The Board of Directors of Orange County Catholic Chorale has named Christopher Gravis as its new Artistic Director for the upcoming 2010 season. He will assume the role in January, conducting rehearsals and concerts as well as directing event programming, fundraising and long-term strategic planning. “I am tremendously impressed with the Board’s professionalism and the dedication of Chorale members,” said Gravis. “They obviously have a passion for their music, mission and the community they serve. I am excited to have been selected to help advance their musical and artistic growth,” he added. Ken Keller, board president, noted, “We are confident that Christopher’s, experience, enthusiasm, leadership and exciting vision are a perfect fit for our organization, and we believe he is the right person to take us to the ‘next level’ of choral accomplishment.”
Gravis studied with John Alexander of the Pacific Chorale, and has assisted in preparing professional and volunteer choruses for other notable conductors such as John Williams and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops, and John Mauceri with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards including: membership in Pi Kappa Lamda; recipient of the Eliot Alexander Memorial Scholarship Award presented by the Pacific Chorale, and being named a Chorus America Conducting Fellow at the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. Gravis currently serves as the music director, First Presbyterian Church, Fullerton, and is also a board member of “Scores for Good,” a nonprofit organization that specializes in publishing the new works of choral composers. He has studied cathedral music Salzburg, Austria, and earned his Bachelor of Music from the University of Redlands, and his Master of Music in choral conducting from California State University at Fullerton. Gravis is currently studying and teaching at the University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music where he is pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in choral music.
Founded in 2002, Orange County Catholic Chorale, Inc., is a non-denominational, community-based, 501(c) 3 nonprofit performing arts choral organization, promoting excellence in the choral arts with emphasis on programming masterworks concerts for the community. The group will celebrate its 8th season in 2010 and is currently comprised of about 60 mixed volunteer voices. Performing a broad spectrum of choral masterworks music, the Chorale’s past repertoire has featured Requiems by Mozart, Duruflé, and Wilberg; Masses by Haydn, Beethoven and Mozart; and cantatas such as Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, among others. In 2010, the Chorale will initiate its first Magnum Opus Choral Composition Competition for today’s gifted composers and perform the winning selection at its annual Stars and Stripes Forever patriotic concert in July. For more information about the Chorale or to inquire about membership, visit the group’s website at: http://www.OCCatholicChorale.org.