Alexandra Apolloni is a music historian and singer. She holds a PhD in Musicology from UCLA and a BMus in Voice from Wilfrid Laurier University. She researches the history of singing and how vocal sound conveys ideas about race and gender, with a particular interest in women pop and soul singers of the mid-20th Century. She is currently writing a book about the girl singers of British invasion-era pop for Oxford University Press. www.xandrawrites.net
Alice Dryden is a Los Angeles-based composer and mezzo-soprano. She directs the kindergarten-8th grade music program at Everest Value School in downtown Los Angeles. Active in Los Angeles area choral music, she is also a member of Nova Vocal Ensemble and Vox Femina Los Angeles and is proud to be joining C3LA. She is an alumna of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music (B.M. in Voice Performance and Music Education) and CUNY Brooklyn College (M.M. in Composition), where she studied with Professor Tania León. She is also an alumna of the EAMA-Nadia Boulinger Institute program in Paris.
A Los Angeles native, mezzo-soprano Ariana Stultz received her BA in Vocal Performance from Bard College and completed her Masters at University of Southern California in Vocal Arts and Opera. Ms. Stultz has received multiple awards, including the Spotlight Awards at the Aspen Music Festival for composition and for vocal performance, the AEIOU Scholarship and the Opera Buffs Scholarship. Along with performing leading roles at opera companies in New York and Los Angeles, Ms. Stultz has sung in choirs such as Tonality, The Verdi Chorus, and the National Children's Chorus. Along with singing Ms. Stultz is a painter and composer. Find her art at @mint.verbena.
David Rentz is Associate Professor of Music at Chaffey College, Adjunct Professor and head of the conducting program at Claremont Graduate University, and Music Director of the Orchestra Collective of Orange County. David has received fellowships and grants from the Yale alumni Ventures program and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and, in 2015, was named guest professor at Xiamen University (China). B.Mus., Washington University in Saint Louis; M.M, University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.M.A. and D.M.A., Yale University School of Music.
Diana Woolner seeks out high-quality, thoughtful opportunities—her roles have varied, from on-set Music Coordinator for Steven Soderbergh’s television series The Knick; 3rd prize winner with GHOSTLIGHT CHORUS at the 14th International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf, Germany; premiering original compositions during Vassar College’s ModFest; to performing across the tri-state area, including MOMA, Symphony Space, and Lincoln Center. Diana’s compositions often have a magical quality, and her vocal works are known to utilize unconventional texts. Diana loves performing, and sings in seven ensembles throughout Southern California, including Pacific Chorale, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in the Palisades, and LARK Mastersingers. www.dianawoolnermusic.com
Canadian-American composer Evan Johnson (b. 1998) strives to create music that explores the concept of narrative, combining his passion for music with his love of literature, drama, and film. Evan is particularly active in the worlds of musical theatre and film, always seeking meaningful collaborations. His music has been performed by groups such as HEX Ensemble, The Walden School Players, Apple Hill Chamber Ensemble, and the Contemporary Vocal Ensemble at CalArts. Recent credits include additional orchestrations for StarKid: Homecoming, and the score for the podcast Georgie Romero is Done For. Evan recently graduated with his BFA in Composition from the California Institute of the Arts.
Gabbi Coenen is an Australian vocalist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist based in Los Angeles since 2020. A graduate of the West Australia Academy of Performing Arts and The New School’s jazz voice programs, she has performed at world-class American venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Apollo Theater and Rockwood Music Hall. A semi-finalist in the 2019 International Songwriting Competition, she has released three EPs and an album as RVBY MY DEAR, and her debut album Waiting was included in Trip-Hop Nation’s Best of 2019. She has toured across the US and Eastern Europe as a soprano with NYC ensemble Khorikos.
Jeff Greif, physicist by training and avocational French hornist, took up singing at age 30 in order to sing Lieder and chamber music. He has performed all three major Schubert song cycles and works by many other art song composers, was the Evangelist in both the Bach St. Matthew and St. John Passions, and participated in several choral groups, including 8 seasons with the LA Master Chorale. Besides C3LA, he sings with the Jouyssance Early Music Ensemble and Los Robles Master Chorale. In November 2018, he gives the first full performance on the West Coast of Matthew Aucoin's "Merrill Songs".
