Artistic Staff and Advisory Board

James Toland, Artistic Director

Director James Toland has been a private voice teacher for the past thirty years, whose students have performed in major opera houses and on concert stages throughout the world. In 2011, Mr. Toland founded the nonprofit organization James Toland Vocal Arts to encourage and cultivate, through competition and education, the emerging talents of singers who aspire to a professional career in vocal performance. The primary emphasis is on an annual vocal competition that provides exposure to expert judging, performance opportunities before a live audience, and monetary prizes.

In recent years, Mr. Toland has served as a master teacher for the prestigious San Francisco Girls Chorus, and has taught for the Piedmont Children's Chorus and Young Women's Choral Projects of San Francisco, as well as the choral music programs of the Acalanes School District.

He has been a clinician for multiple choral groups such as: the Peninsula Women's Chorus, Cantare Con Vivo, the Young Women's Choral Projects of San Francisco, and the choirs of the University of Tennessee. For seven years, he led the chorus of Festival Opera in Walnut Creek, California. In addition, he has served as the vocal coach for the musical theater productions of the Diablo Theatre Company. He has been a frequent adjudicator for numerous vocal competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In the early 2000s, he served on the board of directors of Festival Opera, as well as Livermore Opera. Prior to his work in the Bay Area, he spent more than a decade as the artistic director of the Eugene Opera, where his stage direction was featured in an NPR segment of All Things Considered. Prior to that, he was the company manager of Texas Opera Theater, the touring arm of Houston Grand Opera.

 

Danielle Naler, Accompanist

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.

 

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.

 

PMC Advisory Board

Dr. Charlene Archibeque
Acting Director of Choral Activities
San Jose State University

One of America's foremost choral conductors and teachers, Dr. Archibeque helped put SJSU on the world map by winning seven international choral competitions with the famous SJSU Choraliers (now called the Chamber Singers). Her choirs completed sixteen concert tours to Australia, Mexico and throughout Europe and she has conducted in many of the major music halls including Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Royal Albert Hall in London, the Berlin Philharmonic among many others. Dr. Archibeque has presented choir clinics and conductors workshops throughout the US, as well as Australia, England, Canada, and most of Europe. Known as one of America's top choral clinicians, she has conducted hundreds of honor choirs in 43 states and six provinces of Canada. Active in the American Choral Directors Association she has presented major interest sessions, served on many panels, and her choirs have performed at 25 state, divisional and national conventions. She was the recipient of the Howard Swan Award presented by Calif. ACDA in 2008.

Known for her knowledge of the choral repertoire and performance practice of all styles, Dr. Archibeque has conducted and prepared over 150 major choral works with orchestras and chooses music from all historical periods. She regularly serves as Visiting Professor at various Universities and will be on the campuses of both the University of Michigan and Michigan State in November.

Her degrees were earned at the Univ. of Michigan, San Diego State and the DMA at the University of Colorado. She was named Outstanding Alumna at the latter and was given both San Jose State's highest honors: Outstanding Professor and President's Scholar. She currently serves on the Board of the American Beethoven Society and is Editor of the Charlene Archibeque Choral Series with Santa Barbara Music Publishers.

Dean Christman
Music Director
John Knox Presbyterian Church

Dean is very happy to be the Music Director at John Knox Presbyterian Church in Dublin, CA. He brings many years of experience with him as he joins this church ministry. Dean began his musical studies at the Philadelphia College of Bible, studying composition and voice. His Masters degree in Choral Conducting comes from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.

Dean started his Minister of Music career in McLean Bible Church, McLean, VA where he served for 15 years. Eight years ago, Dean moved to Danville, CA to become Minister of Music at Community Presbyterian Church. He developed a very extensive worship ministry, including Praise Band, Choir, Orchestra, Drama, Media Arts, Drama, Bells and Children. In 2004, Dean moved out of full-time music ministry into the mortgage business. He continued in active part-time ministry at St. Catherine Church in Martinez.

As a singer, Dean has a wide array of vocal solo experience, including many oratorio roles, opera and contemporary Christian music. He received the "Best Male Vocalist" at Pleasanton Playhouse in 2005 and has some recordings. On December 5 of this year, he is the featured tenor soloist at the San Ramon Sing-Along Messiah at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center.

As a conductor, Dean was the founder of the Asaph Ensemble Chorus, a classical evangelistic ensemble from 1984-1995. In 1992, the choir took part in a trip to Russia as the first non-Russian ensemble to ever perform at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Dean's conducting repertoire includes many of the great oratorios including the Mozart Requiem, Brahms Requiem, Mendelssohn's Elijah, and others.

Vance George
Past Chorus Director (1983-2006)
San Francisco Symphony Chorus

Vance George is internationally recognized as one of America’s leading choral conductors. He has conducted throughout the U.S. as well as Europe, Australia and Asia; most recently in Salzburg, Sydney, Minneapolis, and Indianapolis. He has received great acclaim for his unique knowledge of musical styles, languages, mastery of vocal colors, and synthesis of the choral-orchestral tradition.

