BY JORDAN KILLEBREW | May 9, 2019
“The group we have right now – they just sing like angels.”
That assessment of the new Lompoc Valley Youth Chorale is the expert opinion of professional choral conductor, multi-instrumentalist, mezzo-soprano soloist, and music educator Kathleen Hacker, who also happens to be Director of the Lompoc Valley Master Chorale.
Formed in 1991 and led by Hacker since 2007, the Master Chorale was organized as a nonprofit organization exclusively for educational purposes, and performs at least two community concerts annually.
Chorale members represent a broad range of singers, from students to great grandmothers and retired professionals. It is composed of talented people from all walks of life. The Chorale provides a vehicle for performance for its members, along with enlivening and enhancing the cultural welfare of Lompoc and surrounding communities.
Now the Master Chorale is broadening its contribution to the cultural and educational life of the area through its Youth Chorale, which currently features twenty children, ages 6-12 years old, according to Youth Chorale Coordinator and Board Member Anne Anderson. Says Anderson, “Our mission has grown to include encouraging and training the next generation of singers. And we’re starting to be recognized for bringing not just music, but new experiences to the lives of local kids.”
Both Hacker and Anderson grew up deeply immersed in music, participating in school bands and orchestras, as well as church and school choirs. Hacker’s life in music included numerous international tours, as well as providing voice training for students ranging from teens to great-grandparents.
However, she says, “Years ago, they started taking music out of the schools; children are growing up not knowing how to sing. Most of my travel in the world has been through music. Music has been at the center of so many priceless experiences in my life, and that’s what I have dreamed of sharing with youth.”
“Fewer churches and schools have choirs, so the Master Chorale and Youth Chorale provide a missing musical educational opportunity,” adds Anderson.
Hacker, Anderson, and the rest of the Master Chorale will be showing off the Youth Chorale at their upcoming “Spring Concert: Celebrate America.” Performances will take place on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11, 2019, at First United Methodist Church, 925 North F Street, Lompoc, at 7:30 PM.
The Lompoc Valley Master Chorale is a recipient of the Small Capacity Building Grant Program.