Kc Daugirdas is an award-winning composer, orchestrator, and conductor based in east L.A. Recent credits include orchestrations for the film “Pokemon: I Choose You”, music for national commercials (Coke, Bud Light, Cricket Wireless), and choral works (notably “The Singing Revolution,” a 5-movement choral cantata that traces the Lithuanian struggle for freedom from the USSR, conducted by the composer at the UIC Pavilion with 1,400 singers and symphonic band.) He also directs two Lithuanian choral groups locally. He holds degrees in Music Education from the University of Illinois and Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music. www.daugirdasmusic.com
Before coming to LA in August 2019, Kirk Averitt was Director of Choral Music at Beaver Country Day School and The Congregational Church of Weston in Boston, MA. He has worked with choral ensembles around the globe. In 2019, his choirs from BCDS shared a week in residence with ensembles at Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana, Cuba. Later in July, Kirk co-founded the Viatores Mundi Choral Workshop in Bol, Croatia. He holds an MM in Choral Conducting from UMass Amherst and a BM in Music Ed. from Lipscomb University.
Marcus Carline received a BM in Jazz Studies (Vocal Performance) and Composition in 2015 from Cal State, Long Beach. As such, jazz heavily influences his compositional work, particularly in the use of extended harmony and a desire for more improvisational thinking from performers. In addition to C3LA, he also currently performs new choral works with Choral Arts Initiative, a cappella music with Westbeat, and modern electronic music with the Los Angeles Electroacoustic Ensemble, of which he is a cofounder. His downtime is often filled with mixing recordings and watching anime.
Morgan Woolsey is a musicologist, performer, and songwriter. She holds a PhD in Musicology from UCLA and her research explores the role film music plays in cultural processes of liberation. Since coming to Los Angeles from New York in 2009, she has performed with Jouyssance, Vox Femina Los Angeles, and the UCLA Early Music Ensemble. She has also worked on a smattering of projects for film and television as a singer and composer. Morgan is currently a lecturer in Musicology and LGBTQ Studies at UCLA, and teaches music appreciation at Chaffey College.
Saunder Choi is a Los Angeles based Filipino composer, conductor, vocalist and educator. He is a teaching artist for the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Pacific Chorale, serves as Director of Music at the UU Community Church of Santa Monica, and is a vocalist with the LA Choral Lab, Pacific Chorale, and many others. He has written for choral ensembles and orchestras world-wide. For a more detailed bio, check out www.saunderchoi.com/bio
Socks Whitmore (they/them/theirs) is a multidisciplinary performer, composer, and storyteller. Whether they're writing a new musical, recording voice over, or testing their four-octave range in song, every aspect of their work is rooted in voice and text. Their journey as a choral performer has stretched from venues such as the Grand Ole Opry, Carnegie Hall, and the Sydney Opera House to their alma mater, the California Institute of the Arts, where they received a BFA Performer-Composer degree with minors in Digital Arts and Creative Writing. https://sockswhitmore.com/
Tony Moresi gladly joins C3LA for their 2020-2021 season. He recently performed with Independent Opera Company in Don Giovanni, for the first time with Opera Santa Barbara in Madama Butterfly, with Pacific Opera Project in The Mikado, and as Wyatt in the new operetta Gunfight At The-Not-So-OK Saloon by composer Brooke DeRosa with Trial Run Productions, which won several awards as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2019. You may have also spotted Tony singing with the City of Angels Community Choir, Areté Vocal Ensemble at Cal Lutheran University, and the Los Robles Master Chorale. IG: @tony_cat_5
William Reeder is a singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist based in Southern California. He has performed with such groups as Cal Voce, Canticum Novum LA, Golden Bridge, and the Jouyssance Early Music Ensemble. He holds a bachelors degree in Choral Music Education from California State University Fullerton. He currently serves as choral director at San Juan Community Presbyterian Church and drummer for the art rock band, Maneaters.
