Conductor Grant Cooper leads an array of choruses including the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, the Donald Brinegar Singers and the L.A. Bronze Handbell Ensemble, set against the backdrop of the Pasadena Symphony. Special guest Lisa Vroman will accompany the orchestra as vocalist. Regarded as a “musical and theatrical marvel” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Vroman has countless Broadway credits under her belt, most notably starring for over eight years on Broadway, in San Francisco, and in Los Angeles as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera.
The program has something for everyone, from traditional holiday classics to popular standards. Hear God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Silent Night, Go Tell It On the Mountain, Hallelujah! and many more favorites. Top off the holiday season with lasting memories for the whole family. The venue will again offer fully individual assigned seating available throughout All Saints’ glorious interior, ensuring that the audience can enjoy their experience with ease and have a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of the season.
Tickets to Holiday Candlelight with the Pasadena Symphony are limited and will sell out. Reservations start at $20 and may be purchased either at pasadenasymphony-pops.org or by calling the box office at 626.793.7172.
Born in New Zealand as the son of a professional opera singer, Cooper sang and acted in his first opera at age four and studied piano and music theory prior to college.
After completing his degree in pure mathematics at the University of Auckland, he traveled to the United States for further studies in music. His initial opportunities as a conductor grew from his colleagues’ invitations to lead them in larger chamber ensemble performances. His many guest conducting engagements have included the Houston Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, The Florida Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, and Syracuse Opera, among many others. This year, he has made successful debut appearances with the Kennedy Center Orchestra and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Prior to accepting his position as artistic director and conductor of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra in 2001, Cooper served as resident conductor of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra for ten seasons. He also serves as artistic director of the annual Bach and Beyond festival in Fredonia, New York and as resident conductor of the Eastern Music Festival.
A commissioned composer, Cooper’s concert works include A Song of Longing, Though…, for soprano and orchestra and his ballet, On the Appalachian Trail, which was premiered in 2010 at Chautauqua. He recently completed a commission to write original film scores for two Charlie Chaplin movies and last year composed a chamber work on commission from the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Cooper is especially passionate about creating works designed to introduce young audiences to the orchestra and has created a substantial body of works for this purpose.
Cooper has recorded for Delos International, Atoll, Ode, Mark, and Kiwi Pacific recordings, and has the unique distinction of having CD recordings of himself as conductor, performer, and composer, all currently available in the catalog.
From Broadway to Classics, on stage and in concert, Lisa Vroman has established herself as one of America’s most versatile voices. She has been regarded as a “musical and theatrical marvel” by the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as “one of American Musical Theater’s most beautiful voices” by acclaimed Broadway producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh.
Lisa starred for over 8 years on Broadway, in San Francisco, and in Los Angeles as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera.
Ms. Vroman starred as Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella, making her New York City Opera debut with Paul Sorvino playing the title role. She starred as Lili Vanessi in Kiss Me Kate with both Glimmerglass Opera and the MUNY Theater of St. Louis, Anna Leonowens in The King and I with Lyric Opera of Virginia, and played Marian Paroo in The Music Man with Shirley Jones (Mrs. Paroo) and Patrick Cassidy (Harold Hill) at The Bushnell Theatre in Hartford CT. Lisa sang the role of Birdie in Regina with Utah Opera, conducted by Keith Lockhart; made her New Jersey Opera debut as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus (directed by Ira Siff); and premiered and recorded two Comic Operas by composers John Musto (Bastianello) and William Bolcom (Lucrezia) with the New York Festival of Song.
Her Broadway debut was in Aspects of Love, and she was the first to play both Fantine and Cosette in Les Miserables. For PBS she was featured with Colm Wilkinson and Michael Ball in Cameron Mackintosh’s Hey, Mr. Producer! at a Royal Gala at the Lyceum Theatre in London. She sang the role of Johanna in the San Francisco Symphony’s Emmy Award winning PBS production of Sweeney Todd in Concert, with Patti Lupone and George Hearn. Both are available on DVD. Lisa starred as Laurey in Oklahoma, filmed live in concert for the BBC Proms Festival at Royal Albert Hall in London, played Mary Turner in Gershwin’s Of Thee I Sing/Let ’em Eat Cake in concert with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, and played Lucy Brown in Threepenny Opera at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco with Bebe Neuwirth, Nancy Dussault, and Anika Noni Rose. Other roles have included Laurie in The Tender Land; Maria in The Sound Of Music; Josephine in HMS Pinafore, Yum-Yum in The Mikado; and Anna 1 in The Seven Deadly Sins. She has sung Maria in West Side Story, Guenevere in Camelot, Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, and Amalia Balash in She Loves Me, as well as many other well-known musical roles.
