Escondido, CA—Escondido Choral Arts will honor the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the NASA Moon Landing with a festive celebratory concert on July 20 at 7pm, featuring an exciting ensemble of orchestra, chorus, and soloists and a world premiere cantata, “One Small Step.”
This concert features the world premiere of an original composition by internationally known composer Stephen Sturk, a resident of Escondido, and lyricist Charles Anthony Silvestri. “One Small Step” will be performed by the Center Chorale, Center Children’s Chorus, augmented by community singers from church and community college choirs for a total of 120 singers. Soloists will be mezzo-soprano Janelle DeStefano and baritone Michael Sokol. They are accompanied by a full symphony orchestra of professional musicians. all conducted by John LoPiccolo of the Poway Symphony. At the critical moment of Liftoff from the Earth, the audience will join in with sounds of excitement, making this an interactive concert and an experience not to be missed. Also on the program are selections from Franz Joseph Hadyn’s The Creation.
There will be a VIP meet-and-greet with the composer, librettist, conductors, and soloists from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the California Club at the Center.
Tickets for the concert are $24 for adults, $10 for students and can be purchased at the CCAE box office or by calling 800-988-4253.
About the ArtistsComposer Stephen Sturk was commissioned to write this new work by the Escondido Choral Arts Foundation, which runs The Center Chorale, and The Center Children’s Chorus. A longtime resident of Old Escondido, Dr. Sturk successfully juggles careers as conductor, composer, tenor, and teacher. He has been a fixture on the San Diego music scene for nearly three decades, and has been conductor/music director of several important churches and community choirs in southern California. Currently he serves as assistant conductor of The Center Chorale (affiliated with the California Center for the Arts, Escondido), as well as interim choral director of the La Jolla Symphony Chorus. After serving on the music faculty of the University of San Diego, where he was director of the Choral Scholars Program, Dr. Sturk became the Founding Director of the Pacific Academy of Ecclesiastical Music (PACEM).
Dr. Sturk is an internationally recognized composer of church music with works published by Arista Music, C.F. Peters Corporation, Associated Music Publishers, and Oregon Catholic Press (Trinitas Series). He was composer-in-residence at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in San Diego from 2000 through 2016. His many commissions include works composed for special occasions, such as birthdays and anniversaries. For a 2014 commission to celebrate the Centennial of the Spreckels Organ in San Diego’s Balboa Park, Sturk composed “Wondrous Machine,” a festive anthem for chorus and the world-famous outdoor pipe organ.
Before settling in California in 1991, Dr. Sturk was active in New York City where his principal positions were music director of The New York Motet Choir, associate conductor of choirs at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, and director of The Juilliard Singers at the Juilliard School of Music. He was also a consultant and music copyist for the major New York publishing firms and for a host of composers, including Leonard Bernstein and Steve Reich.
Dr. Sturk appears as conductor or singer on more than 60 recordings, most notably the soundtrack of the Disney animated feature “Beauty and the Beast.”
Librettist Charles Anthony Silvestri has worked with other artists from all over the world to create texts tailor-made for their commissions and specific artistic needs. He enjoys the challenge of solving these creative problems and has provided custom choral texts, opera libretti, program notes and other writing for composers including Eric Whitacre, Ola Gjeilo, and Dan Forrest, and for groups ranging from high schools to the Houston Grand Opera, from the King’s Singers to the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, from Westminster Choir College to Westminster Abbey. Most recently his premiere of The Sacred Veil with Eric Whitacre enjoyed a major triumph at Los Angeles’ Disney Hall with the Los Angeles Master Chorale. As a clinician Silvestri speaks to choirs, classes, and concert audiences about his works, the creative process, the marriage of words and music, and about his collaborative relationships with composers. He is the author of A Silver Thread (GIA 2019), a retrospective of almost 20 years of his lyric poetry.
For more information or tickets please visit the California Center for the Arts website or call 800-988-4253.