Choral Tales - Participating Artists

 


The Choral Tales Project has been fortunate to attract an expanding circle of outstanding
poets, musicians, choreographers and dancers. They stand ready, once funding is complete,
to bring to the project their talents and enthusiasm.

 

FOUNDER / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

LUDWIG TUMAN

Composer-Producer.  Greater Los Angeles, California

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Ludwig Tuman is an international award winning composer. He is also an experienced choral director, and is active as a performing pianist, producer, educator and writer.

After conceiving and developing the Choral Tales project, Ludwig assembled the group of collaborating artists listed below, as well as the members of the advisory board.  He is donating his efforts as the project's artistic director, composer and producer.

On the strength and promise of the Choral Tales project, Ludwig has become a Creative Member of the Club of Budapest, by invitation of its founder and president, Dr. Ervin Laszlo.  The Club of Budapest is a platform dedicated to facilitating and providing direction to a positive global shift underway in the world.  www.clubofbudapest.org  

Membership in the Club of Budapest is by invitation and is based on the member's engaging in significant artistic, literary or spiritual pursuits that promote a more peaceful, equitable, and sustainable world.  Its members number some 200 worldwide. 

Among them are Dame Jane Goodall, Princess Irene Van Lippe-Biesterfeld of the Netherlands, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Deepak Chopra, conductor Zubin Mehta, and the late Elie Wiesel.

Recent Honors

2017 - Luxembourg Peace Prize, awarded to Club of Budapest and its Creative Members
2017 - Grant for creative work from Nora Betyousef Foundation
2016 - Original choral work selected for performance by Chamber Choir of CSU, Long Beach
2015 - Commissions for creative work in the Choral Tales Project
2014 - Grant for creative work from The Arts Collaborative (California)
2014 - Grant for creative work from Wings to the Spirit Foundation (Florida)
2013 - Grant for creative work from Artists Building Capacity as World Citizens (New Hampshire)

2012 - His work, 14 Variations for Piano, won top honors in the Concorso Counterpoint-Italy, an international competition based in New York.  The competition seeks to enrich “the contemporary dialogue with outstanding works that enhance a developing international musical language.”

Winning compositions were selected from a field of over 75 submissions from composers living in four continents.  In recognition of the award, the Variations for Piano were premiered in New York.


Background and Perspective

Ludwig Tuman's creative work is broad in its cultural sources, connected with community, and revolves around a core of enduring concepts and values.  His versatility as a composer allows him to write in a wide variety of musical styles and genres.

The cultural elements found in his compositions reflect a forward-looking vision in which aspects of present and past, North and South, East and West, are integrated in innovative ways, in service to the public's cultural and social interests.

In his published writings, Ludwig has advocated viewing the earth as a single whole, and the diverse arts and cultures of the world as organically related to one another. Like other artists who share this emerging vision, his attraction to musical cultures of various continents and historical periods has led him to use, in his compositions, musical elements from a range of origins.  This involves drawing upon and honoring the varied musical sources of his creative work, in a way that brings into view both the oneness of the human family and our cultural diversity.  The Choral Tales Project is a clear example of this creative approach.

At times he composes in the more complex styles used in some of contemporary music. But in other cases, such as the Variations for Piano, he is willing to draw on musical languages from an earlier period, or from the various regions of the world with whose music he feels deeply identified. With an inclusive, world-embracing approach to composition, his source of inspiration from one work to another may be from the Americas, Asia, Europe, Africa, or the Pacific. 

Ludwig Tuman has been a faculty member of the Chicago Conservatory College, where he designed and taught courses in composition, theory, and non-Western music. For example, one of his courses surveyed the extensive influence of the music of Africa, via the African diaspora, upon that of North and South America.

His studies in music composition and related areas were at Harvard (B.A. cum laude), UC Berkeley (graduate level), and San Francisco State University (M.A.).

A sample of his choral writing, based on one of the stories of the Choral Tales Project, can be heard here.

A sample of his instrumental music can be heard at here.

The music for the Choral Tales is joyful in spirit, and culturally varied.

 

 

JONATHAN TALBERG

California State University, Long Beach

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Dr. Jonathan Talberg, Director of Choral, Vocal, and Opera Studies and Associate Director of the Conservatory, is conductor of the nationally renowned Chamber Choir of California State University, Long Beach.  He oversees the largest undergraduate voice programs in the state of California.