Lisa is a George London Competition Grant recipient and a 1999 Minerva Award recipient from the State University of New York at Potsdam. She received an Undergraduate degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, a Masters degree in Fine Arts, Opera Performance from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and was recently awarded an honorary Doctor of Music from SUNY Potsdam. Ms. Vroman has become an active mentor and sought-after clinician with many colleges and universities across the country and around the world. She has acted as a judge in both the Lotte Lenya Competition for the Kurt Weill Foundation and UCLA’s Walter Jurmann Competition. She has recently joined the teaching faculty of the Institute for American Musical Theatre in New York.
With a repertoire that ranges from Stravinsky to Weill to Broadway, Lisa is a frequent guest soloist with theater and opera companies, and orchestras including San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, the National, Malaysia, Seattle, Hong Kong, Cleveland, Nashville, Pacific, Utah, Dallas, the Boston Pops with Keith Lockhart, the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, and the Philly Pops with Peter Nero. She made her debut at The Hollywood Bowl in Disney’s 75th celebration, singing and dancing with legend Dick Van Dyke in a medley from Mary Poppins. Lisa has sung in concert with composer Stephen Schwartz, organist David Higgs, and the Empire Brass Quintet. Her solo CD, Broadway Classic, features Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe and 47 of San Francisco’s finest orchestral players. Lisa had the honor of singing at the Profiles in Courage Award dinner in Boston at the JFK Library, as a guest of the Kennedy family. She has also sung on separate occasions for Queen Elizabeth, former presidents Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, and the Library of Congress.
Recent performances have included An Evening of Rodgers & Hammerstein with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, concert performances of Cole Porter’s 1928 La Revue Des Ambassadeurs with l’Opéra de Rennes in France, a multi-city concert tour in China, and playing the role of Maria Callas in Terrence McNally’s award winning play, Master Class.
Lisa lives in Pasadena, CA with husband Patrick O’Neil and their beautiful dog Barber.
Under Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson, the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus provides choral music education of the highest quality to young people who represent richly diverse racial, economic, and cultural backgrounds. The program ignites a love of singing and nurtures the full expression of each individual’s potential for artistic and personal excellence through the collaborative experience of choral music performance. Through the beauty of inspired and joyful singing, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus brings the transformative power of music to communities throughout Southern California, the nation and the world. Now in its 29th season—2014|2015: “Celebrating American Song…California and Beyond”—LACC serves more than 400 young singers from more than 50 communities throughout greater Los Angeles, reflecting in its membership the cultural and economic diversity of the region.
Donald Brinegar is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at Pasadena City College, Adjunct Professor of Choral Music and Voice at USC, and Associate Director of the Three-Summer Masters in Choral Conducting at CSULA. As Director of Choruses for PSO he works with the JPL Chorus and provides choruses for the summer pops programs. Internationally recognized as a tenor soloist and conductor, Brinegar has sung as soloist and prepared choruses for The LA Philharmonic, LA Chamber Orchestra, LA Microfest, Hollywood Bowl and Disney Concert Hall. His international appearances include 30 countries most recently teaching and performing in Costa Rica. A noted champion of the music of Morten Lauridsen he has two compact discs dedicated to the composers’ music.
Under the artistic direction of Alex Guebert, L.A. Bronze is an auditioned handbell concert choir creating performances of the highest caliber for the community. Their music making is exciting and uplifting, and audiences around Southern California have praised their concerts. The group is comprised of accomplished handbell musicians who are seeking challenging opportunities for making music, while providing educational opportunities for the handbell community. Our members come from all over the L. A. basin and include musicians, educators, administrators and other professionals.