Welcome

To the Vocal Arts Conservatory

<p>Director's Welcome Message</p>

Director's Welcome Message

Welcome! I'm so excited to launch the inaugural year of our conservatory with the news of our big change to the Vocal Arts Conservatory. That means our program is expanding its array of specialized music classes to include new offerings such as Jazz Voice and Commercial Singing & Recording along with our Classical Voice classes. We've been working non-stop designing the curriculum, hiring incredible faculty, and building parternships with professional musical organizations to offer an unparalleled education to our young singing artists. I can't wait to make music with all of you! If you have any questions about our program, or if you would like to learn how to get more involved as a parent, please don't hesitate to reach out to me and say hello! 

Warmly, 

Katherine Powers

katherine.powers@sgv.csarts.net

Our Mission

The Vocal Arts Conservatory offers bright young artists who are passionate about expressing themselves with their voice a comprehensive course of study through engaging performance-based classes, pre-professional programming, and rigorous musical training.

 

Our Vision

To champion the next generation of expressive, thoughtful and collaborative vocal artists across multiple musical genres.

 

Our Motto

"Sing outside of the box."

Introducing the Vocal Arts

Introducing the Vocal Arts "CHORAL CRAWL"

After the tremendous success of last year's Opera Crawl, the Vocal Arts Conservatory is delighted to present a unique opportunity for our students to get involved inside, outside and around multiple levels of professional choral experiences - from beloved local ensembles to world-class Chorales. The Vocal Arts Conservatory is pleased to announce partnerships with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Citrus Singers, the UCLA Chamber Singers, and the Grammy-nominated ensemble Seraphic Fire. We will also be continuing our partnership with Los Angeles Opera, and students in the Chamber Singers and Chorale ensembles will have the opportunity to perform once again in LA Opera's annual Community Opera at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, conducted by world-famous music director, Maestro James Conlon.

First, on September 21st, Vocal Arts Students are invited to attend the dress rehearsal of the Los Angeles Master Chorale's Mozart Requiem. This will be the opening concert of the season, and our students will be able to witness a live dress rehearsal inside the world-famous Disney Concert Hall.

On December 9th, Vocal Arts families will be be invited to attend a performance of the Citrus Singers "Christmas Is" concert. Based out of Citrus College, the Citrus Singers are a prestigious 45-member touring ensemble, who, among other honors, have the distinction of being the only American choir to win the International Choral Festival in Spittal, Austria. 

Looking ahead to the spring, on February 26th our Chamber Singers andChorale ensembles will be invited to UCLA to participate in a Master Clinic with Patrick Dupré Quigley, the Founder, Artistic Director and Conductor of Grammy-nominated vocal ensemble Seraphic Fire. Following the clinic, our VOC students and parents will be invited attend the free Seraphic Fire concert that evening.

On March 16th, the Vocal Arts Conservatory will present a joint Winter ChoralConcert with the UCLA Chamber Singers, led by our own Choral Director Ryan Brown, and three-time Grammy-nominated singer and conductor Dr. James K. Bass, UCLA Director of Choral Studies.

Finally, on March 22nd & 23rd, our Vocal Arts Conservatory Chamber Singers and Chorale will perform in the choral ensemble of LA Opera's Cathedral Project (this year's opera will be a world premier), their annual community opera presented downtown at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, and directed by world-famous Music Director Mo. James Conlon.

Meet Our Team

Katherine Powers

Katherine Powers

Director of Vocal Arts

Vocal Forum, Solo Performance, Italian Diction, Acting & Diction, Folk Renaissance, Operetta

Soprano Katherine Powers (formerly Katherine Giaquinto) began her performing career as an actress in Canadian film and television. An opera performer, vocal pedagogue, actor, director, and coach, Katherine received her Associate of Arts Degree in Theater from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, her Bachelor of Arts in Music from UCLA, and her Master of Music degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. 

Prior to serving as the founding Director of Vocal Arts at CSArts-SGV, Katherine was a seven-year member of the Voice Faculty at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. She is the founder of Ovation Voice Studio, whose voice clients include two Grammy-nominated artists. She has also taught voice at Occidental College, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Cal State Los Angeles and for the YoungArts Foundation. Katherine maintains a dual career as both a performer and teacher, and is committed to contributing to the vocal arts community by helping to forge young singers into professionals with artistic and personal integrity.  In 2015, Katherine made a splash with LA Opera when she stepped in with less than two weeks notice for the role of Rosina in Paisiello’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with Maestro James Conlon. She made her LA Opera debut earlier in 2015 in their Grammy-winning production of Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles. In 2014, Katherine sang Stella in a critically-acclaimed production of Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire with Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis. Other roles include Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Musetta in La Bohème, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Alice in Falstaff, Tytania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and the title role in The Merry Widow. In the 2016/2017 season she joined Long Beach Opera as one of their Company Artists, for which she performed the one-woman opera The Diary of Anne Frank. Katherine will be joining LBO as a Company Artist again for their 2017/2018 season. Outside of the sphere of standard operatic repertoire, Katherine is in demand in the contemporary music scene, and she continues to cultivate working relationships with living composers. 

Read More
Ryan Brown

Ryan Brown

Choral Director

Chamber Singers, Chorale, Vocal Arts Ensemble

Ryan R. Brown is a choral conductor and baritone living in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to serving as the Choral Director at California School of the Arts San Gabriel Valley, he serves as an Associate Conductor for the National Children's Chorus and as a Teaching Assistant for the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Choral Studies Department.