Ensembles under his baton have toured the United States and the world. He has twice conducted at the Music Educator's National Conference regional honor choir, at the 2009 conference of the National Collegiate Choral Organization, at the 2008 and 2012 American Choral Director’s Association Western Conventions, at numerous All-State choir concerts, and in various venues throughout Europe and Asia, including the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s and St. Mark's Basilicas in Italy, the Karlskirche in Vienna, the Matyas Templom in Budapest, and at the Great Wall of China.

In constant demand as a guest conductor, he has prepared choirs throughout the United States and Europe for performances with major musical institutions, including the Cincinnati Symphony, the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Pacific Symphony and the Pasadena Pops.

In addition to his work at California State University, Long Beach, Dr. Talberg is the Director of Music at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles where he is responsible for all vocal music for services, and Artistic Direction for the Los Angeles Bach Festival—which recently celebrated its 80th anniversary.

Prior to his appointment at CSULB in 2000, Dr. Talberg served as Conducting Assistant to the Cincinnati Symphony and the Cincinnati Pops and as principal choral conductor at Arrowbear Music Camp.

An eleven-year member of the California board of the American Choral Directors Association, he is currently serving as Past-President. An avid proponent of new music, he serves as an editor at Pavane Music, where a choral series is published under his name. He holds a BM in conducting from Chapman College and the MM and DMA from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. His principal teachers include Roger Wagner, William Hall, Earl Rivers, John Leman, and Elmer Thomas.

The video below shows just one facet of the versatile CSU Long Beach Chamber Choir.

 

 

THE BOB COLE CONSERVATORY CHAMBER CHOIR

California State University, Long Beach

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The Bob Cole Conservatory Chamber Choir from California State Univerity, Long Beach is the University’s premier choral ensemble. Comprised of the top singers at the University, the Chamber Choir tours yearly and has concertized throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and China. The Chamber Choir performed at the National Collegiate Choral Organization Conferences at Yale in 2009, at the College of Charleston in 2013, at the American Choral Directors Association Western Conventions in 2008 and 2012 and at the World Symposium of Choral Music in the Netherlands in 1999.

Recently, the ensemble has performed with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Pacific Symphony, the Pasadena Pops Orchestra and the Long Beach Symphony.   Since its inception in 1949, the ensemble has been conducted by a long line of nationally recognized conductors, including Frank Pooler, Ed Thompson, Leland Vail, Lynn Bielefelt, and—for the last 13 seasons—Jonathan Talberg.

 

 

Choreographers

 

SHERENE MELANIA

Near Eastern & Central Asian Dance, Ballet.  San Francisco

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Sherene Melania is Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer of Presidio Dance Theatre & Academy, San Francisco. She holds an M.A. from Harvard University in Education; a B.A. in Performing Arts and Social Justice; the University of San Francisco's Dean Medal for Excellence in the Arts; a Certificate for Ballet Direction Specialty and Choreography from the prestigious Saint Petersburg State Conservatory, Russia; and was selected by Mayor Gavin Newsom to serve on the San Francisco Arts Commission, representing the field of dance since 2007.

Trained in classical dance by the San Francisco Ballet and Kirov Academy of Ballet, Washington, DC, Sherene Melania performed principal youth roles with both San Francisco Ballet and Kirov Ballet on its US national tour.

 Sherene is a member of the SF Community Arts, Education, and Cultural Equity Committee, SF Arts Providers Alliance, California Arts Advocates, and International Dance Council UNESCO. She designed and directs DANCE OUT! Presidio Performing Arts Foundation's free citywide education program offered in the public schools, funded by the California Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts, which was nominated by the Presidio Trust to receive the President's Commission for Arts & Humanities, Coming Up Taller Award.

In 2012, Sherene Melania received a Cultural Diplomacy Through Dance Award from the US State Department.

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As a Choreographer, she has set pieces for dance companies at home and abroad, and presented for the United Nations, International Red Cross, and PBS. She annually presents Winter and Spring Seasons for Presidio Dance Theatre. 2008 live audiences exceeded 40,000 at major venues and festivals including the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, Marin Center, Palace of Fine Arts, Herbst Theater, Davies Symphony Hall, SF City Hall; Saint Petersburg's famed White Nights Festival at the Catherine Palace; and the 300th Anniversary of Tsarskoye Selo International Festival. Her work has been recognized by the press nationally in Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher, and internationally broadcast. In 2008, Sherene received a national award from Nickelodeon Television for "Best Artsy Program" in the SF Bay Area.

