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Professor Emeritus Bidding Farewell to Pacific Chorale

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Conductor and professor emeritus of music John Alexander is returning to his alma mater for his farewell concert as artistic director of Pacific Chorale. Joining him Saturday, April 8, in Meng Concert Hall will be the John Alexander Singers, the 24-voice professional chamber choir.

The 4 p.m. concert features music by American composers with whom Alexander has worked closely — Stephen Paulus, Morten Lauridsen, Alice Parker, Eric Whitacre and Frank Ticheli among them — as well as the premiere of “The Untold Want” by Christian Guebert ’13 (M.M. music theory-composition), the winner of Pacific Chorale’s 2016 Young Composers Competition.

“This ensemble has always had a close relationship with Cal State Fullerton, as a number of the professional singers that make up the 24-voice ensemble today actually began their careers singing with me as students in the university ensembles at Cal State Fullerton, where I served as director of choral studies from 1996-2006,” explains Alexander.

Alexander is stepping down as artistic director after 45 years. Robert Istad, director of choral studies at Cal State Fullerton, has been chosen to take Alexander’s place as artistic director of Pacific Chorale. The professor of music — the most recent recipient of the University’s Outstanding Professor Award  — was Alexander’s student at Cal State Fullerton.

“I feel fortunate to work with two organizations about which I am so passionate: my colleagues and the students at Cal State Fullerton, my alma mater; and my professional team of colleagues and musicians at Pacific Chorale. This inspiring educational-professional symbiotic relationship is a dream come true,” says Istad.

Alexander and his namesake ensemble have performed many times at Meng, a venue that he regards as “one of the greatest 800-seat concert halls in the world. It is a hall that was built for the human voice.”

Adds the professor emeritus: “I fondly remember my experience serving on the music faculty at Cal State Fullerton and have since then always loved returning to the campus as my professional life as a conductor continued.”

Tickets to “American Voices” are available online or by phone: 714-662-2345.