Music Choir Press Kit
The Westmont College Choir
The Westmont Choir is comprised of about 60 undergraduate musicians directed by Michael Shasberger, the Adams professor of worship and music. The ensemble studies and performs a wide range of literature including the classic repertoire of the past five centuries, along with spirituals, folk-song arrangements and music of other cultures. Many choir members are working toward a first degree in music and will go on to study and perform at the highest levels, while others study music in addition to pursuing degrees in science or humanities. In recent years, the choir has toured in Italy, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Lithuania, Russia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, England, Scotland, the Pacific Northwest, and Southern California.
The Westmont Chamber Singers
The Westmont Chamber Singers is a select ensemble drawn from the Westmont College Choir. Under the direction of Grey Brothers, the ensemble specializes in a cappella literature including madrigals and motets of the Renaissance, contemporary sacred and secular music, folk-song arrangements, spirituals, and vocal jazz.
Italy/Austria - Spring Tour 2017
In the spring of 2017, the Westmont College Choir & Chamber Singers embarked on a 13-day tour through Italy, Austria, Slovakia, and Germany. Their tour began on Sunday, May 7th and concluded on Monday May 22nd. The tour featured performances at Santa Maria dell’Incoronata Church in Naples, Chiesa di San Fermo Maggiore in Verona, San Moisè Church in Venice, Aviano Air Base, Saint Peter’s Church and Holy Trinity Lutheran in Bratislavaand Müllner Church in Salzburg. To Read more about the trip, click here!
The Choral Directors
Michael Shasberger serves as the Adams Chair of Music and Worship at Westmont College. His endeavors include conducting the Westmont College Choir and Orchestra, private voice instruction, working with the office of the campus pastor, and developing artistic collaborations with the Santa Barbara arts community. He is active as a conductor, educator, composer and singer. Dr. Shasberger has considerable experience as a performer in professional opera, oratorio and musical theater. He has been a resident artist with the Indianapolis and Arkansas opera Companies, and has performed professionally with several vocal chamber ensembles in appearances on concert series throughout the western United States and in England, and currently sings with the Santa Barbara based Vocal Scholars quintet. Dr. Shasberger has been a guest conductor with the Fine Arts Chamber Orchestra of Mexico City, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Lithuanian National Chamber Orchestra, Estonian Chamber Orchestra, Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra, and the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic among others, as well as preparing choirs for performance with the Santa Barbara, Indianapolis and Arkansas Symphony orchestras. He has served as the Artistic Director of the Denver Bach Society, Musica Sacra Chamber Orchestra, and the Mostly Strauss Orchestra of Denver. He currently additionally serves as the conductor of the community vocal ensemble The Santa Barbara Chamber Signers, and as the Artistic Director Designate of the professional West Coast Chamber Orchestra and Symphony.
Dr. Grey Brothers teaches music history, world music, church music, and voice at Westmont, where he also directs the Westmont Chamber Singers and the Men’s Chorale. He completed a Ph.D. in musicology at UC Santa Barbara with a dissertation on settings of the Passion composed at the Mexico City cathedral in the seventeenth century. He has lectured on this and other topics in music history locally and nationally and has delivered papers at national and regional conferences of the American Musicological Society, the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, and the American Choral Directors Association. His edition of the Passions of Antonio Rodríguez Mata is in the process of publication. He has appeared as tenor soloist with Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura choral ensembles, has sung lead roles in local stage productions, and has performed as a choral artist at the Oregon Bach Festival and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival. A long-time church musician, he has served for over twenty years as Minister of Choral and Congregational Music at Trinity Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara.