Tag Archives: Doreen Rao

One more chance to join Children’s Chorus of SA

One more chance to join Children’s Chorus of SA – mysanantonio.com

The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio will hold one last round of placements for the 2014-15 season on Sept. 5-6 at Alamo Heights United Methodist Church, 825 E. Basse Road.

The chorus, which has several ensembles, is open to young performers ages 8 to 22. Those who participate will learn vocal technique and musicianship. No experience is required to take part, and financial aid is available for those who qualify.

Registration can be made through the Children’s Chorus Web site.

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2014-2015 Faculty Announced

As we prepare for a new era of music-making in the Tobin Center, we welcome a mix of new and seasoned faculty members to teach our advanced and junior choruses. Meet your team below!

Dr. Doreen Rao, interim artistic director, is known the world over for her ground-breaking work in the field of music education. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in voice and music education from the University of Illinois, she earned both her master’s degree in voice performance and a Ph.D. in music education from Northwestern University. Rao currently holds the Cameron Baird Conductor’s Chair and is the music director and conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus. During her long association with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, she prepared her Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus (Anima) for concerts, tours, and four Grammy Award-winning recordings.

Irma Taute, associate director of the advanced choruses, is in her 20th season with CCSA. A music educator for more than four decades, she has taught at school districts and universities all across Texas. Taute received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Texas A&I (A&M) University in Kingsville. She is active in the San Antonio choral scene, conducting local region choirs, holding leadership positions for multiple local music organizations, and working as a clinician and adjudicator. Taute has maintained a private voice studio for more than 30 years.

Chalon Murray, associate director of the junior choruses, brings with her 25 years of experience leading choirs and teaching children in both church and academic settings. She received her bachelor’s degree in voice performance, with a minor in piano, from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, and she earned her master’s degree in choral conducting from the Boston Conservatory. Arriving in San Antonio in 2005, Murray helped develop the choir program at the Atonement Academy and  is currently the director of music and organist at St. Helena’s Episcopal Church.

Rebecca Morgan, assistant conductor of the advanced choruses, holds the distinction of being the first CCSA alumna to join the staff, having sung with the organization from 1987 – 1991. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in music education from Texas State University. Morgan currently teaches music at the Montessori School of San Antonio and is also the music director at Northwood Presbyterian Church. Sharing her passion for music with those who need it most, she piloted Music Together at Haven for Hope and the Project: Sing South community outreach program.

LeeAnn Valcarcel, assistant conductor of the junior choruses, has taught choral and music classes around the nation for the past eight years. She graduated cum laude from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, with a bachelor’s degree in music education and an emphasis on voice. Having recently relocated to Texas, Valcarcel is currently pursuing a master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has taught music classes and directed choirs at the elementary, middle, and high school levels and is an accomplished accompanist, private voice and piano teacher, and published composer.

 

We also welcome David Lopez, accompanist of the advanced choruses, and Kevin Baxter, accompanist of the junior choruses.


Advanced Ensembles Rehearse with Dr. Doreen Rao

IRaoPRshot (1)n 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.

Rao blog1


CCSA announces appointment of Interim Artistic Director for 2014-2015 season

ImageThe Children’s Chorus of San Antonio announces the appointment of Dr. Doreen Rao as Interim Artistic Director for the 2014-2015 season, following the retirement of Founder and Artistic Director Marguerite McCormick at the end of May 2014. CCSA has focused on providing exceptional performance and education opportunities to the young people of San Antonio for 30 years and has been preparing for this transition for the past two years. Plans for Rao’s season with the organization include: opportunities for area music teachers and choral directors to work with and learn from Rao in a series of workshops and masterclasses; collaborations with YOSA, the San Antonio Symphony and other area performing arts organizations; and the opportunity for young artists from all walks and corners of San Antonio to experience Dr. Rao’s spirited leadership style and innovative programming in community-wide events.

Executive Director Anne Schelleng noted, “We are thrilled to bring Dr. Rao to San Antonio and to create fantastic opportunities for our community to engage with this leader and visionary in the choral and music education field. From our youngest artists to our peers, colleagues and audiences, it is our goal to unite our community and to lift their lives through song.”

About Doreen Rao

Unknown-1Dr. Doreen Rao is known for her ground-breaking work in music education and is celebrated for her spirited and moving concerts. Linking the standards of performance and education with the goals of diversity, inclusion and social responsibility, Rao’s seminal work teaching young people to sing inspired a generation of conductors and teachers to lead young choirs in schools and communities around the world. 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 Georg Solti, Margaret Hillis, Claudio Abbado, and James Levine. Rao holds the University of Toronto’s Elmer Iseler Chair in Conducting Emeritus; as Director of Choral Programs, she established and led the Faculty of Music’s Graduate Program in Conducting. Appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus in 2008, Rao also holds the Cameron Baird Conductor’s Chair working in close collaboration with the Grammy Award winning Maestro JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Dr. Rao is currently consulting with CCSA in preparation for her term as Interim Artistic Director beginning in June 2014.

ImageMcCormick’s Thirty Year Legacy

MM#6a-webMcCormick will leave a legacy of service to young people in San Antonio, starting with founding CCSA with 33 singers in 1983. During her tenure, singers have travelled around the country and around the globe and have made their mark on the San Antonio community. Performance milestones include several premieres, recordings and a fully staged baroque opera. The program has also blossomed into a multi-faceted organization with six performing ensembles, two neighborhood community programs and ten early-childhood classes serving almost 400 young people annually.

The 30th Anniversary season will conclude with an alumni reunion on May 3 and a grand final concert and celebration on May 4, 2014 in fitting tribute to their Founder. McCormick remarked, “It will be a wonderful celebration of singers past and present and will provide the perfect opportunity for our audience to enjoy the best of CCSA. This celebration offers a fitting close to my leadership of the Children’s Chorus.”

About The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio

The CCSA was founded in 1983 with the mission to bring choral music education and performance opportunities to San Antonio’s young artists. Programs include seven performing ensembles for children and youth ages 7–18; Music Together® with CCSA, an early-childhood music and movement program for infants and toddlers ages birth–5 in four locations including Haven for Hope; Big Kids® for youngsters ages 5–7; and Project: Sing!, neighborhood-based satellite ensembles for elementary-aged children in Harlandale, San Antonio, South San Antonio and Edgewood school districts. CCSA Singers represent San Antonio and surrounding communities, performing in a variety of concerts throughout the city. Advanced choirs have traveled nationwide with feature performances, toured Europe and Canada and have been featured on NBC-TV’s Today Show. CCSA ensembles regularly perform with YOSA, the San Antonio Symphony and the San Antonio Mastersingers among others.

For additional information on CCSA, please call 210.826.3447 or visit www.childrenschorussa.org.