JACCC Presents ‘Bridge to Joy’ This Friday

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The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, in coordination with the L.A. Daiku Association, invites you to build musical fellowship with 300 voices from around Southern California for the historic “Bridge to Joy” concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave. in Los Angeles, on Friday, July 28, at 8 p.m.

The evening of unity and friendship through music will feature Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, “Ode to Joy” and “Choral Fantasy.”

Bridge to Joy is being produced in cooperation with the L.A. Daiku Association (one interpretation of “Daiku” in Japanese is “No. 9”), Jeffrey Bernstein, Pasadena Master Chorale artistic and executive director and L.A. Daiku music director, the Japan America Society of Southern California, the Japan Business Association of Southern California, with nominal support from the Consul General of Japan, Los Angeles.

Featured performers:

• Jeffrey Bernstein, known for his ability to inspire audiences and musicians alike, is a composer and conductor based in Southern California. He is founding artistic director of the Pasadena Master Chorale, an auditioned volunteer community chorus, and artistic director of L.A. Daiku. Previously, Bernstein served as artistic director of the Hollywood Master Chorale and assistant conductor of the Pasadena Symphony and POPS. From 1997 to 2008, Bernstein was director of choral music at Occidental College, where he rejuvenated a century-old Glee Club tradition and taught courses in music theory, counterpoint, composing and arranging, 20th-century music, and the American musical theater. He led over 25 professional productions and served as associate musical director for the national touring company of “Cats.”

During the 25-year span of his career, Bernstein has conducted dozens of major works and led choirs on 14 tours of three continents. He is the songwriter for the forthcoming PBS children’s program “Luna Around the World,” set to premiere in 2018. He has composed numerous concert works, and his music has been performed across this country and in Europe, Japan and Australia.

• Ray Ushikubo, a 16-year-old Japanese American pianist and violinist, exhibits an innate musicality well beyond his years and has performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, and on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Since his solo orchestral debut at age 10 with the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ushikubo has appeared with world-renowned pianist Lang Lang at Orange County’s Segerstrom Concert Hall, and with pianist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra at Royce Hall in Los Angeles.

A recipient of the prestigious Davidson Fellow Laureate Award in 2014, he won the 2016 Piano Concerto Competition at the Aspen Music Festival and School and the 2017 Hilton Head International Piano Competition. During the 2016–2017 season, he made his debut with the Pasadena Symphony and the Modesto Symphony Orchestra performing Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with conductor David Lockington.

Also an accomplished violinist, Ushikubo loves to perform for people and has done so in a variety of settings. In August 2015 he made a special appearance as piano and violin soloist in a concert presented by Grand Performances in Los Angeles. He performed as piano soloist at the JACCC’s Aratani Theatre for a peace ceremony honoring Hiroshima atomic bomb victims.

• Glenn Seven Allen, tenor soloist, has performed on Broadway and at major regional theatres and opera houses across the country. Broadway/New York: “The Light in the Piazza,” “Carousel,” “Girl Crazy,” “La Campana Sommersa,” “Candide,” “Casino Paradise,” “A Fine and Private Place,” “A Time for Singing,” “Rigoletto,” “Der Vampyr,” “The Long Christmas Dinner,” “Turn of the Screw,” “Orange Blossoms,” “Di Goldene Kale,” “A Room with a View,” “Camelot” (Helen Hayes nominee for best actor), “HMS Pinafore,” “Sweeney Todd,” “The Chocolate Soldier,” “1776,” “The Pirates of Penzance,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Cabaret,” “A Little Night Music,” “Masterclass.”

He received his MFA in acting at University of Washington and BFA in musical theater at University of Michigan, and is on the faculty of Yale School of Drama.

• Mari Kumasaka, soprano soloist, was born in Fukushima. She graduated from Kunitachi College of Music as a vocal performance major in 2006 and completed her vocal music masters course in 2008. She appeared in the opera “The Marriage of Figaro” in the role of Susanna at Kunitachi College of Music. She received the Grand Prize at the Tama Fresh Music Competition and the second place award at the Soleil Music Competition in Tokyo.

Kumasaka has performed in the Tokyo Nikikai production of the opera “L’enfant et les sortileges” as The Fire at the New National Theater in Tokyo and in the Messiah concert as a soprano soloist in Tokyo. She has also appeared in the opera “Lohengrin” at the New National Theater in Tokyo and has been featured as a soprano soloist in a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Naruto, Tokushima, and in Los Angeles, both conducted by Bernstein. Other soprano soloist performances include F. Schubert’s Mass in G in Tokyo, Faure’s Requiem in Tokyo, and W.A. Mozart’s Requiem in Fukushima.