Dr. Alexandra Grabarchuk is a Ukrainian-born conductor and musicologist. Alex is the current Artistic Director of the San Gabriel Valley Choral Company, as well as the Director of Choral Activities at Whittier College. She has previously served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Choral Direction & Musicology at Earlham College, and has held teaching positions at UCLA, Chapman University, Chaffey College, Mt. SAC, and the Claremont University Consortium. When Alex is not exploring new choral music with C3LA, she is playing toy piano, kazoo, and singing wacky pop-art songs as one-half of duo GuitAria, alongside Los Angeles guitarist Peter Yates. www.alexgrabarchuk.com
Soprano Amy Waters sings professionally with a number of choral ensembles in the Los Angeles area, including Areté Vocal Ensemble and the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena, where she acts as soprano section leader and Assistant Conductor. After earning her B.A. in Music and French Studies from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR, Amy worked professionally as a vocalist and conductor in Portland before relocating to Los Angeles in 2017. In addition to her musical career, Amy is currently pursuing a degree in nursing.
Daniel Koh is a conductor, educator and actor-singer in Los Angeles; he is currently serving as the Director of Choral Activities at Windward School in Mar Vista, and he also frequently works at the Morgan-Wixson Theater in Santa Monica both as a Music Director and performer. He received his D.M.A., M.M.A. and M.M. degrees in Choral Conducting from the Yale School of Music, and his Bachelor degrees in Biology and Piano Performance from Westmont College in Santa Barbara. He has conducted a broad range of vocal ensembles in colleges, schools, churches and community-based settings from New Haven, Spokane and Florida to his home country of Singapore.
American composer, singer, conductor David Avshalomov composes in a Modern Romantic style; works for solo and chamber instruments, orchestra, band, chorus, from songs and incidental pieces to oratorio and opera, often on commission. Performed across the US, in Europe, Russia, South America, the Far East; recorded on Albany and Naxos. Won numerous competitions; grants. Veteran bass chorister, soloist; recent opera roles. B.A in Music from Harvard, D.M.A. in Conducting at U. Washington; studies at Aspen and Tanglewood (Bernstein, Schuller, Ozawa). Led orchestras and choruses on both coasts, guest conducted widely, toured in Europe and the Far East. www.davidavshalomov.com
Drew Corey is a composer, vocalist and performance artist who creates clean, minimalist works while not losing a sense of warmth. She creates this “warm minimalism” using voices, drones, her signature extended piano technique, floating melodies and large harmonic textures. Her practice focuses on human connectivity and the visceral nature of certain physical and sonic stimuli. She creates works for choir, chamber ensemble, solo performance, voice and piano, as well as interdisciplinary works for orchestra, theater and dance. She received her BFA in Composition from the California Institute of the Arts in 2016 and is a founding member of C3LA. www.drewcorey.com
Fahad Siadat creates interdisciplinary storytelling works, folding together words, sound, and movement into mythic narratives. He is an advocate of innovative and adventurous music, particularly for vocal ensembles and approaches this advocacy as a performer, composer, conductor and entrepreneur. Fahad sings with HEX Vocal Ensemble and is co-artistic director of The Resonance Collective in New York. He has conducted choirs at Columbia University, CalArts, Chaffey College, and been assistant conductor of The Industry opera company in Los Angeles. Fahad is also the founder and director of See-A-Dot Music Publishing, a company devoted to the advocacy of new choral works and emerging composers. www.fahadsiadat.com
Jaco Wong is a Hong Kong native, San Francisco-based composer and conductor, currently serving as the Instrumental Music Director at the Harker School. He is the former choral director of Palisades Charter High School and Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church. He holds Master's degrees in Choral Music and Composition from University of Southern California and is a finalist of the American Prize in composition. Wong's compositions have been performed by San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Hocket piano duo, Lang Lang, the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, and among others. He has prepared the Esperanza Azteca Youth Chorus to perform with Placido Domingo and conducted the Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Orchestra.
