It’s a big day for Star Wars fans, and an especially big day to celebrate for many members of the Los Angeles Master Chorale. At the express invitation by master film composer John Williams, LAMC is a featured part of the latest installment of one of the most closely-watched and beloved film series of all time. The Last Jedi includes singing by our Listers and other local colleagues, giving the rest of us one more great reason to hit the cinemas this season. Read more below, and congrats to LAMC!
Press release follows.
Los Angeles Master Chorale Featured on the Star Wars: The Last Jedi Soundtrack
(Los Angeles, CA) December 15, 2017 – The celestial voices heard on the soundtrack of Star Wars: The Last Jedi released in theaters today are not from a galaxy far, far, away but from the Los Angeles Master Chorale. The Master Chorale was specifically chosen to sing on the soundtrack by the film’s legendary composer John Williams. Sixty-four singers and Grant Gershon, the Master Chorale’s Kiki and David Gindler Artistic Director, recorded their vocal tracks live with Williams and his orchestra at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City in April.
While members of the Los Angeles Master Chorale — a professional choir that is a resident company of The Music Center and choir-in-residence at Walt Disney Concert Hall — have been contracted individually to sing on previous Star Wars-franchise soundtracks, for this movie, Williams asked for the ensemble.
“I’ve always admired the brilliant artistry of the LA Master Chorale, and I was delighted that they and Maestro Gershon were available to lend their voices to this new Star Wars score,” said Williams. “Los Angeles, and indeed the entire country, can be justifiably proud of this outstanding ensemble.”
The Los Angeles Master Chorale is comprised of 100 professional singers and positions are highly sought-after. The Master Chorale presents its own series of concerts in Disney Hall and performs with the LA Philharmonic in both Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, frequently with Music Director Gustavo Dudamel.
Since its foundation in 1964, the Master Chorale has featured on numerous soundtracks but Grant Gershon said it was a particular honor to be personally invited by Williams for this engagement: “John Williams’ works are iconic, instantly recognizable, and revered throughout the universe. To be part of a film project of this magnitude and to have the experience of working with Maestro Williams here in our hometown was nothing short of thrilling.”
Gershon says there are several benefits to using the Los Angeles Master Chorale on film and television projects: “I literally audition hundreds of singers each year. The audition process for the Master Chorale is notoriously rigorous and the competition to become a member of the group is intense, so I can declare with confidence that we have the most gifted and versatile singers in Los Angeles. Additionally, our experience singing together as an ensemble makes us a lean, mean, singing machine which is invaluable in an industry where time is money.”
Other soundtracks featuring the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Gershon include Lady in the Water and License to Wed. Soundtracks the Master Chorale features on with its former Music Director, Paul Salamunovich, include A.I. Artificial Intelligence, My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Sum of All Fears, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Waterworld.
ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE
The Los Angeles Master Chorale is widely recognized as the country’s leading professional choir and one of Southern California’s most vibrant cultural treasures. Hailed for its powerful performances, technical precision, and artistic daring, the Master Chorale is led by Kiki and David Gindler Artistic Director Grant Gershon and President and CEO Jean Davidson. Founded by legendary conductor Roger Wagner in 1964, it is a founding resident company of The Music Center and choir-in-residence at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Chorister positions are highly sought-after and the fully professional choir is a diverse and vocally dynamic group showcasing the many voices of L.A.
Presenting its own concert series each season, the Los Angeles Master Chorale performs choral music from the earliest writings to contemporary compositions striking a balance between innovation and tradition. It also frequently performs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. The Master Chorale has been awarded three ASCAP/Chorus America Awards for Adventurous Programming as well as Chorus America’s prestigious Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence. In 2017 it was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.
Committed to community engagement and fostering music education in schools, the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s education programs include Voices Within residencies that encourage students to write and perform their own songs, and an expansive Oratorio Project for high school students. The Master Chorale also presents an annual High School Choir Festival, which brings teenagers from around the Southland to perform in Walt Disney Concert Hall.