USC Thornton Chamber Singers
USC Thornton Chamber Singers
The USC Thornton Chamber Singers is the premier choral ensemble at the USC Thornton School of Music directed by Jo-Michael Scheibe, chair of USC Thornton’s department of Choral and Sacred Music. The Chamber Singers, in conjunction with the USC Thornton Concert Choir, has performed in recent years with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. They perform regularly in concert halls around the country and around the world, including tours of South Korea in 1994, Poland in 1997 and China in 2006.
During the 2010–11 academic year, the Chamber Singers were featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and with the Shoah Foundation Gala where they performed with Grammy® and Academy®-Award winning artist Jennifer Hudson. In January 2009, Dale Warland led them in a concert titled Choral Music as an Agent of Social Change, and in February 2011, Robert Reynolds directed the West Coast premiere of Heinz Werner Henze’s Muses of Sicily. In November 2009, the Chamber Singers were joined by the USC Thornton Concert Choir and USC Thornton Symphony in a magnificent performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor under the direction of Helmuth Rilling. In October 2009, members of the Chambers Singers and Concert Choir joined Andrea Bocelli in his performance and DVD Recording of My Christmas for PBS. The mixed-voice ensemble gave the keynote performance at the 2005 national conference of the American Choral Directors Association at Walt Disney Concert Hall. In 2002, the Chamber Singers won the Grand Prix of a prestigious international choral competition in Tours, France.
About Jo-Michael Scheibe
Jo-Michael Scheibe chairs the Thornton School of Music’s department of Choral and Sacred Music at the University of Southern California, where he conducts the USC Chamber Singers, teaches choral conducting and choral methods and supervises the graduate and undergraduate choral program. On July 1, 2011, he assumed the post as national president of the American Choral Directors’ Association (ACDA). No stranger to the ACDA, Scheibe previously served as the organization’s western division president (1991–1993), as well as National Repertoire and Standards chairperson for community colleges (1980–1989). Ensembles under his leadership have performed at six national ACDA conventions (1985, 1991, 1993, 1997, 2003, 2007), as well as two national conventions of the Music Educators National Conference (1996, 2000) and various regional and state conventions.
Mr. Scheibe’s artistic collaborations include performances with Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras, Salvatore Licitra, Maria Guleghina and Kenny Loggins; preparation of choruses for Helmuth Rilling, Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra, Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony; and conductors Jahja Ling, Edoardo Müller, James Judd, Max Valdez, Thomas Sanderling and Alain Lombard. Recordings of ensembles under Mr. Scheibe’s direction have been released on the Albany, Cane, Naxos and ANS labels.
Fall 2008 marked Mr. Scheibe’s return to USC after a fifteen-year tenure as director of choral studies at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music (1993–2008), as well as previous faculty appointments at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff (1985–1993), Long Beach City College (1978–1985), Vintage High School in Napa, California and Huntington Beach High School. Mr. Scheibe received his D.M.A. from the University of Southern California and his B.A. and M.M. degrees from California State University at Long Beach, which presented him with the distinguished alumnus award.
Mr. Scheibe has served as music and artistic director of several community choral organizations, including the Master Chorale of South Florida, the Tampa Bay Master Chorale and the Long Beach Master Chorale. He has directed music ministries in churches as well, most recently at Coral Gables Congregational Church, where he conducted the Chancel Choir and Vocal Ensemble, which appeared at the 2002 ACDA Southern Division Convention in Nashville. A member of Chorus America, the International Federation of Choral Music and several other professional and education organizations, Mr. Scheibe is in frequent demand internationally as a clinician, conductor and adjudicator for choruses at the university, community college, community and secondary levels.
About the USC Thornton Choral Music
Established in 1946 by Charles C. Hirt, the choral music department continues to be an innovator and leader in the development of graduate degree programs specifically designed for the choral conductor and church musician. The current faculty consists of Cristian Grases, Jo-Michael Scheibe and Nick Strimple; all of whom are specialists that lead regional choral and church ensembles and serve as clinicians and guest conductors in the United States and abroad.
Departmental ensembles have achieved local, national and international recognition through frequent performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, appearances at Divisional and National Conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and recognitions including two Grand Prizes-in international choral competitions in Bulgaria, Spain and France. The ensembles include: the USC Thornton Chamber Singers, a mixed-voice chamber chorus of 22–28 members; the USC Concert Choir, a mixed-voice ensemble of 50–60 members; the USC Thornton Oriana Choir, which specializes in choral repertoire for women; and the USC Thornton Apollo Choir, which specializes in choral repertoire for men.