Rays of Hope starts August 29th
Available thru Sept 30
Tickets sold on Eventbrite (no longer available)
A new concert of new music
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Barry Gremillion grew up in a musical family with piano lessons beginning as soon as he could reach the keys. He played trumpet in school orchestras and marching bands. And of course, the guitar. He sang in choirs, musical theater, folk trios and rock bands. Reading music was essential, and he had excelled in writing arrangements and original music from early on. As a working actor in theater, film and TV, the 70’s were a blur of composing and performing. During the 80’s, he worked behind the scenes in film and TV production and music took a back seat. In the mid-90’s, he continued writing and recording, and has been fortunate to work with so many talented singers and musicians ever since. While at the Dallas Theater Center in 1971, he started composing an oratorio based on the epic of “Gilgamesh.” Forty-two years later it was record with Ashley Faatoalia singing the title role.
Ashley Faatoalia is a versatile and inspirational singer born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Ashley studied at Chapman University and is a sought-after vocalist around the world. Opera News calls his singing “hauntingly beautiful” crediting him with “a voice of winning purity and variety of expression” and The San Francisco Chronicle calls him “Sweet-toned” Ashley's recent engagements include performances as: Antron’s Father in the world premiere of the Pulitzer-Prize-winning The Central Park Five, with Long Beach Opera, The Crab Man in Porgy & Bess, with Seattle Opera, Lyric Tenor in EUROPERAS , with LAPhil, and his debut as Marco Polo in the Emmy-Award-winning, Pulitzer-Prize-nominated, Invisible Cities with The Industry. For more information, visit www.ashleyfaatoalia.com and follow ash on twitter - @ashthetenor
Shawn Kirchner is a composer/arranger, singer, and pianist based in Los Angeles whose choral works are sung throughout the world. Kirchner’s long and fruitful association with the LA Master Chorale and artistic director Grant Gershon has resulted in many commissions and premieres at LA’s Disney Concert Hall, and he served as the ensemble’s Composer in Residence from 2012-2015. Kirchner is also a member of LAMC’s touring company of Lagrime di San Pietro, presenting the Renaissance masterpiece at the Salzburg Festival and other major international venues. Kirchner has also sung on dozens of feature film soundtracks, including the Lorax, Frozen, La La Land, and Avatar. His original songwriting ranges in style from jazz and gospel to folk and bluegrass, the latter featured on his CD Meet Me on the Mountain. His principle creative mentor is the songwriter Steve Kinzie. Apart from music, his passions include organic gardening, the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, and personality typologies.
Soprano Courtney Taylor is a native of Santa Cruz, CA. Courtney performs regularly with Los Angeles Opera and the Los Angeles Master Chorale both as a preference/roster chorister and soloist. Ms. Taylor is thrilled to have begun working as an artist with LA Opera Connects in 2020. Courtney made her Kennedy Center Debut in November 2019 singing a new work, The Three Paderesky’s as a soloist . Ms. Taylor holds degrees from USC, Graduate Certificate in Vocal Performance 2014, a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Manhattan School of Music, NY and a Bachelor of Music from Chapman University. Some of Courtney’s professionally performed roles include Pat Nixon, Adams with LAMC, Pamina, Donna Anna, Suor Angelica, Adina, Violetta, Susannah, Musetta and Countess. Notable Oratorio performances include Handel's Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Mozart C Minor Mass (soprano I and II) and the Beethoven 9. At the Aspen Opera Theater Center Courtney had the honor of singing the role of Marie alongside Deborah Voigt in Rufus Wainwright's opera Prima Donna. Ms. Taylor has won several prestigious vocal competitions and scholarships among them semi finalist for the Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition in 2012 and 2014. Courtney has performed extensively internationally, singing the title role of Suor Angelica in Viterbo Italy with the Tuscia Music Festival ILAR as well as various concert work in Salzburg and Vienna Austria. Ms. Taylor is a member of SAG-Aftra and has sung on many film and TV scores including Disney’s Mulan, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Alita Battle Angel, Transformers and Venom.
Todd Strange, Lyric tenor, and creator of Strange Collaborations, specializes in opera, solo concert work, musical theater, session singing and professional choral/ensemble work. He is a member of the LA Master Chorale, LA Opera, and a soloist in regional opera companies/ symphonies across the US and abroad. highlights include leading/supporting roles with The LA Philharmonic, Long Beach Opera, New York City Opera, Arizona Opera, Ohio Light Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Stockton Opera and San Diego Opera. Todd has been featured on various recordings: LA Phil and LA Master Chorale, and in principal roles with Ohio Light Opera/ Albany Records. Todd has sung on various popular film scores, including the blockbuster, "Sing!" as the operatic Camel. Todd had the privilege of working with John Williams for Star Wars/The Last Jedi. Other movies include Us, The Lion King, Smallfoot, Star Wars/Rogue One, Frozen, Minions, Bumblebee, and The Simpsons.
Puerto Rican baritone Abdiel Gonzalez has been praised for his “rich, lush baritone” and for having a “superb voice, which commanded the stage.” He has been a concert soloist under the batons of Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Grant Gershon, to name a few. He has traveled the world singing, most recently to Taiwan, singing the role of Gaston in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, as well as being the baritone soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Boca Del Rio Orchestra in Veracruz, Mexico, for the inaugural concert of a new state-of-the-art performing arts center. He has performed 36 operatic and Zarzuela roles, and can be heard in over 30 films, including Coco, Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Mason Shefa (b. 1993) is an American sacred and concert music composer of choral and small-ensemble instrumental works, as well as a telecommunications lawyer. His music compositions reflect an appreciation and close study of the Renaissance-era stile antico, being largely polyphonic, imitative, and modal in nature. His works have been performed by church choirs and instrumental ensembles throughout the country. Besides composing music, he practices telecommunications law in Los Angeles. He received his J.D. from William and Mary Law School in 2019, and his B.A. in History from Yale University in 2015.
