Long Beach Camerata Singers names new Artistic Director
Date: September 4, 2009
Location: California, USA
Choir type: Community Choirs
Long Beach, CA, September 1, 2009: The Board of Directors for Long Beach Camerata Singers and the Long Beach Bach Festival has named a new Artistic Director for the upcoming 2009-10 season and beyond. Robert Istad has accepted the post, and will assume the role effective immediately, directing concerts and rehearsals as well as leading event programming and heavy involvement in long-term planning. “The singers and administration have an astounding passion for choral music. I am overwhelmingly impressed by their incredible dedication to the organization,” Istad writes. “They clearly know they’re a part of something very important for the Long Beach community, and are excited to maintain their artistic and administrative growth. We have much to anticipate: I believe we are on the cusp of remarkable development, and know we will see amazing progress toward our goals in the next few years!” The group’s members and board share their new leader’s enthusiasm, and preparations are well underway for the rapidly approaching season. Gordon Capp, board president, notes, “We are confident that [Rob’s] experience, skills, temperament, and vision are an ideal fit for Camerata, and look forward to the future.”
Istad serves as Director of Choral Studies at California State University, Fullerton where he conducts the University Singers and Concert Choir in addition to teaching courses in conducting, advanced interpretation and literature. He has prepared choruses for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, and has worked for and with an extensive list of eminent conductors. Istad also holds the position of Assistant Conductor with the Pacific Chorale, where he conducts selected concerts in performance, provides artistic support and facilitates a pre-concert lecture series. A long-time resident of Long Beach, Istad holds degrees from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois; California State University, Fullerton and from the University of Southern California. He studied conducting with Dr. William Dehning, John Alexander and Dr. Jon Hurty, and he is in demand as an adjudicator and guest clinician throughout the region.
Founded in 1966, Long Beach Camerata Singers is a community-based choral organization, promoting excellence in the choral arts with innovative programming and a strong commitment to educational endeavors and community outreach. The Long Beach Bach Festival was started in 1973, and celebrates its 36th year in 2010. The singing group is currently comprised of about 60 mixed voices, both volunteers and professionals. Programs include mainly classical music, with the spring fundraising concert placing the focus on Broadway, as it did last year with great success. But even within the classical realm, programming promises to be varied and innovative, augmenting their popular Handel and Bach events, both annual traditions, with a mixture of works that crosses a broad spectrum of periods and styles. Istad hopes to draw on his connections within the composer community to commission new works, showcase local talent, and support young composers with various events in coming seasons.
Concert dates have been set for the coming 2009-10 season, and can be viewed on the group’s website. Concerts take place primarily in Long Beach, with one event in Manhattan Beach in November, and a Junior Bach Festival event planned for Seal Beach in March. Season subscriptions and individual tickets are available by calling (562) 522-1045, and the group hopes to offer online ticket sales before the end of the year.
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Long Beach Camerata Singers, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization registered in the State of California, and is supported in part by grants from the Arts Council for Long Beach, the Los Angeles County Arts Council, Farmers & Merchants Bank, and The Ahmanson Foundation. For more information, go to http://www.longbeachcameratasingers.org or call 562-522-1045.