P R O G R A M
Warum ist daß Licht gegeben? (op. 74, #1)
Storm’s End from As Time Stops to Rest
Wie lieblich sind Deine Wohnüngen
from Ein Deutsches Requiem (op. 45)
In Perfect Light | Frances Pang, soloist
Intermezzo in A-major (op. 118, no. 2)
Our Father/My Father | Megan Schultz, soloist
Wo ist ein so herrlich Volk? (op. 109, no. 3)
THE PASADENA CHORALE
Tali Tadmor, pianist
Jeffrey Bernstein, conductor
This concert is made possible in part by the generous support of
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission.
Recording and photography during the performance are not allowed.
THE PASADENA CHORALE
Sandy Kuo Price
Nina Grace Shelby
Dianne J. Waldman
Brittney S. Wheeler
ABOUT THE COMPOSERS
Amy Gordon is a composer, arranger, songwriter, and vocalist in Los Angeles, CA. She is an active choral composer and has been commissioned to write and arrange pieces for Choral Arts Initiative, Loyola Marymount University Concert Choir, Nova Vocal Ensemble, The Los Angeles Belles, The South Bay Chamber Singers, Ramona Convent Secondary School Chamber Choir, Graham Middle School Vocal Ensemble, and more. Her music has been described as melodic and accessible, yet with surprising harmonic twists. She is influenced by the musical styles of Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and Steve Reich. She loves setting poetry to music and bringing out the meaning of the text through music. She has won multiple awards, including the first annual Jim MacMillan Prize in Composition, 2nd place in the Corinfesta International Competition for Choral Composition, and numerous ASCAP Plus Awards.
In addition to composing classical and choral music, she is also an active media composer and singer-songwriter. Her score for The Turner Exhibit won best film score by The Monkey Bread Tree Film Awards. Her song “One Door Opens” was named a finalist in the SongDoor International Songwriting competition.
She is an active educator and teaches Bachelor-level Music Theory, Songwriting, and Music Education classes. She is available for private Piano, Voice, Composition, and Songwriting lessons in the South Bay area. She received her M.M. in Composition from California State University, Long Beach and her B.A. in Composition from Loyola Marymount University.
Known for his ability to inspire audiences and musicians alike, Jeffrey Bernstein is an American composer and conductor based in Southern California. He is founding artistic director of the Pasadena Chorale, an auditioned community chorus, and artistic director of the Los Angeles Daiku. Previously Bernstein served as artistic director of the Hollywood Master Chorale and assistant conductor of the Pasadena Symphony and POPS. From 1997 to 2008 Bernstein was director of choral music at Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he rejuvenated a century-old Glee Club tradition and taught courses in music theory, counterpoint, composing and arranging, 20th-century music, and the American musical theater. Bernstein began his career in the theater, working first as a lighting designer and subsequently serving as a musical director and conductor. He led over 25 professional productions and served as associate musical director for the national touring company of CATS.
During the thirty year span of his career Bernstein has conducted dozens of major works and led choirs on fourteen tours of three continents. He has conducted Bach’s St. John Passion with Sanford Sylvan in Boston, Haydn’s Creation with the Arad Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus in Romania, Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors with Suzanna Guzmán at the Pasadena Playhouse, Dvorak’s Czech Suite with the Naples Philharmonic in Florida, and over a dozen other orchestral performances at the Harvard Business School. He was guest conductor with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in an acclaimed program he created for young people entitled “Mozart the Wonder Boy”. In 2013 he conducted the annual performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Naruto, Japan, the first American to do so. He has conducted the Ninth on many other occasions, including at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and at Beethoven's birthplace in Bonn, Germany, and he was to have returned to Naruto to conduct in 2020, the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.
