La Jolla, Calif. November 1, 2016) — The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus (LJS&C) is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Patrick Walders as its next choral director. Dr. David Chase has been the organization’s choral director since 1973 and will retire at the end of the current season in June 2017. Walders briefly served as acting choral director for LJS&C during Chase’s sabbatical last fall. He was named as Chase’s successor after a recently-concluded search that included both local and out-of-state candidates. Walders is an Associate Professor of Music at San Diego State University (SDSU), where he conducts the Aztec Concert Choir, SDSU Chamber Choir, and oversees the University Chorus. Additionally, he maintains an active career as a professional vocalist, music educator, church musician, clinician and conductor.
“Patrick Walders is a superb musician and a natural leader,” says LJS&C Music Director Steven Schick, who is also a Distinguished Professor of Music at UC San Diego. “He will be a wonderful steward of David Chase's extraordinary legacy as choral director of the La Jolla Symphony Chorus.”
Walders, a native of Buffalo, NY, arrived in San Diego in 2011 to join the SDSU faculty. Outside of academia he is founder, along with wife Katie, of a professional chamber choir, San Diego Pro Arte Voices, and is founder and artistic director of the San Diego Summer Choral Festival & Conducting Workshop. He has led Honors Choruses and workshops throughout the U.S. His international conducting experience includes teaching and guest conducting in Austria, England, Germany and the Czech Republic. He holds a doctorate in conducting from the University of Maryland-College Park.
“Following a figurehead like Dr. David Chase after his more than four decades of service is daunting and humbling,” said Walders. “I am delighted at the opportunity, and look forward to carrying on the tradition of excellence of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus.”
Walders will begin his tenure with LJS&C on July 1, 2017. As choral director he will be responsible for preparing the chorus for the organization’s subscription series, leading concerts of choral music at community venues, and sharing conducting duties with Schick, who recently renewed his contract with LJS&C through 2022.
The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, San Diego’s longest-running and largest community orchestra and chorus, is a non-profit organization celebrating its 62nd year. Its 90-person orchestra and 100-person chorus perform groundbreaking orchestral and choral music along with traditional favorites from the classical repertoire in Mandeville Auditorium on the UC San Diego campus. During the 2016-2017 season, maestro Steven Schick shares the podium with David Chase and guest conductor Michael Gerdes, featuring music by emerging and mid-career composers as well as the works of Beethoven, Verdi, Stravinsky, Rossini, and more. LJS&C is an affiliate of UC San Diego.