La Jolla Symphony & Chorus hires new choral director


The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus (LJS&C) has hired Patrick Walders as its next choral director after a search that included local and out-of-state candidates. Walders is an Associate Professor of Music at San Diego State University (SDSU), where he conducts the Aztec Concert Choir, SDSU Chamber Choir and oversees the University Chorus. Additionally, he maintains a career as a professional vocalist, music educator, church musician, clinician and conductor.

He will succeed David Chase, who has been the organization’s choral director since 1973 and will retire at the end of the current season in June 2017.

Walders, a native of Buffalo, New York, arrived in San Diego in 2011 to join the SDSU faculty. Outside of academia he is founder, along with wife Katie, of a professional chamber choir, San Diego Pro Arte Voices, and is founder and artistic director of the San Diego Summer Choral Festival & Conducting Workshop.

He has led Honors Choruses and workshops throughout the United States. His international conducting experience includes teaching and guest conducting in Austria, England, Germany and the Czech Republic. He holds a doctorate in conducting from the University of Maryland-College Park.

“Following a figurehead like Dr. David Chase after his more than four decades of service is daunting and humbling,” said Walders. “I am delighted at the opportunity, and look forward to carrying on the tradition of excellence of the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus.”

Walders will begin his tenure with LJS&C on July 1, 2017. As choral director he will be responsible for preparing the chorus for the organization’s subscription series, leading concerts of choral music at community venues, and sharing conducting duties with maestro Steven Schick, who recently renewed his contract with LJS&C through 2022.

LJS&C is San Diego’s longest-running and largest community orchestra and chorus, is a non-profit organization celebrating its 62nd year. Its 90-person orchestra and 100-person chorus perform groundbreaking orchestral and choral music along with traditional favorites from the classical repertoire in Mandeville Auditorium on the UC San Diego campus. The next concert program will be Dec. 3-4. (858) 534-4637.