2020 has been a challenging year for artists and arts organizations all around the world. It has also been a time of reflection and the opportunity to reconsider our art and its role in society. To support this important reflection, Jean-Sébastien Vallée will host four Choir Chats with world-renowned artists who are rethinking and reshaping choral music. This series is a unique opportunity to discover ground-breaking artists and to explore several important issues related to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the field of classical music.


Wednesday, February 10, 7 PM
Brad Wells - RoomFul of TeetH

Brad Wells is the founder and artistic director of the Grammy Award-winning new music vocal group Roomful of Teeth. Wells has led the ensemble in premieres of over seventy five works by many of today’s leading composers... MORE

Wednesday, March 10, 7 PM
Alexander Lloyd Blake – Tonality choir

Dr. Alexander Lloyd Blake works as a conductor, composer/arranger, vocal contractor, singer, and music activist. Blake is the Founding Artistic Director of Tonality, a new choral ensemble focused on spreading a message of unity, peace, and social justice through a culturally diverse choral setting. He also serves as the Choir Director at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA). He also serves in Los Angeles and New York City as a Principal Associate Conductor of the National Children’s Chorus. As an arranger, Blake’s “Wade in the Water” was a featured arrangement at the North Carolina Music Educators Association convention in 2013 and is published with Santa Barbara Music Publishing. His arrangements of “Deep River” and “Poor Wayfaring Stranger” will be published by Alliance Music Publishing and Walton Music Publishing, respectively. Blake has recently been commissioned by the New York City professional ensemble Inspire to compose a work on environmental justice. Other musical activities include an opera conducting premiere at the 2019 Prototype Festival in New York City and preparing choirs for live performances with UCLA Center for the Art of Performance.

Recent film and TV credits include singing on the soundtrack of Jordan Peele’s “Us”, Disney’s “Lion King”, and Pixar’s “Spies in Disguise.” Blake also worked as the choral contractor and vocal arranger for Andy Grammer’s performance at the 2019 ARDYs (Radio Disney Awards). Blake recently prepared singers for the 2020 Grammy Awards and performed at the 92nd Academy Awards.

Blake completed the Doctorate in Musical Arts degree at the University of Southern California in 2019. He completed the Master of Music degree at the University of California Los Angeles in 2014 and the Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude) in Vocal Performance at Wake Forest University in 2010.

Wednesday April 14, 7 PM
Carmen Braden – Composer

Carmen Braden is a versatile, genre-jumping musician from the Canadian sub-Arctic. Winner of the 2019 Western Canadian Music Award for Classical Composer of the Year, Carmen is a composer/performer based in her hometown of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. MORE

Wednesday May 12, 7 PM
Justin Jalea – INSPIRE choir

Human rights scholar, conductor, and JUNO-nominated tenor, Justin Jalea is an internationally sought-after consultant for projects that seek positive social change through the arts. Justin has collaborated with organizations such as Musicians for Human Rights, Americans for the Arts, the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and the United Nations Orchestra and Singers.



OCS members are automatically enrolled in all of the 2020-21 season's series.

If you are a subscriber, patron, or a lover of the arts, we’d love to meet you in our Zoom Studio. Your fee will go to support these wonderful presentations: 

  • General Admission $15 per session 
  • Students and people under thirty and under - $5

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