Staff Report

As the Santa Ynez Valley Master Chorale continues its 40th anniversary year, new singers are invited to begin rehearsals for the spring season on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

The program for the chorale’s spring concerts in early May will include an eclectic mix of classic and contemporary, including “Lord Nelson Mass in D Minor” by Haydn, “Waterloo” and “Take a Chance on Me” by ABBA, “Bit by Bit” by Sondheim and “It Don’t Mean a Thing” by Ellington, to name a few.

New singers, 17 years and older, can meet the director and other chorale members at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 2672 Janin Way in Solvang, at 6:45 p.m. Jan. 22. (Returning members will arrive at 7 p.m.) 

Rehearsals are every Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. with two or three additional practices just prior to concerts on May 11 and 12. Members are expected to prepare between rehearsals. 

Celebration of the chorale’s 40th anniversary started in December with the chorale and a 17-piece professional orchestra presenting Bach’s “Magnificat” and special musical guests from the community presenting holiday favorites.

“Rehearsing and performing music requires focus – a bit like training for an event.  The rush of the performance is exhilarating but it’s only because of the practice that went before it,” said chorale president Shannon Casey. “Making music with other singers is a terrific way to share love of musical harmony with like-minded people, many of whom you might have otherwise never met.  The benefits are phenomenal and long lasting for everyone touched by the experience.”

“Ninety percent of what is required to be a successful chorale member is a passion and hunger to learn, grow and contribute to something greater than yourself,” added the chorale’s director, Dr. Michael Eglin. “Excellent music requires rigorous hard work and lots of it, but we can have a great time doing it.”

Eglin teaches music at Santa Barbara City College. He has a bachelor’s of music in composition and piano performance and a master’s and Ph.D. in composition. Some of his compositions have aired on NPR’s “Performance Today.”

The chorale is a member-supported, nonprofit organization that performs diverse choral music accompanied by professional musicians.  More information is available at For more information, send email to