Bernstein’s songs can be heard around the world on the PBS children’s television program “Let’s Go Luna”, starring Judy Greer. He has composed numerous concert works, and his music has been performed across the United States and in Europe, Japan and Australia. 21st Century 23rd Psalm, composed for the L.A. Choral Lab was released on that group’s debut album in November 2019. In 2012 Bernstein composed Fukushima Requiem and conducted performances of the work in Los Angeles and in Naruto, Japan. In 2013 he composed Dreams of Japan for the Tokushima Symphony and premiered the work with them. His commissions include The Human Journey and 21st Century 23rd Psalm for the L.A. Choral Lab, Circumnavigation of the World for Occidental College, Chomolungma for the Governor’s School of North Carolina, Phoenix for UCLA bassoonist Melson Varsovia, Pablo Neruda in Love for The Hotchkiss School in Connecticut and over a dozen a cappella choral works and arrangements. His choral arrangements are featured in the 2002 film Slackers. Active as a pianist, Bernstein has released four albums of original piano music: PianoJournals, Clear Mind Calm Water, The Desert House, and Pianoasis. In 2017 Bernstein was awarded second prize in the American Prize competition in both choral composition and choral performance. He is also the recipient of a Yale School of Music Alumni Ventures Award in 2013, and in March 2016 he was named the Hotchkiss School’s Alumnus of the Month. A committed educator and advocate for young people, Bernstein teaches at the Pasadena Waldorf School.
Bernstein grew up in New England, living in New York, Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts before moving to California in 1996. He holds music degrees from UCLA, Yale and Harvard, where he also served as acting associate director of choral activities and assistant conductor of the world-famous Harvard Glee Club. An experienced choral singer, Bernstein has sung with the Harvard Glee Club, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Musica Angelica, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale under such conductors as Seiji Ozawa, Roger Norrington, and Simon Rattle. Choirs under Bernstein’s direction have sung for Gustavo Dudamel, Zubin Mehta, Jorge Mester, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Bernstein studied conducting with Jorge Mester and Jameson Marvin and composition with Peter Lieberson, James Yannatos, Jacob Druckman, Roger Bourland and David Lefkowitz. He makes his home in Altadena, California.
“Radiant and transcendent”, the music of Juhi Bansal weaves together themes celebrating musical and cultural diversity, nature and the environment, and strong female role models. Her music draws upon elements as disparate as Hindustani music, the spectralists, progressive metal, musical theatre and choral traditions to create deeply expressive, evocative sound-worlds. As an Indian composer brought up in Hong Kong, her work draws subtly upon both those traditions, entwining them closely and intricately with the gestures of western classical music.
Current projects include Waves of Change, a digital experience on womanhood, identity and clash of cultures inspired by the story of the Bangladesh Girls Surf Club; and Edge of a Dream, an opera about Ada Lovelace, daughter of infamous poet Lord Byron and a 19th Century pioneer in computing commissioned by Los Angeles Opera. Recent seasons have included commissions from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Beth Morrison Projects, New York Virtuoso Singers, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, the Oakland East Bay Symphony, AIDS Quilt Songbook 20th Anniversary project and more. Her music is regularly performed throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia and available on the Naxos, Albany and Roven Records labels. Awards received for her work include prizes from the Five Colleges New Music Festival Competition, ASCAP Lotte Lehman Foundation Art song Competition, Boston Metro Opera International Composers Competition, and multiple ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer awards.
She is a staunch proponent of bringing new audiences into contemporary music and of helping musicians of all ages take ownership of music creation. She was co-founder of the New Lens Concert series, engaging audiences into contemporary music by highlighting thematic connections between repertoire new and old, and using redacted programs to create a sense of surprise around expectations of “new music”. Her teaching work focuses heavily on demystifying composition and helping musicians of all ages build ownership of the fact that they too can improvise, experiment, create and write music, no matter their prior training or background.
A conductor as well as composer, she has been awarded fellowships by the Douglas Moore Fund for American Opera, the Atlantic Music Center, Seasons Music Festival, Oregon Bach Festival Composer’s Symposium, and the Pacific Music Festival. She frequently premieres the work of other composers and accompanies singers at the piano. She is currently on the music faculties of the Hartt School at the University of Hartford and Pasadena City College, and serves on the boards for the Phoenix Concerts (NY) and Synchromy (LA).
