Founded in 1949 and currently led by lauded Music Director Jeannine Wagner, the St. Francis de Sales Choir is one of the leading church choirs in Southern California. Throughout the years, choir membership has included singers from the parish as well as vocalists from the Los Angeles Opera, Wagner Ensemble, Los Angeles Master Chorale, and the Roger Wagner Chorale.
Jeannine Wagner, born and raised in Los Angeles, emerged from a family of gifted artists. Her grandfather was a distinguished organist; her mother is a noted painter; and her father was the legendary choral conductor Roger Wagner. She received her formal training at Loyola Marymount University, UCLA, California State University Fullerton and USC. Her mentors in piano, voice, viola and conducting included such luminaries as Lotte Lehmann, Helmuth Rilling, Daniel Lewis, Herbert Blomstedt and Erich Leinsdorf.
For ten years Jeannine was assistant director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, preparing masterworks for such prominent conductors as Eugene Ormandy, Carlo Maria Giulini, Zubin Mehta and Michael Tilson Thomas. Her work with new and unusual repertoire also included premieres of compositions by Steve Reich and Krzysztof Penderecki.
In 1991 Jeannine founded The Wagner Ensemble, the community based resident ensemble, and in 1992 became the director of the Roger Wagner Chorale founded by her late father, Roger Wagner. Formerly, she traveled as a chorister and soloist with the Chorale on tours throughout the United States, Europe, South America, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and Japan. In December 2005 she will have completed her seventh tour of Japan as the conductor of the Roger Wagner Chorale.
Jeannine’s myriad credits also include: chorusmaster and assistant conductor of Sakai City Opera in its production of Carmen in 1997; guest conductor for the annual concert of the Matsushita Company Choir in Osaka, Japan in 1999; chorusmaster for Deutsche Oper Berlin; chorusmaster for the Los Angeles Opera Theatre; co-founder and co-director of I Cantori; and participant as singer and consultant in 60 motion picture and television soundtracks, including work with Steven Spielberg and John Williams.
As an educator she has taught at the California Institute of the Arts, California State University Los Angeles; Immaculate Heart College, UCLA, California Institute of Technology, the Los Angeles City Schools, and has served as the Los Angeles Music Center’s Consultant to the Wiseburn School District.
Currently, Jeannine serves as director of the Wagner Ensemble and of the St. Francis de Sales Choir, and as conductor of the Roger Wagner Chorale.
Organist Steve Park joined St. Francis in 1979. You can hear Steve play at the 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM, and 12:00 PM Sunday Masses.
Geoffrey Alch joined St. Francis in 1992. Born here in the San Fernando Valley, he is a UCLA graduate in Music, specializing in Theory and Composition. He sings regularly with the chorus of L.A. Opera and the Wagner Ensemble, and is proficient in many instruments, including piano, harp and flute.
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