New Tonality choral ensemble promotes diversity in debut concert

Tonality, a new choral ensemble founded by USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music DMA candidate Alexander Blake, will present its debut performance on Saturday, September 24th in Hollywood. The 26-member chorus is dedicated to promoting “peace, social justice, and unity” through music.

In an article for the Huffington Post, Blake described his inspiration to create an ensemble that would confront racial and cultural divisions with a spirit of social and artistic inclusivity. Many musicians were drawn by Blake’s call to action, including students and alumni Malia Civetz (’16, popular music), Kevin Febryan (’14, business administration), James Hayden (’13, vocal arts), David Hobbs, Da’Jon James, Jenna Mefford (’16, vocal arts), Jej Millanes, Emily Peterson, David Rakita, Hope Thompson, and Composition faculty member Jeffrey Parola. The concert will also feature works by faculty members Ted Hearne and Nick Strimple, alumni Saunder Choi (MM ’16, composition) and Jazz student Nathan Heldman, with musical performances by violist Ben Chilton, organist Adan Fernandez, cellist Yoshika Masuda (GCRT ’12, DMA ’16), and guitarist Sean Mulholland (MM ’16).

The ensemble’s founding artists introduced the project with a short video, as seen below:

Tonality’s debut concert will take place on Saturday, September 24th at 7:30 PM at Hollywood’s St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church. The program will include works by Brahms, Reena Esmail, alumnus Saunder Choi, Paula Tillen, Michael Barrett, Alexander Lloyd Blake, and more. Admission is free.