Kevin Hartnett is composer of instrumental, vocal, and electro-acoustic music. He has received honors from the American String Teachers Association, the Music Educators National Conference, and the Mizzou New Music Initiative and was a finalist for The American Prize in Composition in 2020. In 2018, his choral work De profundis was recorded by The Zurich Chamber Singers as part of their debut album Passio and was praised by BBC Music Magazine as “a superb centrepiece" of the album.
Kevin’s music has been performed across the United States and around the world by ensembles such as The Zurich Chamber Singers, Kantorei of Kansas City, and the Zelter String Quartet. His work has been featured at the Midwest Clinic, the MENC national convention, and the Missouri Music Educators Association conference and has been presented by the Hear Now Music Festival in Los Angeles, the Kansas Ambassadors of Music in Europe, and American Voices in Iraq, Jordan, and Thailand.
Kevin earned a Bachelor of Music in Composition from the USC Thornton School of Music, a Master of Music in Composition from the IU Jacobs School of Music, and has completed additional studies at Bowdoin International Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, and Orford Musique. He is a co-founder and co-director of the performance series Resonant Frequencies, a performing member of the Pasadena Chorale, and composer-in-residence at Renaissance Arts Academy in Los Angeles. His work is published by Just A Theory Press.
Dr. Zanaida Stewart
Dr. Zanaida Stewart Robles is an award-winning Black American female composer, vocalist, and teacher. She is a fierce advocate for diversity and inclusion in music education and performance. Authentic interpersonal connection and relationship-building are core principles of her teaching and performance methods. Born, raised, and educated in Southern California on the occupied lands of the Gabrielino-Tongva people, she is in demand as a composer, vocalist, clinician and adjudicator for competitions, festivals, and conferences related to choral and solo vocal music.
Dr. Robles’s original music has been performed by professional ensembles, community choirs, educational institutions, churches, and individuals world wide. Her works are published by Stewart Robles Music, Music Spoke, E.B. Marks Music, Pavane Publishing, and Stainer and Bell. Her compositional style can be described as energized, soulful, contrapuntal, harmonically colorful, rhythmically driven, heavily modal, occasionally with African elements and touches of progressive rock.
As a performing arts instructor at Harvard-Westlake Upper School in Studio City, CA, Dr. Robles conducts the Chamber Singers, Jazz Singers, Bel Canto Treble Choir, and Wolverine Chorus for tenors and basses. She is also the director of music at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena, CA where she oversees the Neighborhood Chorus, Neighborhood Bells, and the Neighborhood Youth Choir. Dr. Robles served for 5 years as music director for “Project Messiah” with Street Symphony – an organization that engages communities directly affected by homelessness and incarceration in LA County through performances, workshops and teaching artistry. While studying at the University of Southern California (USC), she conducted the USC Thornton University Chorus for two years. Prior to this, she worked at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) for 7 years where she was the director of classical choirs and taught vocal fundamentals, sight singing, and music theory. Under her direction, the LACHSA Classical Choirs performed for numerous festivals, concerts, and special events at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and in other venues throughout Southern California.
As a concert soprano soloist, studio vocalist for film and television, and professional ensemble singer, Dr. Robles has sung throughout the United States, and in parts of Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. Her film, television, and video game credits include “Glee,” “Tinkerbell: Pirate Fairy,” “Godzilla,” “Minions,” “Creed,” Lego Movie,” “Despicable Me 3,” “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “Venom,” “Smallfoot,” “Frozen 2,” “Underwater,” “Mulan,” and “Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War.”
Dr. Robles holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the USC Thornton School of Music, a Master of Music degree from CSU Northridge, a Bachelor of Music degree from CSU Long Beach, and she is a graduate of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.
THE PASADENA CHORALE
FOUNDING ARTISTIC & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
MARKETING & DEVELOPMENT
Annie Ranzani Makarchuk