In preparation for the opening of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, CCSA’s treble and mixed advanced ensembles gathered last week for four days of rehearsal with Interim Artistic Director Dr. Doreen Rao.
Rao flew in from Chicago to not only teach new music for next season, but to also bond with the ensembles and foster a community of support before the season even begins. She will return to San Antonio in late July when she directs the 2014 Elementary Honor Choir at the TCDA Convention, held July 27-30.
The singers were excited to work with Rao, describing her as “enthusiastic,” “energetic,” and “hip.”
“I like her vibe,” said Mishel Malik, a CCSA singer in the mixed chorus. “She’s active, she’s…youthful, she knows us, she understands us…I like her.”
“I think of her as…very fun, and she has set the bar high for us,” added Luna Montoya, who is also in the mixed chorus.
Rao is known the world over for her groundbreaking work in the field of music education. Appointed music director and conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus in 2008, Rao holds the Cameron Baird Conductor’s Chair. She also holds the University of Toronto’s Elmer Iseler Chair in Conducting Emeritus. During Rao’s long association with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she prepared the award-winning Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus (Anima) for concerts, tours, and recorded performances that won four Grammy Awards and a Grand Prix du Disque under Sir George Solti, Margaret Hillis, Claudio Abbado, and James Levine.