Redondo Beach's Mallory Gantner and Amy Gordon's mission is to bring quality modern choral music to the South Bay. So they formed the South Bay Chamber Singers, which will have its first performance Saturday, Aug. 26, at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Palos Verdes Estates.
The program features a wide range of genres, from classical to contemporary, as well as original work by Gordon. The group was the brainchild of Gantner, the show's director, who approached Gordon about forming the group.
“I wanted to bring more live music to the South Bay, particularly a cappella choir music, and it was always a dream of mine to have my own choir in the style of LA Master Chorale, but smaller,” Gantner said.
Most of the 12 members, many of whom are music teachers, live in Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach and have sung together throughout the years. The choir is conducted by Bryant Nguyen and accompanied by Manuel Arellano.
“We felt that there is a lack of choral music in the South Bay,” Gordon said. “There are all these choirs in Los Angeles … There's this explosion of choir music and we've been trying to bring that to the South Bay community.”
Gordon, composer-in-residence and singer, will world premiere her 15-minute choral song cycle, “As Time Stops to Rest,” which was inspired by her aunt's (Susan Jordan) poetry.
“It was written by my aunt who passed away a couple of years ago,” Gordon said. “I was introduced to her poetry and I just fell in love with it.”
Gantner said the biggest challenge, after finding the right venue, which was made possible by St. Francis musical director Jeannie Cobb, was working around everyone's schedule.
“We're not paying the choir,” said Gantner, but they hope to do so in the future. “It's hard to get people to commit to regular rehearsals.”
Gordon hopes this is just the beginning, as they plan to expand the choir in the future.
“Let's create our opportunity here and maybe we can create a permanent thing here in the South Bay,” Gordon said.
A reception follows the free concert, which begins at 4 p.m., with complimentary food and wine. For more information click here.