YOUTH CHOIR OF ANNUNCIATION
Director: Miha Zupanc Kovač
Pianist: Peter Barbo
Youth Choir of Annunciation programme:
Hugolin Sattner (1851–1934), Ti, ki si najlepša (Elizabeta Kremžar)
Ivan Zajc (1832–1914), Ave maria
Franz X. Engelhart (1861–1924), Dajte mi zlatih strun
Pierangelo Sequeri (1964), Moje si življenje (arr. Damijan Močnik (1967), Slovenian lyrics: Irma Močnik)
Luigi Molfino (1916–2012), O sacrum convivium (Thomas of Aquino)
Stevan Stojanović Mokranjac (1856–1914) Tebe poem (liturgy of St. John Chrysostom)
Brendan Graham (1945), Rolf Lovland (1955), Ko dvigneš me (arr. Roger Emerson (1950), Slovenian lyrics: Irma Močnik)
Tilen Slakan (1993), Kjer je vera, tam ljubezen (new work, a house blessing from 1880)
Saratoga-Lynbrook Choir programme:
Franz Schubert (1797–1828), Kyrie from Mass in G major, D. 167
Robert Robinson (1735–1790), Come thou Fount of Every Blessing (arr. Joe Cox)
Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741), Gloria Patri (arr. Patrick M. Liebergen)
William Byrd (1539/40 or 1543–1623), Ave Verum Corpus
Thomas Keesecker (1956), Many Will Come
Traditional Spiritual Song, Keep Your Lamps (arr. André Thomas)
Aaron Copland (1900–1990), Zion’s Walls (arr. Glenn Koponen)
Traditional Spiritual Song, Ain’t That Good News (arr. Moses Hogan)
Saratoga High School has a very strong music tradition with nearly 40% of the student body involved in musical activities. For the first time, their excellent choir, joined by Lynbrook High School Choir, led by Beth Nitzan and Crystal Isola, is coming to perform in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Beth Nitzan is Director of Choirs at Saratoga High School where she teaches Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Philharmonic Strings, and Advanced Placement Music Theory. Nitzan has performed in venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, Shoreline Amphitheater, the SAP Center, the Honda Center, and the Los Angeles Greek Theater. She has sung for artists such as John Williams, James Conlon, and Andrea Bocelli, and lent her voice to productions including Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience and The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses. She can be heard on Pasquale Esposito’s 2019 album, In the Spirit of Christmas. Nitzan holds a bachelor’s degree in Music from Pomona College in Claremont, CA. Nitzan continued her study of Music Education at Cal State Fullerton where she obtained her teaching credential. She also holds a master’s degree in Choral Conducting from San Jose State University where she studied with Dr. Jeffrey Benson.
Crystal Isola teaches Choir, Orchestra and Music Appreciation at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, California, where she has been for 32 years. She has served for 29 years as the Department Chair, and has won the teacher of the year award. Crystal was an active performer throughout her life but especially as a child when she worked as both an amateur and professional performer in television, radio and stage as a singer, actress and piano accompanist on CBC and ITV school broadcasts. Crystal completed level 10 in both voice and piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada. She did her undergraduate work at the University of Alberta completing a bachelor’s of education in Music and continued her studies at Brandeis University receiving an MFA in acting.
Youth Choir of Annunciation Ljubljana consists of young singers from Ljubljana parish community. Aside from singing in the choir, they engage in plenty other parish activities, contributing crucially to the parish life. The youth choir brings together middle and high schoolers as well as university students. They participate in other parish vocal groups and co-create the Sunday liturgy at Franciscan Church of Annunciation on Tromostovje. They are joined by an orchestra and renowned musicians every year for a ceremonial concert at Christmas and Easter mass. The choir frequently premieres new works by Slovenian composers, recently having performed Mass No. 2 by composer Tilen Slakan. Otherwise, their repertoire is varied. They have had multiple international tours, too, in St Peter’s Church in Vienna, Budapest and Milan to name a few.
Miha Zupanc Kovač studied music pedagogy at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana and is currently enrolled in orchestra conducting studies at the same institution. He also trains solo singing with Janko Volčanšek at the Ljubljana Conservatory. Since October 2017, he has sung and worked as an accompanist at the Chamber Choir Megaron under the guidance of Damijan Močnik and the Chamber Choir of the Academy of Music under the guidance of Sebastjan Vrhovnik. He has been running the Youth Choir of Annunciation since 2017, along with the Vocal group Laulu. In 2019, he became the conductor of Simfonija 23. He also worked as an assistant and accompanist in several opera productions.