His work embodies the legacy of the great maestros he has known as protégé and colleague, especially Kurt Masur, John Nelson, Helmut Rilling, Robert Shaw, Julius Herford, Margaret Hillis, Robert Page, Otto Werner-Mueller, and Mary Oyer. During his 23 years with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus the group was hailed as one of the finest in the world. On their behalf he accepted two Grammy awards for Best Performance of a Choral Work Orff’s Carmina burana – 1992 and Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem – 1995 Other Grammy-winning recordings featuring the chorus include Stravinsky’s Perséphone and Mahler’s Symphony III. TV and film credits include an Emmy for Sweeney Todd in 2002 and soundtracks for Amadeus, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Godfather III.

His performances encompass the choral/orchestral works of Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Beethoven, Verdi, and Faure. Twentieth century composers include Stravinsky, Schoenberg, V. Williams, Penderecki, Lutoslawski and Meredith Monk. Highly regarded as a teacher of conducting he has presented workshops throughout the U.S. including Buffalo, Eastman, Cincinnati, Berkeley, and the San Francisco Conservatory. A graduate of Goshen College he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Kent State University, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Chorus America. He has served on the board of Chorus America and the National Endowment of the Art and was awarded the 2009 life membership of NCCO, the National Collegiate Choral Organization.

Ian Robertson
Chorus Director & Conductor
San Francisco Opera

Ian Robertson has been chorus director and conductor with San Francisco Opera since 1987, having prepared over 200 productions for the Company. He was awarded the Olivier Messiaen Foundation Prize in 2003 for his artistic contribution to the preparation of the Company's North American premiere of Saint François d’Assise. Robertson made his San Francisco Opera conducting debut with Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and has since led performances of Falstaff, Lohengrin, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Don Carlo, Turandot, IlTrovatore, and La Bohème.

He has led the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in many concerts, conducted Così fan tutte and La Périchole for San Francisco Opera Center, and has frequently led Merola Opera Program’s Grand Finale concerts. Other North American opera credits include productions with Sarasota Opera, Edmonton Opera, and Philadelphia’s Curtis Opera Theatre. Before joining San Francisco Opera, Robertson was head of music and chorus director of Scottish Opera, where he led numerous productions, including Il Barbiere di Siviglia, The Pearl Fishers, The Secret of Susanna, and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

He is Artistic Director of the San Francisco Boys Chorus (SFBC) and the San Francisco Festival Chorale (SFFC) where he has been responsible for the phenomenal growth in both organizations’ musical stature and reputation. He recently led the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus in their performance for the Inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. in January, 2009.

The Scotland native trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and the University of Glasgow; he studied conducting under Sir Alexander Gibson.

Dr. Anna Hamre
Director of Choral Activities
California State University, Fresno

As Director of Choral Activities at California State University, Fresno, Anna Hamre is in demand as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator. Her 2009 projects include a return to Carnegie Hall in April to guest conduct Morten Lauridsen's Lux aeterna and a trip to Vienna and Prague in June to guest conduct music by Haydn and Handel.

Dr. Hamre teaches undergraduate conducting and graduate conducting and literature at Fresno State, where she is responsible for the management of the choral program. She conducts the Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and Community Chorus Master Chorale and Coro Piccolo, frequently collaborating with the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra. Her various positions have given her the opportunity to conduct numerous new works, including the American premiere of Philip Wilby's 2004 reconstruction of Mozart's Mass in C (Novello). Several choirs under her direction have been invited to perform at music conventions.

Recent honors include the Fresno Arts Council Horizon Artist Award (2007), the California Association for Music Education (CMEA) Choral Conductor Award (2006), the CMEA Central Section College/University Music Educator Award (2006), the Fresno-State College of Arts and Humanities Excellence in Teaching Award (2003), the Fresno-Madera Counties Music Education Association Choral Educator Award (2003), and recognitions from Fresno-State music fraternities.

She has written articles for state music magazines in addition to the International Choral Bulletin, The Choral Journal, and Spotlight on Teaching Chorus. She has presented sessions for various choral-conducting and music-education organizations, most recently leading a conducting workshop at the 2008 national convention of the Organization of American Kodály Educators. Dr. Hamre is the author of The High-School/University Sight-Singer (Masterworks Press of Olympia, WA), a music-literacy method in use in every state, plus the District of Columbia, Guam, British Columbia, Hong Kong, and Indonesia.

She has served on the California state boards of both ACDA and CMEA, and she also holds membership in the College Music Society, National Collegiate Choral Organization, Chorus America, Early Music America, Southern California Vocal Association, Organization of American Kodály Educators, and the Fresno-Madera County Music Educators' Association.

Dr. Hamre holds a BA degree in vocal and instrumental music education from Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD; an MM degree in choral music from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley; and a DMA in choral literature and performance from the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Leadership

Board of Directors

Tim Ellis, President
Tom Nolan, Vice President
Judy Ahern, Treasurer
Debbie Bennett, Operations Manager
Lynn Davies, Secretary
Eric Hutchinson, Tech/Webmaster
Cathy Daniel, Board Member
Cheryl Elliot, Board Member
Iggy Fernandez, 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 Ahern
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