New leadership for LA Children’s Chorus

New chiefs are always a big deal in the arts, for a shift in leadership can open new vistas, close old roads… and often results in both. The Los Angeles Children’s Choruscertainly one of the busiest music ed programs in the country, is in the midst of a massive shift, with founding director Anne Tomlinson retiring  in 2018, and other positions in flux. But with this week’s official announcement naming two of their new leaders, LACC will no doubt continue to craft their next steps into the future.

The search for a new artistic director, of course, may take some time yet.  We’ll post here as soon as an announcement surfaces.

Yesterday’s press release follows.


[Press release] 


Music educator and violinist Cheryl Scheidemantle has been named Chair of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC) Board of Directors, and Debra Danner, an educator with expertise in leadership and management consulting, has been appointed LACC’s Executive Director. Scheidemantle, a faculty member of the Polytechnic School in Pasadena, joined LACC’s Board of Directors in 2013 and has chaired LACC’s highly successful Gala Bel Canto fundraiser for the past two years. She began her three-year term as Chair on August 1, 2016. Scheidemantle has a studio of private violin students, performs with the Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay and has held leadership positions in numerous non-profit organizations, including president of the Suzuki Music Association of California, co-founder of the Suzuki Talent Education of Pasadena, director of the Music Teachers’ Association of California, and member of The Circle of Huntington Hospital. She currently serves on the Scripps College Board of Trustees, where she sits on the Institutional Advancement and Student Affairs Committees and co-chairs the Scripps Association of Families and Parent Leadership Council.

“I am honored and pleased to serve as Chair of Los Angeles Children’s Chorus,” says Scheidemantle. “I have experienced first-hand the incredible impact the chorus can make on children’s lives. It is an exceptional organization with an equally exceptional staff and a deeply committed Board of Directors, with whom I look forward to working closely to advance LACC’s mission and further its national and international reputation.”

An active member of the artistic and educational community in the Los Angeles area since 1990, Scheidemantle formerly held the position of Artist-in-Residence at Whittier College and was a violin instructor at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She was the recipient of the 2008 Studio Teacher of the Year Award conferred by the American String Teachers’ Association. Scheidemantle was awarded a Ph.D. in Violin Performance from New York University, where she studied with Lawrence Ferrara and the New York Philharmonic’s William Lincer, culminating in the publication of her doctoral dissertation, The Violin Works of Fritz Kreisler. She earned a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Dorothy Delay. Scheidemantle was a member of Juilliard’s principal ensemble, The Juilliard Orchestra, working under the baton of Jorge Mester and other world-renowned conductors in such venues as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.

Danner brings to her post a wide range of professional experience. She was a member of the LACC Board of Directors prior to her appointment and served as a research fellow at the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California while completing her doctorate in educational leadership.  Before returning to education in 2013, Danner practiced law in Chicago and was an associate partner in the global change management consulting practice at Accenture.  She has also served as the managing director of a national non-profit association, a business consultant, a corporate trainer and facilitator, and an executive coach.   Danner began her professional career as a high school English teacher and coach in Southern California.  She holds a J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law, a MAT from the USC Rossier School of Education, and a B.A. in English from Yale University.

Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, founded in 1986 and widely recognized for its artistic excellence, performs with such leading organizations as LA Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony and POPS, Calder Quartet and Jacaranda. LACC, recipient of Chorus America’s 2014 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, the nation’s highest choral honor, shares its artistry around the globe, touring to North and South America, Africa, China, Cuba, Australia, Japan and Europe. Renowned for its exceptional bel canto sound and wide-ranging repertoire, the chorus is the subject of a trilogy of documentaries by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Freida Mock, has performed with John Mayer on NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” and was featured on PBS’s “Great Performances,” BBC Radio and Public Radio International, among other credits.

For more information on Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, please call (626) 793-4231 or visit

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