Published : Thursday, September 26, 2019 | 5:42 AM
The Pasadena Master Chorale held its Season Opening FUNdraiser Wednesday evening.
“We are an auditions community chorus dedicated to bringing excellent and affordable choral music experiences to the greater Pasadena community,” said Jeffrey Bernstein, artistic and executive director of the Pasadena Master Chorale. “So we put on four to six sort of main season concerts a year and a couple of other events.”
Bernstein said this first event of the year kicks off a season of togetherness.
“I think the whole thing about choral music is really bringing people together and this is a nice, sort of a tangible reflection of that,” Bernstein said.
Wednesday night’s event was a little different from the rest of the performances during the year, Bernstein said.
“So it’s cabaret evening and for the last several seasons in all of our concerts, our soloists have been choir members,” Bernstein said. “So this is an opportunity for those people who are inclined to sing solos with different music and in a different atmosphere to share that with the public. It’s all kinds of songs, Broadway and standards and jazz and stuff like that. We have a phenomenal pianist and of course we’re in the fantastic Boston Court space. And it’s a friendraising and fundraising evening to kick off our season.”
There was a wine reception a half an hour beforehand, Bernstein said.
The group has received grants and funding over the years.
“We’ve been fortunate to receive grants from those organizations multiple times over the years,” Bernstein said. “LA County Arts Commission has been with us practically since we started, as has the City of Pasadena. So the arts commission, as you may be aware, has a two year grant cycle. And over the years they’ve supported everything from individual concert projects to an initiative to help us afford larger performance venues in the City of Pasadena to attract more people.
“So we were able to move our concerts, our regular concerts from a small church in Altadena to St. Philip The Apostle Church in Pasadena the last couple of years thanks to that grant.”
Bernstein said another special aspect of the Pasadena Master Chorale is the manner in which the group mentors aspiring composers.
“The City of Pasadena has supported our student composers project, Listening to the Future, for a number of years,” Bernstein said. “We have a full education program and this is sort of the flagship program of that where we pair a group of high school students from the Pasadena area with a professional composer mentor and they study with this person over a period of about six months and create music specifically for the chorale.”
For more information about the Pasadena Master Chorale go to: www.pasadenamasterchorale.org/