Chorus America honored him with the establishment of the “John Alexander Conducting Faculty Chair” for their national conducting workshops.

A proponent of contemporary American music, Alexander is noted for the strong representation of American works and composers in his programming. He has conducted many premieres of works by composers such as Jake Heggie, Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre, Frank Ticheli, and James Hopkins. Alexander is also a composer of many works and serves as the editor of the John Alexander Choral Series with Hinshaw Music, as well as the John Alexander Singers Choral Series with Pavane Publishing.

His numerous tributes and awards include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the ACDA, Western Division (2016); the “Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art” from Chorus America (2008); The “Distinguished Faculty Member” award from California State University, Fullerton (2006); the Helena Modjeska Cultural Legacy Award (2003), presented in honor of his lifetime achievement as an artistic visionary in the development of the arts in Orange County; the “Outstanding Individual Artist” Award (2000) from Arts Orange County; the “Gershwin Award” (1990), presented by the county of Los Angeles in recognition of his cultural leadership in that city; and the “Outstanding Professor” Award (1976) from California State University, Northridge.

Board & Staff

Board of Directors

  • Brian D. Bates, CPA
  • Andrew Brown,
    President & CEO*
  • David Bunker, Chair, Innovations*
  • Christopher Lindley,
    Chair, Marketing*
  • Susan Lindley, Chair, Education*
  • Mary A. Lyons,
    Chair, Development*
  • Rick McNeil
  • Marcia O’Hern, Secretary*
  • Thomas A. Pridonoff,
    Immediate Past Board Chair*
  • Stephane Quinn
  • Ryan Ratcliff,
    Artists’ Council Representative
  • Craig Springer, Board Chair*
  • Michael Vantrease,
    Treasurer*
  • Li Hong Wang
  • Amanda Whiting
  • Charles Zhang,
    Chair, Nominating*
  • Christopher Zhao

* Executive Committee member

Administration

  • Robert Istad,
    Artistic Director
  • Andrew Brown,
    President & CEO
  • Molly Buzick Pontin,
    Vice President, Director of Education & Community Programs
  • Abby Manaye,
    Controller
  • Ryan McSweeney,
    Director of Patron Services
  • Alex Nelson,
    Director of Artistic Production
  • Natalie Hunter,
    Interim Director of Marketing
  • Michael Lawler,
    Interim Director of Development
  • Michaela Teisser,
    Administrative Assistant

Artistic Staff

  • Kibsaim Escarcega,
    Assistant Conductor
  • David Clemensen, D.M.A.,
    Collaborative Pianist
  • Rebecca Hasquet,
    Soprano Section Leader
  • Jane Shim,
    Alto Section Leader
  • Nicholas Preston,
    Tenor Section Leader
  • Ryan Thomas Antal,
    Bass Section Leader
  • Natalie Buickians,
    Teaching Artist
  • Elizabeth Nguyen,
    Teaching Artist

Volunteer Administration

  • Barbara Kingsbury,
    Historian
  • Ryan Ratcliff,
    Artists’ Council President

Consultants & Support