Skip to main contentSkip to footer

News Release

October 23, 2020

Virtual Artist Talk With Eric Whitacre

College of the Canyons proudly welcomes Eric Whitacre as the first featured guest in the School of Visual & Performing Arts Industry Insight Series on Monday, Oct. 26. The virtual event is part of a special artist-in-residence program this fall.

“While we cannot safely gather in rooms to sing together at this time, we can continue to raise our voices in these virtual forums as our students and faculty in the School of Visual & Performing Arts have been doing since March,” said Jennifer Smolos, Dean of the School of Visual & Performing Arts. “We are delighted to welcome Eric Whitacre into our virtual classrooms as Artist-in-Residence.”

Whitacre is an internationally recognized composer, conductor, and arranger, who served as the Los Angeles Master Chorale's first artist-in-residence at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and is credited for founding the world’s first virtual choir in 2009.

Since then, he has directed groups as large as 17,000 people in pieces that routinely have more than 1 million views on YouTube. His album, "Light & Gold," won the Grammy for Best Choral Performance in 2012.

Whitacre’s residency with the college will include a series of virtual master classes, providing an opportunity for students and faculty to work alongside the famed composer. Whitacre’s work has also inspired the college to form its first virtual choir featuring the Chamber Singers ensemble under the direction of Professor Lori Marie Rios.

As the inaugural artist featured in the School of Visual & Performing Arts Industry Insight Series, Eric Whitacre will share stories surrounding how the concept of virtual choirs has evolved since 2009.

College of the Canyons students, faculty, staff and interested community members are invited to attend the virtual artist talk at 7 p.m. on Monday.

For more information about the presentation and instructions on how to view Whitacre’s Industry Insight event, please email Jennifer Smolos.