Sierra Master Chorale director’s debut to feature ‘joyous’ spring program |

Sierra Master Chorale director’s debut to feature ‘joyous’ spring program

Submitted to The Prospector

Know & Go

What: InConcert Sierra, Sierra Master Chorale’s spring program

When: 2 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Seventh-day Adventist Church, 12889 Osborne Hill Road in Grass Valley.

Cost: $38 for general admission, and $19 for youth ages 5-17

Tickets: BriarPatch Co-op, 290 Sierra College Drive in Grass Valley. Or call 530-273-3990 or click on

The Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra’s new director, Alison Skinner, will make her debut at the spring concerts Sunday and Tuesday.

“After singing with Ken Hardin for 10 years, I was nervous about breaking in and working with another conductor,” said choir member Ken Getz. “Those fears have disappeared after working with Alison for the past few months. She’s an excellent musician, she’s charming and warm and fun to be with and to learn from. Alison has selected a repertoire for this spring’s concert that has thrilled the chorus and will thrill the audiences. I think the chorus sounds better than ever under Alison’s leadership.”

InConcert Sierra Executive Director and fellow choir member Julie Hardin agrees.

“Alison has been an exceptional addition to InConcert Sierra and the Sierra Master Chorale,” Hardin said. “We feel so lucky to have found another conductor whose thoughtful programming allows the choir to experience an emotional connection to the music, which in turn gives the audience an amazing experience.”

The program begins with one of the favorite works of singers, instrumentalists and audiences alike — the Fauré “Requiem.” Joined by a rich tapestry of low strings, winds, harp and organ, the chorale recreates this magnificent work in the intimate and profound setting intended by the composer.

Solo voices for the “Requiem” will be baritone Kevin Doherty and boy soprano Bren Altenbach. Doherty is known by many as Capital Public Radio’s morning classical host and classical content coordinator. During his nearly two decades as a professional opera singer, he has performed in more than 30 productions across the country.

“Pie Jesu” from Faure’s Requiem will be performed by Nevada City resident Bren Altenbach, who is the talented 11-year-old son of concertmaster Richard Altenbach. He has been performing since age four and in summer 2018, he appeared as James in Sierra Stages’ production of “James and the Giant Peach” performing to sold-out audiences at the Nevada Theatre. 

“From the brilliant first movement of ‘Chichester Psalms’ by Leonard Bernstein, the calm majesty of Morton Lauridsen’s ‘Sure on This Shining Night,’ to the rhythmic intensity of Jeffery Ames’s ‘Let Everything That Hath Breath,’ this adaptable corps of singers will take you on a journey of the heart and soul,” Skinner said of her first program with the choir.

Other works the Sierra Master Chorale will perform include Aaron Copland’s enduringly popular showpiece “The Promise of Living,” Ola Gjeilo’s “Across the Vast Eternal Sky,” which depicts the legend of the Phoenix and eternal hope, and Fauré’s “Cantique de Jean Racine.”

The 70-member auditioned chorale always performs with a chamber orchestra of local and regional professional players. This performance will have 20 instrumentalists including concertmaster Richard Altenbach, principal cellist David Speltz who was a member of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra during Sir Neville Marriner’s tenure, and principal violist Peter Jandula-Hudson who along with Altenbach was an A-list Hollywood musician.

Between rehearsals and the Sunday concert, Jandula-Hudson will join artistic director and pianist Ken Hardin in a special house concert Saturday. More information is available at

Tickets to the 2 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday performances are $38 for general admission and $19 for youth ages 5-17. Tickets are available by phone at (530) 273-3990, online at or in person at BriarPatch Co-op, and at the door the day of the concert.

The performance will be at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Grass Valley, 12889 Osborne Hill Road. For more information, go to or call (5300 273-3990.

Source: InConcert Sierra

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