Steven Schick, Music Director
2007 – Present
“I think the role of an arts organization in a community is to both reflect and lead. In the San Diego music community, there is a real niche for La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, a place for our point of view. For one, the idea of contemporary music and the linkage between it and traditional orchestral music is not widely addressed outside of this organization. The connections between contemporary and classical, and the fact that we perform in the community we live in and are willing to take a stand to guide rather than follow, that’s our niche.”
Percussionist, conductor, and author Steven Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. For forty years he has championed contemporary music by commissioning or premiering more than 150 new works. He was the founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (1992-2002) and served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève (2000-2005). Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group, “red fish blue fish.” Currently he is Music Director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. He will also serve as music director of the 2015 Ojai Music Festival in June. In 2012 he became the first Artist-in-Residence with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).
Schick founded and is currently Artistic Director of “Roots and Rhizomes,” a summer course on contemporary percussion music held at the Banff Centre for the Arts. He maintains a lively schedule of guest conducting including appearances in this season with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Nova Chamber Ensemble and the Asko/Schönberg Ensemble. Among his acclaimed publications are a book, “The Percussionist’s Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams,” and numerous recordings of contemporary percussion music including a 3 CD set of the complete percussion music of Iannis Xenakis (Mode). Mode released a companion recording on DVD of the early percussion music of Karlheinz Stockhausen in September of 2014.
In 2014, Schick received two notable honors: he was named Champion of New Music by the American Composers Forum and he was inducted into the Percussion Hall of Fame. Steven Schick is Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego. In June 2015 he served as the Music Director of the 69th annual Ojai Music Festival in Ojai, California.
Patrick Walders, Choral Director
A native of Buffalo, NY, Patrick Walders maintains an active career as a professional vocalist, music educator, church musician, clinician, and conductor. Joining the faculty in August 2011 as Director of Choral Studies at San Diego State University, he was charged with building the undergraduate and graduate choral program. Now an Associate Professor, he conducts the Aztec Concert Choir, SDSU Chamber Choir, and oversees the University Chorus. He leads a thriving graduate program in Choral Conducting that offers the Masters of Music degree and Artist Diploma. Graduating students honored him in 2013 and 2014 as the Most Influential Faculty Member in the School of Music and Dance. In 2015, Patrick earned the California Music Educators Association Choral Educator Award for the state of California.
Off-campus, he and his wife Katie founded the San Diego Pro Arte Voices, a professional chamber choir and non-profit organization engaging professional artists of all disciplines for the advancement of the arts in San Diego. He is Founder and Artistic Director of the annual San Diego Summer Choral Festival & Conducting Workshop designed to give teachers, church musicians, students, amateurs, and professionals a high-quality summer choral performing outlet and conducting experience.
Patrick has led Honors Choruses and workshops in every corner of the United States. His international conducting experience includes teaching and guest conducting in Austria, England, Germany, and the Czech Republic. In 2016-2017, he will conduct the 2016 MACCC 2-Year College Honors Chorus in California, the 2016 New York All-State Women’s Chorus and return to Salzburg, Austria to headline the Goldegg Seminar für Chorleitung und Chorgesang 2017 – a workshop for vocalists, conductors, and teachers.
Patrick holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Fredonia, a master’s degree in choral conducting from the Westminster Choir College and a doctorate in conducting from the University of Maryland- College Park. He taught public school (7-12th grade) in western New York, and is passionate about teaching future music teachers, enabling them to be significant ambassadors not only for choral music, but also for all the Arts.