Los Angeles soprano, Julie Hinton, is a multi-faceted musician. Her voice has been heard in classical concerts, film soundtracks and musical theatre. Her recent theatre roles include Annie (Annie Get Your Gun), Marguerite (The Scarlet Pimpernel), and Eponine (Les Miserables). Most recently, she has been seen as the soprano soloist in Juan Batista Sancho’s Misa en sol and Ignacio de Jerusalem’s Polychoral Mass in D. She has sung two seasons with the Los Angeles Master Chorale under the baton of Grant Gershon and Esa-Pekka Salonen. She has produced and performed in a comedy concert she co-wrote, the Big American Winter Holiday Musical Spectacular that has been running annually since 2018. She was recently appointed as the associate conductor of the San Fernando Valley Master Chorale and looks forward to working with that veteran organization. juliehinton.net.
Ariel Pisturino, check out the About page, or arielpisturino.com
A graduate of the University of California Los Angeles, tenor Eli Gunnell received a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory in Boston. He has been a staff singer with All Saints’ Church in Beverly Hills since 1997, and also performs regularly with the choir of St. James in the City Episcopal Church in Los Angeles. He has performed with de Angelis Vocal Ensemble, as well as Los Angeles Chamber Singers/Cappella, and was a founding member of LA Schola.
Ron Barnett is a composer living in Los Angeles, CA where he is Director of Music and Sacred Arts at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glendale: MANSON’S GIRLS, (book by Scott Guy, lyrics by Mitch Glaser, Hollywood Fringe 2017), WHEN BUTTER CHURNS TO GOLD (book by Peter Welkin, lyrics by Randi Wolfe, Northern Sky Theatre, Fish Creek, WI 2015/West Coast premiere at The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville 2017), AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, (book and lyrics by Julianne Homokay, Fulton Theatre, Lancaster, PA 2007), A CHRISTMAS CAROL, (book by Barry Kornhauser, Fulton theatre 2001 and published by Dramatic Publishing in 2013). Ron has also scored over two dozen shows for regional children’s theatre, some of which have played at the Kennedy Center, toured nationally, and were submitted for TCG awards. Choral music published by GIA, MorningStar.
Norge Yip has been a featured soloist and choral singer in many ensembles throughout Southern California as well as recordings for albums, video game/television/movie soundtracks, studio demos, and premiere performances. He has toured internationally and performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, St. Peter's in London, St. Patrick's in Dublin, and many of the chateaux throughout the Loire Valley in France. Norge has been seen most recently on stage as The Imperial Commissioner in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar, The Dungeon Master in Comic-Con: The Musical: The Workshop, and on television on Chris Hardwick's @midnight, and on Masters of Illusion. Previous stage credits include performances with Pacific Opera Project, The Society of Revolutionary Operettists, El Dorado Opera, Lyric Opera of Los Angeles, Long Beach Opera, Emerald Opera Festival, La Bella Voce Opera, and Los Angeles Opera Orchestra.
Sharmila G. Lash is a performer and educator in both classical and jazz circles, and many in between. She has sung with the LA Master Chorale since 2006. Teaching steadily since 2004, she incorporates her vast professional experience to help guide students to find their own voice. Sharmila has shared the stage with a long list of world-class ensembles and musicians. She has performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Santa Barbara Bowl, Mondavi Center, Zellerbach Hall, and more and has been a featured performer at the Jazz Education Network Conference, DiMiero Jazz Festival, American Choral Directors Association Conference, and Festival Napa Valley, to name a few. As a session musician, Sharmila has sung on a number of film soundtracks for 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, and Warner Bros. Pictures. She is a proud member of AGMA, SAG-AFTRA, and ASCAP. sharmilaguhalash.com
Katie Campbell’s recent honor was subbing for Cheryl Bentyne in The Manhattan Transfer. Her experience ranges from singing on Bobby McFerrin’s GRAMMY-nominated VOCAbuLarieS to touring with Sheryl Crow. She has sung on numerous film scores and television shows and released her first solo album End of the Beginning in 2011. Katie sang soprano in vocal jazz ensemble True North and was the female stand-by in Toxic Audio’s off-Broadway show, Loudmouth. She has been featured in numerous jazz ensembles between New York and Los Angeles and won a Downbeat Award for “Best Collegiate Jazz Vocalist” while earning her Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies at Western Michigan University. She has traveled throughout the United States, Europe, South Africa, and South Korea as a performer and clinician. Earlier this year she recorded an album with local jazz ensemble San Gabriel 7 entitled Sneakin’ Up On Love, expected to be released in August 2021. www.katiecampbellartist.com
Farah Kidwai is an accomplished and in-demand vocalist. A SAG-AFTRA session singer, she has lent her rich, flexible mezzo-soprano voice to numerous film, TV, and video game soundtracks. As a member of the GRAMMY-winning Los Angeles Master Chorale under Grant Gershon, she performed, recorded, and toured with renowned conductors, composers and orchestras. She is a passionate and knowledgeable voice teacher and coach, proficient across several genres. She holds a Masters in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College. Farah is a rising voice over artist and has lent her talent to a number of upcoming film and digital media projects. farahkidwai.com