Artistic Staff

Alexander Taite

Alexander Taite, Director

A resident and native of Oakland California, Alexander Taite holds a Bachelor's Degree from Pepperdine University in music theory and composition with a main emphasis in vocal performance and a minor emphasis in jazz piano.

Alexander has robust interests and musical skills including Opera, Barbershop, Spiritual, Jazz, Blues, Choral, Renaissance/Baroque, Vocal Percussion and Hip-hop. He has also studied classical and jazz piano since the age of 8, and has played in bands in varied styles ranging from jazz/funk/R&B to rock, hip-hop and pop.

In addition to singing with the San Francisco Opera Chorus every season since 2007, he has appeared onstage with The Berkeley Opera Company, San Francisco Parlor Opera, Livermore Valley Opera, Virago Opera, Island City Opera, Walnut Creek Festival Opera, and The Berkeley Chamber Opera.

He has directed cast and recorded a gospel and spiritual album with renowned baritone Lester Lynch and has studied opera in Germany with accomplished tenor Dr. Henry Price III. Alexander also spent 4 years as a member of the Vocal Faculty at Oakland School for the Arts, teaching music theory and classical performance.

He was a finalist in the James Toland Vocal Arts competition in both 2014 and 2016, and was a finalist in the East Bay Opera League vocal scholarship program. He was also selected as a piano finalist in the Young Performers Concert series in San Francisco.

Currently, he directs the graduate level chorus at the San Francisco Boys Chorus, and Music Directs the Piccola Carolers. He is also finishing up publishing and recording a songbook of his own arrangements of Negro Spirituals in two volumes — one for solo voice with piano, and one for acapella chorus.

Alexander has been a student of James Toland for 13 years and has been a valued member of Chorus Eclectic for five years as a section leader, and has joined the Chorus on tour to Ireland in 2019. Mr. Taite is thrilled and honored to be taking on the role of Director for Chorus Eclectic in July 2020.

 
Danielle Naler

Danielle Naler, Pianist

Danielle Naler, born in Santa Barbara, CA, received her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, as a student of Yael Weiss.  She was awarded a graduate assistantship and was involved in coaching singers and accompanying rehear-sals of operas including Carmen, Don Giovanni, and Arabella, with acclaimed conductors such as David Effron and Klauspeter Seibel. While at Indiana University, Ms. Naler participated in a pedagogical internship with Karen Taylor. 

In the summer of 2008, Ms. Naler was awarded the Sir Daniel Donahue fellowship for study in the Collaborative Piano program at the Music Academy of the West, under the direction of Jonathan Feldman. Currently, Danielle Naler works as a pianist and piano teacher in Dublin, CA, where she lives with her husband, Micah. She also serves as the Vice-President of the Alameda East Branch of the Music Teachers’ Association of California. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  She has studied language and literature in Rome, Italy, and has been published and awarded for her poetry.  In addition to her degree work, she was a rehearsal pianist for the UCSB Opera program and studied chamber music with Anne Epperson.

 
James Toland

James Toland, Director Emeritus

James Toland brings more than five decades of experience in the many worlds of vocal music to his position as director of Pacific Masterworks Chorus. Since 1991, his primary work has been as a private voice teacher whose students have sung principal roles in opera houses such as La Scala, Covent Garden, Le Theatre Royal de la Monnaie, New York City Opera, and San Francisco Opera as well as symphony orchestras throughout the U.S. and the world. He has served on the vocal coaching staff of the San Francisco Girls Chorus, the Young Women's Choral Project, Piedmont Choirs and several local high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. His work as a clinician specializing in vocal health issues and "how to" workshops in achieving beauty and dynamic range has taken him to church choral groups as well as amateur and semi professional groups such as Cantare Con Vivo, the San Francisco Choral Society, the San Francisco Bay Area Chamber Choir and the choral music programs of the University of Tennessee, Bethany College in St. Paul, Minnesota and California Baptist University. In addition to his long association as chorus master with Festival Opera, Mr. Toland has also worked as vocal coach on productions such as West Side Story, Anything Goes and Miss Saigon requiring the preparation of extensive singing throughout.