 

 

 

ANGELA JORDAN

African and African American Dance.  Los Angeles

Professor Angela Jordan holds a BA and MFA in Dance from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received several fellowships.  Ms. Jordan also studied and researched West African dance in Guinea, West Africa.  She has taught dance at UCLA and Bates College.  She currently teaches at Santa Monica College, and at leading dance institutions of Los Angeles such as the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and Lula Washington Dance Theatre. 

Specializing in African dance, modern dance, jazz dance and hip hop, she has choreographed music videos and independent films.

 
Opening scene from "Spirit of Lamba," a work based on West African dance, choreographed by Professor Angela Jordan.

Opening scene from "Spirit of Lamba," a work based on West African dance, choreographed by Professor Angela Jordan.

 

 

KEVIN LOCKE

Native American Dance. South Dakota

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The National Endowment for the Arts recognizes Kevin Locke as a Master Traditional Artist who has contributed to the shaping of our artistic traditions and to preserving the cultural diversity of the United States.

When Kevin Locke performs the Hoop Dance, audiences around the world light up with hope, appreciation, curiosity and joy.  Driven by the power of the traditional frame drum and soaring voices of pow wow singers, Kevin’s Hoop Dance is a physical metaphor for the process of regeneration which we are presently undergoing as one species within a planetary field of life.

A member of the Lakota nation, Kevin received the 2009 NAACP Humanitarian Service Award for his lifetime work promoting mutual understanding, social justice, and world peace.

Kevin has served as cultural ambassador for the United States Information Service since 1980.  He was a delegate to the 1992 Earth Summit in Brazil, and was a featured performer and speaker at the 1996 United Nations Habitat II Conference in Turkey.

 

 

 

 

NORBERTO MARTINEZ

 

Latin American Dance, Modern, Ballet.  San Francisco

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Norberto Martinez is Presidio Dance Theatre's Resident Choreographer of Mexican, Mayan and Argentinian Dances, Master Teacher, and popular performing Artist. He is DANCE OUT!'s lead teacher in PPAF's afterschool outreach program for underserved children in their schools. Norberto is the Founder, Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer of Folklórico Atlatonin, a co-production company under the umbrella of Presidio Performing Arts Foundation. Folklórico Atlatonin has performed for various community and academic organizations, and its first international tour included representing the dances of Mexico in China during the Beijing International Cultural and Tourism Festival in September 2007.

Mr. Norberto graduated from Instituto Mexicano de Artes and Instituto de las Bellas Artes of Mérida, Yucatán in Mexico, trained in classical ballet, folk, and modern dance. He developed a deep desire to promote the “magic” of the Mexican culture through dance, as an artist of Jorge Faz Dance Company and Ballet Folklórico de la Universidad de Yucatán for more than 15 years. He has had more than twenty years of experience performing, as well as choreographing for respected dance organizations throughout Mexico, South America, Europe and the United States of America. This summer, Mr. Norberto will share his passion for folk dance as an instructor at the Mission Cultural Center's dance program under the direction of José Léon and at Danzantes Unidos workshops under the direction of Maria Luisa Colmenarez.

 

 

Audio Mix Engineer

 

JON REZIN

Audio Mix Engineer and Producer.  Los Angeles

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The clientele of Jon Rezin reads like a who’s who in the music industry.  Having cut his teeth with jazz legends in NYC such as Ron Carter, Charlie Persip, Victor Goines, and many others he has amassed a discography that encapsulates his eclectic taste in music. During the ten years he spent in the NYC recording scene developing his craft he was instrumental in the making of many records of merit. Feeling the time was ripe for pushing his career to the next level he left NYC and moved to Los Angeles.

Since moving to LA just over seven years ago he has become a first call vocal producer, recording engineer and mixer. His mixing work has graced records of some of the biggest artists in music. (Santana, One Direction, American Idol)

As a vocal producer, Jon has worked with numerous artists, labels and production companies, including the highest grossing television show of all times American Idol and Disney movies and network TV shows. He has also recorded some of the top bands in the land including John Legend, Avril Lavigne, Maroon 5, & Ne-Yo.  His work has sold millions of units worldwide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Ludwig Tuman 2017