Pacific Chorale, founded in 1968, is a professional chorus performing in Costa Mesa, California at the Renée and Henry Segerstom Concert Hall at Segerstrom Center for the Arts (formerly the Orange County Performing Arts Center).
John Alexander has been the Chorale's music director since 1972, and he has held posts including Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies in the California State University System for 35 years. He has conducted hundreds of performances of choirs and orchestras in 27 countries around the globe. In 2006 he was presented a Distinguished Faculty Member award from California State University, Fullerton. He is a past president of Chorus America (2001–2003). Other awards include the Helena Modjeska Cultural Legacy Award (2003) for lifetime achievement as an artistic visionary in the arts in Orange County, and Outstanding Individual Artist Award (2000) from Arts Orange County. Alexander has announced his retirement in June 2017 with assistant conductor Robert Istad to succeed him.
Program and singers
Pacific Chorale consists of 140 professional and volunteer singers. The Chorale performs about six times per year in its own season. It also performs regularly with the Pacific Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic and performs as part of the Hollywood Bowl series in the summer. Other noted collaborations include the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, and the Long Beach, Pasadena, Riverside, and San Diego symphonies. The Chorale performs a wide range of classics and modern pieces, and has commissioned numerous works including most recently Chanson Eloignee by Morten Lauridsen and Bruce Springsteen Rocks New Orleans by Jake Heggie. The Chorale's regular season includes two performances of its popular Christmas concert as well as an annual performance of Handel's Messiah with the Pacific Symphony. The Chorale has toured in England, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Russia, France, Austria, Spain, South America, China, and Estonia, among others.
The Pacific Chorale's 24-voice professional chamber ensemble, the John Alexander Singers, specializes in modern and early music, presenting a cappella chamber concerts and collaborating regularly with the Musica Angelica period chamber orchestra.
Pacific Chorale has won a number of grants and awards including:
National Endowment for the Arts, $100,000 grant to present the American Masterpieces Choral Music Festival (2007)
ASCAP Chorus America (2005) Alice Parker Award for Adventurous Programming
Orange County Department of Education (2002) Outstanding Contributions to Education Award
Chorus America (1993) Margaret Hills Achievement Award for Choral Excellence
The Chorale has recorded a number of CDs including:
Vespers (2010) by Sergei Rachmaninoff, conducted by John Alexander
Christmas Time is Here (2005) with Pacific Symphony, conducted by John Alexander
An American Requiem, by Richard Danielpour (2002) with Pacific Symphony, conducted by Carl St. Clair
Sweet Harmony (2002) A cappella works performed by the John Alexander Singers with guest soloists, conducted by John Alexander
Nocturne (2000) A cappella works by Samuel Barber, Adolphus Hailstork, Eric Whitacre and John Alexander, conducted by John Alexander
Musica (1997) American a cappella works, conducted by John Alexander
Pacific Symphony's Fire, Water, Paper: A Vietnam Oratorio, by Elliot Goldenthal (1996) conducted by Carl St. Clair
Songs of Eternity by James F. Hopkins and Voices by Stephen Paulus (1995) with Pacific Symphony, conducted by John Alexander
Sing Noel (1992) with Pacific Chorale Children's Chorus and Pacific Brass Ensemble, conducted by John Alexander
- John Kroll. "Commanding Respect - Reknown(sic) conductor John Alexander created and sustains an oral history". TITAN Magazine. Cal State Fullerton University website. Retrieved February 28, 2008.
- Mangan, Timothy (February 8, 2015). "Pacific Chorale's Alexander to retire". The Orange County Register. p. Arts 1.
- Daniel Cariaga. "Pacific Chorale Gladly Shows Off Its Wide Range." Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2006
- Los Angeles Times, April 25, 2007. "Pacific Chorale Gets NEA Grant"
- http://www.chorusamerica.org/awards.cfm Accessed May 23, 2007