Previously, Brown served as the Artistic Director for the professional vocal ensemble "Diamonds From The Dust," Artistic Director for the Wachusett Community Choir, and as Choral Director at Wachusett Regional High School in Holden, MA. As a singer, Brown regularly performs with professional choruses around the country including Concora, De Angelis Vocal Ensemble, and Seraphic Fire. Brown has performed as a soloist with several major orchestras including Philadelphia Orchestra, Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra, and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Brown is a Master's candidate in Choral Conducting at UCLA with Dr. James Bass. In 2014, Ryan graduated as valedictorian at Westminster Choir College where he studied Music Education.

Read More
Elizabeth Kerstein

Elizabeth Kerstein

Instructor

Vocal Styles, M-Chorus, M-Music Fundamentals

Called a “dynamic performer" by the Baltimore Sun, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Kerstein currently sings with the Opera Santa Barbara Chorus, directs two choirs at San Marino Community Church, and sings as an alto soloist at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. She enjoys an active career as a recitalist and soloist throughout the greater LA area. She looks forward to singing La Bohème with Opera Santa Barbara in November 2018.

She recently performed in Turandot with San Diego Opera Chorus in February and March 2018, and she presented an all-German solo recital at the USC Max Kade Institute in March 2018. Elizabeth is also devoted to researching contemporary Hebrew art music, performing Hebrew art song recitals around LA and the country. Elizabeth returned to her native Los Angeles after studying at the Peabody Conservatory (MM) and St. Olaf College (BM Magna cum laude). She studies with Susanne Mentzer. www.elizabethkerstein.com

Read More
Michael Grady

Michael Grady

Instructor

M-Make a Musical

Michael Grady is a rare blend of actor, singer, writer, composer, director, and collaborative piano accompanist who regularly coaches singers of all levels. As a musical director, he loves the challenge of discovering a directors’ vision with whole-hearted embrace. In musical reviews past, cabaretscenes.org deemed Michael “excellent” at “setting the mood” while StageSceneLA said he deserved “highest marks” for his keyboard accompaniment.

Michael is currently composing two original projects for the stage, both quasi surreal and visceral of an embittered Los Angeles. Michael is also the music director, arranger and composer of The Los Angeles Belles alongside composer, Amy Gordon. The Los Angeles Belles is a high caliber all-female variety singing troupe commissioning new works for both classical and popular soundscapes. Michael holds a BM in Music Education from Cal State LA.  

Read More
Andrée-Ann Deschenes

Andrée-Ann Deschenes

Instructor, Accompanist

Music Fundamentals (instructor); Vocal Forum, Vocal Styles (accompanist)

French-Canadian pianist Andrée-Ann Deschenes specializes in familiarly-danceable yet traditionally-influenced classical music from Latin American countries. She has found a calling for her art in Southern California, where she is currently recording, performing, and teaching. Her training includes a Master of Music degree in Afro-Latin music from California State University Los Angeles, and she is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Claremont Graduate University. Prior to relocating to Southern California, she graduated with honors from Humber College in Toronto, Canada.

Aside from being recognized by The American Prize and The Global Music Awards, her recordings have also garnered the attention of several radio stations across the country, in addition to being reviewed by publications such as The Whole Note and Fanfare. Her most recent release, “Villa-Lobos / Castro,” features music from Brazil and Argentina, with a special collaboration with renowned Cuban percussionist Calixto Oviedo.

Read More
Aaron Shows

Aaron Shows

Accompanist

Folk Renaissance, Operetta, Solo Performance, M-Chorus

Aaron Shows is a composer, organist, and pianist originally from Montgomery, Alabama. He has performed in both the United States as well as Europe, and is currently the organist at First United Methodist Church in Pasadena. He is most active as an accompanist for choral groups, vocalists, and instrumentalists, as well as for musical theatre.

He is also an avid improviser in a variety of styles, a skill he has developed since early childhood. As a composer, his original works have been performed throughout the United States as well as in Europe, and his solo organ works were recently published through Augsburg Fortress Publishers in Minneapolis. He has composed original scores for both feature and short films, as well as web series and commercials. In 2012 Mr. Shows served as an assistant to former Hollywood Bowl Orchestra Conductor John Mauceri on a series of film music concerts in Copenhagen with the Danish Radio Orchestra. He holds an MFA in film music composition from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a BFA in church music from Shenandoah University.

Read More
Lauralie Pow

Lauralie Pow

Accompanist

Chamber Singers, Chorale

Dr. Lauralie Pow has shared the stage with such world-class guest artists as Maria Schneider, Dawn Upshaw and Ben Folds while performing as keyboardist with the Henry Mancini Orchestra. This acclaimed ensemble, under new artistic director James Newton Howard, is part of University of Miami's Frost School of Music where Lauralie completed a doctorate in collaborative piano under the tutelage of Paul Posnak and Evelyne Brancart.

While at Frost, Lauralie also worked as a rehearsal pianist with Orchestra Miami for two children's operas and with the Miami Summer Music Festival's production of The Magic Flute. Additionally, she taught group piano at Frost and private piano lessons at the Miami Conservatory of Music. Prior to Miami, Lauralie studied with Ilya Poletaev at McGill University's Schulich School of Music in Montreal, where she was awarded a master's in music degree in solo piano performance in 2013. While at McGill, Lauralie was selected to perform in a master class with renowned soloist Murray Perahia, who complimented her on her musical touch and quality of sound. Lauralie began her undergraduate studies as a solo piano major at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, transferring to music theory following an injury in her sophomore year. She completed a bachelor of music in music theory at Eastman in 2011. Lauralie spent her high school years as a piano major at Interlochen Arts Academy in Northern Michigan. Lauralie is currently on faculty at AMDA (American Musical and Dramatic Academy) as an accompanist and has experience as music director for the AMDA’s Summer High School Conservatory. Lauralie also enjoys freelancing in the vibrant L.A. music scene

Read More