A veteran choral singer, Jennifer Grappone has decades of experience singing masterworks, modern compositions, and everything in between in large and small ensembles. She currently sings with Los Robles Master Chorale and periodically performs with Pacific Opera Project. In addition to singing, Jennifer volunteers with the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, and served as their children’s chorus manager for Tosca with Los Angeles Opera. Jennifer entered the University of Michigan as a clarinet major before switching to marketing and communications. She is a recognized expert in search engine optimization, co-author of two marketing books, and owner and founding partner at Gravity Search Marketing.
Kion Heidari is a composer, singer, instrumentalist and voice actor from San Diego. Having graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in composition, Kion has created music for film, the stage, video games, and concerts. He frequently incorporates his background in choral singing and folk music into his own work, combining them with his passion for storytelling and visual media. Kion enjoys the prospect of helping to bring contemporary choral music to the mainstream with ensembles like C3LA. https://kionheidari.com
Matthew Scherb has always derived great joy and sanity from singing. Before his recent move to Los Angeles from the Bay Area, he sang for years with the San Francisco Choral Artists, International Orange Chorale, and Resound Ensemble, all of which were devoted to fostering and performing new choral music. By day, Matthew is a lawyer and handles appellate litigation for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office.
Michael Chwe sings with C3LA, the Nova Vocal Ensemble, and the UCLA Chamber Singers, has played violin with the Vicente Chamber Orchestra and the Santa Monica Symphony, and has built lithophones played by orchestras across Europe. He is professor of political science at UCLA and has written the books “Rational Ritual” and “Jane Austen, Game Theorist” and numerous articles in scholarly journals and the popular press. His work has been featured by media including the New York Times, BBC, Washington Post, Time, NPR, Libération, and Vogue. chwe.net/michael
Molly Pease is an eclectic vocal artist, improviser and composer with an MFA in Jazz Studies from California Institute of the Arts and a BA from The New School. Molly leads experimental rock project ACKLAND and creates works for voices, strings and other combinations. Currently, Molly is part of C3LA, is a section leader and soloist at First Congregational Church of LA, and is a member of the social justice-focused choir Tonality. As a soloist, she has recently performed at REDCAT, and in productions such as Overtone Industries’ Katy Cruel and theatre dybbuk’s hell prepared. www.mollypeasemusic.com
Shaye Swanson recently earned her M.M. in Music Composition from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music and her B.M. in Vocal Performance from Lawrence University. Her composition, Les échos, was performed on Vis-à-Vis’ South American tour. She also scored a documentary short, Faith Alone, which won the bronze at the CSU Media Arts Festival. She wrote music to the choreographed dance, Process, which was recently selected to be performed at the American College Dance Association Baja Conference. At Long Beach, she studied composition with Dr. Torres-Santos, Dr. Verdie, and Dr. Shockley. Shaye continues to pursue her dual passions in composition and singing.
TJ Sclafani is a composer, songwriter, arranger, and singer based in Los Angeles. As a singer, he has performed with Tonality, Schola Cantorum on Hudson, and the New York Choral Society, and currently sings in HEX, an LA-based vocal sextet. As a composer, TJ's work has been performed by gnarwhallaby, the New Millennium Brass Ensemble, the Moravian Philharmonic, the FLUX Quartet, the Ensemble at CalArts, and various ad-hoc ensembles. TJ holds a BFA in Theater from NYU and an MFA in music composition from CalArts.
Vera Frances Lugo is a vocal artist from San Juan Capistrano, California. Active in many ensembles throughout Southern California, she works as a professional chorister, session singer, and jazz vocalist. She enjoys utilizing her large vocal range in a variety of musical settings and performs with social justice choir Tonality, Memberz Only ‘80s cover band, and Seraphim Vocal Ensemble, to name a few. In her spare time, Vera can be found singing harmonies with The Beatles and arranging songs on a dinky toy piano. www.veralugo.com