In 2010, James Toland conceived the idea of a San Francisco Bay Area voice competition to support singers working to achieve professional success. The idea met with considerable enthusiasm, including that of Oakland Symphony Music Director and Conductor Michael Morgan, who agreed to grant the first place competition winner the opportunity to perform with the Oakland Symphony. In 2018, the 5th JTVA Vocal Competition awarded fourteen singers a total of more than $100,000. Singers from around the world vie for a place in the competition finals held each summer when all competitors are awarded a cash prize. (www.jamestolandvocalarts.org)

 
Dr. Greg Lyne

Dr. Greg Lyne, Director Emeritus

Pacific Masterworks Chorus is honored to have a world-renowned musical and artistic director, Dr. Greg Lyne. Everywhere he teaches and directs, Dr. Lyne brings musical knowledge, a passion for excellence, and a love for the a cappella style. Dr. Lyne works full-time as a coach for choruses and quartets throughout the country and as a clinician for musical ensembles of all types.

Dr. Lyne is also the Musical Director of Voices in Harmony, northern California’s premier mens a cappella chorus. San Jose-based Voices in Harmony is a competitive top 10 chorus in the Barbershop Harmony Society. Since 2006, he has directed the chorus to the Far Western District Chorus Championship and third place international medal.

Dr. Lyne previously served as Director of Music Education and Services for the Barbershop Harmony Society in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In this capacity, he served the music education programs of the 30,000 member Society, the world's largest male singing organization. At the Society, he coordinated the music publishing program, youth outreach activities, contest and judging system, music recordings and the old song library which houses over 750,000 pieces of popular early American sheet music.

Dr. Lyne came to his position with the Society from Arizona State University where he was Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities. He previously served in similar capacities at California State University - Long Beach, DePaul University, Eastern New Mexico University and the University of Washington.

His reputation in choral directing — of all types of music — extends around the world. He has conducted over 300 Festival and All-State Choirs throughout the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii, and in Canada, England, Scotland, and Russia. In Russia, he presented master classes at the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music to European musicians. In fact, through his musical work in Russia, Greg is the only American listed in the Russian version of Who's Who! He has also served as guest conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

A published arranger and composer, Dr. Lyne is a member of a number of organizations, including the American Choral Directors Association and the Music Educators National Conference. He was recognized by the Music Educators National Conference for his contributions and service to Music Education and was awarded the Barbershop Harmony Society's Joe Liles Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. He is listed in the International Who's Who in Classical Music and is the author/producer of a number of articles, workbooks and educational videotapes.

Dr. Lyne holds a doctorate in choral conducting from the University of Northern Colorado.

 

Leadership

Board of Directors

Tom Nolan, President
Tim Ellis, Vice President
Judy Grove, Treasurer
Debbie Bennett, Operations Manager
Lynn Davies, Secretary
Eric Hutchinson, Tech/Webmaster
Iggy Fernandez, Board Member
Anna Watt, Board Member
Inge Jechart, Board Member
Mirjam Dijkxhoorn, Board Member

Founding Members

Adan Neylan
Alan Frank
Arleen Salaver
Brenda Barrett
Bruce Barrett
Bruce Crawford
Carrielynn Haedtler
Cathy Daniel
Cheryl Elliot
Chris Overton
Danielle Naler
David Haedtler
Debbie Bennet
Eric Hutchinson
Glen Barrett
Greg Lyne
Harriett Feltman
Jeanette Butler
Jim Smith
John Durden
John Moreno
Judy Grove
Judy Nelson
Julie Lorentzen
Karen Eschborn
Larry Zuckerman
Linda Hiney
Mike Stark
Nanette Wehe
Paul Elliot
Paul Wren
Robyn Dondero-Wren
Sara Vermeys
Susan Pierce
Tim Ellis
Tim Salaver
Tom Aumock
Tom Nolan
Toni Durden
Trevor Salaver


Brining Music to Life