Four leading choral conductors join Pacific’s Conservatory for 2021-2022

The University of the Pacific’s Conservatory of Music is thrilled to announce conductors Valérie Sainte-Agathe and Marguerite Brooks will serve as Artists in Residence with Pacific’s Choral Ensembles for the 2021-2022 year.  Ms. Sainte-Agathe, Artistic Director of the internationally recognized San Francisco Girls Chorus will conduct Pacific’s choral ensembles in concerts on September 26, 2021 and April 23, 2022. Marguerite Brooks, Professor Emerita at Yale’s School of Music, where she chaired the choral conducting program, founded the Yale Camerata and Yale’s Chamber Choir.  Her former students, two of whom serve on Pacific’s voice faculty today, are expanding repertoires and techniques for singers. Professor Brooks will conduct the choral ensembles on a concert in February 2022. 

Joining these two conductors as collaborators will be Pacific alumni Ricardo (Ric) Campero (‘79) and Paul Kimball (‘85) who will share the podium with Pacific’s University Choirs in December of 2021, and will collaborate with Ms. Sainte-Agathe and Professor Brooks in preparation of the Pacific Singers repertoire.

“Valerie and Marguerite are visionaries” shares Conservatory Dean Peter Witte. “In differently wonderful ways, they are ceiling breaking conductors, musicians, and educators. Their reputations in the worlds of choral conducting are superb, and their commitment to established and new music speaks for itself: witness Ms. Sainte-Agathe’s  partnerships with the Knights, Kronos Quartet, San Francisco Symphony, the Philip Glass Ensemble, and Professor Brooks’s mentorship of musicians who would go on to create Conspirare, Roomful of Teeth, and Seraphic Fire.” 

Pacific alumni Ric Campero and Paul Kimball are leading performers, educators, and conductors in California. Their record of musical citizenship and mentorship in the rehearsal room and on stage are ringing endorsements of a Pacific education in music.

We are thrilled that our students and communities will get to learn from this incredible team of gifted conductors.

About our Artists in Residence:

Valérie Sainte-Agathe has prepared and conducted the San Francisco Girls Chorus since 2013, including performances with renowned ensembles such as the Philip Glass Ensemble, The Knights, Kronos Quartet, New Century Chamber Orchestra, Voices of Music, TENET Vocal Artists, and the San Francisco Symphony. Through high profile musical collaborations, Ms. Sainte-Agathe continues to welcome acclaimed guest artists and ensembles from across the United States and beyond to work alongside the choristers of SFGC. She most recently joined forces with The King’s Singers and Roomful of Teeth to further SFGC’s creative energy during the COVID-19 pandemic with several unique video and audio projects to be released in spring 2021. In February 2018, Ms. Sainte-Agathe made her Carnegie Hall debut with the Philip Glass Ensemble, conducting with Michael Riesman in Glass’s Music with Changing Parts. She also conducted The Photographer by Philip Glass in October 2017. In June 2016, she conducted SFGC alongside The Knights and Brooklyn Youth Chorus for the New York Philharmonic Biennial Festival at Lincoln Center. She also collaborated with The Knights for the SHIFT Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Her first recording as SFGC’s Music Director, Final Answer, was released on Orange Mountain Music in February 2018, and her second recording, My Outstretched Hand, featured composer Aaron Jay Kernis, The Knights, and Trinity Youth Chorus and was released in July 2019. Between 2014 and 2016, she prepared choruses for Lisa Bielawa’s made-for-TV opera, Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser.

Valerie Sainte-Agathe

Valérie Sainte-Agathe

Marguerite Brooks is the 2019 Alfred Nash Patterson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, has enriched the choral community in New England and throughout the United States through her inspirational leadership, teaching, and artistry. She joined the Yale faculty in 1985 as chair of the choral conducting program at the School of Music and director of choral music at the Institute of Sacred Music. As founder and conductor for over 30 years of the Yale Camerata and Chamber Choir, she has brought together students, faculty and staff as well as community members from throughout New England to perform choral music from virtually every age and genre. Active as a guest conductor, teacher, and clinician, she has been a juror for the Eric Ericson conducting competition in Sweden, and has conducted, given master classes, taught, and adjudicated in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Brooks’s broad vision for music-making has been passed on to her students, who can be found in positions of musical leadership throughout New England and around the world. Among her students are the founding conductors of the Grammy-nominated vocal ensembles Conspirare, Roomful of Teeth, and Seraphic Fire, the Music Directors of major New England chorus such as Chorus pro Musica, CONCORA, and Seraphim Singers, and numerous leaders of church and religious music programs. In a recent survey, alumni often cited her as their primary reason for attending Yale and as the person who influenced them the most.

Marguerite Brooks

Marguerite Brooks

Ricardo (Ric) Campero received his Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in 1979. Mr. Campero taught instrumental and choral programs at Ceres High School for 25 years, then decided to apply his talents at the elementary level where he was successful at increasing music participation and further encouraging enrollment in the junior high school and high school music programs.  Mr. Campero retired from Ceres Unified School District in 2018 after 38 years. Mr. Campero served as assistant director for The Stockton Chorale and Master Chorale and currently serves the Stockton community through music as director of The Stockton Singers, in affiliation with The Stockton Chorale, and director of the Central United Methodist Church Chancel Choir. Mr. Campero is in demand as a choral singer and soloist, as well as a clinician.  He will be conducting the San Joaquin and Stanislaus County Jr. High School Honor Choirs in Spring 2022.

Ricardo Campero

Ricardo Campero

Paul Kimball is an active musician in Stockton. He is a graduate from Pacific in Music Education, and has a Master’s degree from Holy Names University in the Kodály Method. He was a French Horn player with the Stockton Symphony for 27 years in which he has guest conducted and soloed as a vocalist and horn player. He has conducted and prepared the voices for hundreds of performances of local musicals, and is the conductor and artistic director of the Zion Chamber Orchestra. Many Pacific Conservatory faculty have played and soloed with this group. He is in his 34th year in the Lincoln Unified School District where he has taught Orchestra, Choir, Piano and Classroom Music. He is an Eagle Scout, loves hiking and is the Current Mr. San Joaquin. In 2018 he and his wife, Dr. Dominee Muller-Kimball were presented with the Star Award by the Stockton Arts Commission. He is the author of Sight Singing Magic and We are all Human Beings/An Adoptee Ponders.

Paul Kimball

Paul Kimball