Seraphic Fire partners with UCLA in new project to train student singers

By Lawrence A. Johnson

James Bass

James Bass

Seraphic Fire is joining forces with UCLA in a new initiative to train student singers for professional careers.

“Seraphic Fire’s partnership with UCLA is unlike any other in the nation,” said artistic director Patrick Dupré Quigley. “As we merge art and academia, we are thrilled to usher in the next generation of choral artists.”

The project was spearheaded by James Bass, Seraphic Fire’s director of education who was recently named director of choral studies at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music. Titled the Ensemble Artist Program, the initiative will offer students advanced training with vocal professionals and help the school’s singers discover outlets for professional employment.

The first auditions for the program were held at UCLA in May, with eight students chosen by Bass and Quigley.

The training program will begin in November on the UCLA campus with a series of masterclasses, lectures and town halls featuring four Seraphic Fire members who will act as coaches: Misty Bermudez, Charles Evans, Sara Guttenberg, and Patrick Muehleise.

The UCLA students will join Seraphic Fire as guest singers in both the February performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and the April performances of Arvo Pärt’s Passio.

“This experience will be priceless for our students,” said Bass, who also regularly guest conducts Seraphic Fire. “The vocal students from UCLA will be able to step out of the academic world, into the professional world and then back again.”

“Our partnership with Seraphic Fire reflects the school’s commitment to the future of our students,” said Judith Smith, dean of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. “My expectation is that the Ensemble Training Program will open up career opportunities for our vocal students that they may have otherwise missed.” 



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Thu Jul 6, 2017
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