Sierra Master Chorale names new music director
InConcert Sierra announced Alison Skinner as the new music director of the Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra, according to a release.
The appointment follows a year-long search that included more than 20 candidates from around the world.
Skinner will take the baton from founding Sierra Master Chorale Music Director Ken Hardin, who announced more than a year ago he will step down after the holiday concerts in December. Hardin will continue as artistic director for InConcert Sierra.
The Sierra Master Chorale is an 80-voice auditioned choir comprised of local singers. It was founded in 2008 and throughout the past 10 years has established a reputation for outstanding performances. The choir is joined by an orchestra of local and regional professional musicians.
The chorale spends more than 100 hours in preparation prior to each concert, including workshops and weekly rehearsals.
“Ken and the choir, as well as the board of directors and staff, are looking forward to embracing Alison as our new music director and making sure that she receives all the support and tools she needs to make the transition seamless,” said Executive Director Julie Hardin.
Skinner added that she was impressed with the organization Ken, Julie and the board have created, the scope of what they do and how both InConcert Sierra and the choir are well organized.
“Working for an organization that has such a great foundation is amazing,” she said.
Skinner brings with her more than 12 years of choral experience. For the past eight years she has been the artistic director for the Davis Chorale. She is also choir director of Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis.
Skinner also works as a voice instructor in Davis, but chorale conducting is where her heart truly is, she said.
“I just love conducting a choir. It’s really fun. I like the energy in the room when you have a committed group of people. You get a really great community experience you don’t get in a lot of other ways,” Skinner said.
She has a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Temple University and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Skinner also belongs to the American Choral Directors Association and Chorus America.
The Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra Holiday Concerts Dec. 15 and 16 will be Ken Hardin’s finale with the choir. Skinner will assume leadership of the chorale in the spring and is already working on the choir’s performance in May.
“I love programming and am already thinking about what music I want for the spring concerts,” Skinner said.
Source: InConcert Sierra
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