• Robert MacNeil, tenor soloist, has been praised by The Los Angeles Times for possessing a voice that is “clarion” and “clear.” After making his San Francisco Opera debut as the High Priest of Neptune in Mozart’s “Idomeneo,” he returned to perform in productions of “Salome,” “Le Nozze di Figaro,” and “Werther,” for which Opera News said he “sang with panache.”

MacNeil most recently performed with LA Opera in “Lohengrin,” after previous appearances including “The Stigmatized,” “Fidelio,” “Il Trovatore,” “Der Rosenkavalier,” “Festival Play of Daniel,” “Tannhäuser,” “La Bohème” and “Il Tabarro.” The tenor made his debut with the famed Ojai Festival under Kent Nagano in Orff’s “Die Kluge” and recorded the role of Martin in Copland’s opera “The Tender Land,” which was released on the Koch International Label.

• Hirokazu Myochin, baritone soloist, graduated from the Tokyo College of Music, Vocalist Performance Course. He also completed the 53rd Nikikai Opera Training Institute Master Class and received an excellent prize at the time of completion. He has performed Beethoven’s No. 9, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Händel’s Messiah, Schubert’s Mass No. 2, and Bernstein’s Mass. He was also invited from the Robert Crowder Foundation to perform Beethoven 9, conducted by Bernstein, at the Aratani Theatre in 2015.

While he specializes in performing German songs for concerts, Myochin has also performed in operas and was seen in “Don Giovanni,” “Le Nozze di Figaro,” “Die Zauberflöhte,” “La Boheme,” “Don Pasqare,” “Tosca,” “L’Incoronazione di Poppea,” “Intermezzo,” “Arabella,” “Il barbiere di Siviglia,” “La Traviata,” “Rigoletto,” and “Carmen.”

His awards and prizes include the 57th All-Japan Student Music Competition in Tokyo Meeting Prize for Encouragement, the 12th Japan Ensemble Contest for Excellence Player Prize and Zenon Publishing Company Prize, and the first Juilliard School vocal music Audition Prize as Dr. Handa Encouragement. Myochin lives in Paris and Berlin.

• Aiko Sakazaki Anglim, soprano soloist, was born in Kobe and grew up in Tokyo until moving to Los Angeles at the age of 6. She holds a Bachelor of Music in vocal arts, a Master of Arts in teaching in music education, and a California Music Teaching Credential from USC. She has been the recipient of many awards, including the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation Scholarship for the Master of Arts in Teaching.

A classically trained soprano, Anglim is consistently a featured soloist with the Torrance Civic Chorale and has been the soprano soloist for L.A. Oratorio Chorus’ annual Japanese Messiah concert since 2012. Some of her other vocal accomplishments include performing with world-renowned mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzmán, performing at Princeton University under the baton of Dr. James Jordan, and singing at Disney Hall with the L.A. Philharmonic under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Anglim is also an accomplished music educator. She teaches music full-time at elementary schools for a non-profit called P.S. ARTS. She is an active member of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, and is also a sought-after bilingual choral conductor who is passionate about bringing Japan and the U.S. together through music.

• Tracy Van Fleet, known for her rich and warm mezzo soprano, has earned critical acclaim singing from Walt Disney Concert Hall to the Symphonieorchester Lüneburg in Germany. As a soloist, she has performed with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Lüneburg Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Los Angeles Bach Festival, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, Colorado Philharmonic, USC Symphony and Chorus, and others. She has had the pleasure of multiple solo performances with L.A. Daiku and has made many appearances with the Los Angeles Music Center Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Opera Pacific, San Diego Opera and Opera Colorado.

In 2017 she was the alto soloist for the multi-national production of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Germany for the Naruto Daiku. In 2016 she was the featured mezzo soloist on a tour of Italy singing the Mozart Requiem at many UNESCO sites. In 2013 she toured Europe and the U.S. with the Los Angeles Philharmonic singing in a new oratorio by John Adams, “The Gospel According to the Other Mary.” Van Fleet earned a Master and Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from USC, where she graduated cum laude.

Tickets are $35 to $100. Call (323) 850-2000 or visit www.musiccenter.org. For more information, visit http://JACCC.org/bridgetojoy or call (213) 628-2725.

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