The Donald Brinegar Singers & JPL Chorus
Donald Brinegar is a conductor, tenor soloist, voice instructor, educator and master class clinician. Professor Emeritus of Music at Pasadena City College, Brinegar directed the Choral Studies program at PCC for 36 years. Brinegar also conducts the Donald Brinegar Singers, a community choral ensemble in Pasadena, California, Director of Choruses for the Pasadena Symphony and POPS, . During the summers he co-directs the Cal State Los Angeles masters program in choral conducting. He has an extensive background as a performer both as a soloist and a conductor having performed throughout the United States,Japan, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and Canada. Brinegar has performed as a featured soloist with Robert Shaw, Helmuth Rilling, Roger Wagner,Gerard Swartz, Murray Sidlin, Howard Swan, Charles Hirt, Rod Eichenberger, William Hall, Marvin Hamlisch, Michael Feinstein, and with numerous music festivals, orchestras and opera associations. He has collaborated artistically with Henry Mancini, Barry Manilow, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, John Delancie, and the Chieftains. His choirs have given five performances for the American Choral Directors Association Conferences, California Music Educators (MENC), Choral Conductors Guild, and have performed in Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Music Center, and the Hollywood Bowl.
The Donald Brinegar Singers, choral ensemble, was founded in the Fall of 1997 as an ensemble of former students and colleagues of Professor Brinegar. Their first concert was given in November of 1997. Their second performance was the premiere of Lauridsen’s organ edition of Lux Aeterna, accompanied by organist James Buonemani. The ensemble presented music of the holiday season and was then invited to perform at The ACDA Western Division Convention in Los Angeles, 2000. Shortly following the convention appearance, the Singers recorded Ubi caritas et amor and Madrigali Six FireSongs: for Lauridsen’s compact disc, Northwest Journey. The Singers performed the Chansons des Roses with Lauridsen accompanying at the San Antonio, Texas, ACDA National Conference. The Singers followed with two more performances of Lauridsen’s music in Las Vegas, 2004 ACDA Western Division Conference, and the premiere of Nocturnes (The Brock Memorial Convention Commission) 2005, Los Angeles ACDA National Convention.
The Singers are the resident chorus for the Pasadena Symphony and POPS, having sung for David Lockington, Grant Cooper, Marvin Hamlisch, Larry Blank, and Michael Feinstein. In 2015, the ensemble performed the orchestrated version of Lauridsen’s Mid- Winter Songs along with the Nocturnes (Lauridsen accompanying) with the symphony. The ensemble has also performed at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the Los Angeles Arboretum, and for Brinegar’s publisher, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Santa Barbara. The Singers have given premiere performances of the music of Bruce Babcock, David Childs, Emma Lou Diemer, Morten Lauridsen, Z. Randall Stroope, and Eric Whitacre, among many others. The Singers recorded the background score for the film, The Bridge to Terrabithia, music by Aaron Zigman. They are the featured ensemble in an Irish Folk Song Collection, Letters from Ireland by Mark Brymer.
Pasadena is a city rich with the arts and sciences, which gives way for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Chorus to blend perfectly. Formed early in 2012 in a partnership between the Pasadena Symphony Association and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the JPL Chorus is comprised of JPL employees who rehearse weekly under the direction of (Donald Brinegar), the Pasadena Symphony’s Director of Choruses. The JPL Chorus is comprised of 53 employees who rehearse each Wednesday evening. Their concert program includes a mixture of classical repertoire to popular, with composers ranging from Benjamin Britten and John Lennon/Paul McCartney.
The singers come from a wide variety of roles within JPL, including scientists, engineers, administrators, software, business people, and more. “The idea is to celebrate JPL with our group’s enthusiasm about music and singing. It’s been a lot of fun, and I think what Don brings to this particularly is a great sense of joy in the experience,” stated Stephen Kulczycki, Deputy Director of Communication and Education at JPL (and a member of the bass section.)