ARTISTIC staff

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Peggy Spool, Artistic and Founding Director

Peggy Spool is the founding director of Vivace Youth Chorus, now in its fourteenth year. She has worked with children's choruses in the Bay Area for over 20 years.

Prior to founding Vivace, Ms. Spool was Assistant Director for Cantabile Children's Chorus in Los Altos, California from 1996-2003. She also maintains a private vocal studio in her home, and leads the children's choir program at Stone Church, San José. She has prepared children's choruses for Opera San José, San José Symphonic Choir and Mission City Opera.

Ms. Spool received a Bachelor of Music in Voice from Boston University, a Master's in Voice from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and she holds a Certificate in Kodály Music Education from Holy Names University in Oakland, California. She is a member of the American Choral Directors of America, National Teachers of Singing, and The Organization of American Kodály Educators.

Currently, she serves as the Repertoire and Standards Chair for Children's and Community Youth Choruses on the California ACDA Board, and sits on the board of Silicon Valley Arts Coalition.   

 
Albert "Albee" Mabeza, Director, Teen Men's Ensemble

Originally hailing from Southern California, Albert recently made his move to the Bay Area to study at San José State University for a Bachelor of Music with a double concentration in Music Education and Vocal Performance. He is studying voice privately with tenor Joseph Frank and conducting with Director of Choral Activities at SJSU, Dr. Jeffrey Benson.
While at San José State, Albert has been a section leader, student conductor and briefly studied with Dr. Charlene Archibeque. Albert also directs SJSU's all-male a cappella ensemble, Pitch Please, which has participated in multiple campus and community activities.

Albert received an Associate of Arts degree from Fullerton College in Fullerton, California under the guidance of faculty such as Steven Dahlke, John Tebay, Dr. Katharin Rundus, and Dr. Tony Mazzaferro. Having more than 16 years' experience in singing, conducting and directing groups, Albert is ready to make his mark in the world of choral arts.


Anna Johanna 'Jay' Jordana, Director, Intermediate ChoiR

Ms. Jordana was born and lived in the Philippines for fourteen years before immigrating to the United States. Under Roger Letson, she became the assistant director and lead soprano to Downbeat Magazine's Best Collegiate Vocal Jazz Ensemble Vocal Flight. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Jordana sang lead soprano and was the business manager of +4db. She later sang and toured with SoVoSo.
Ms. Jordana completed her degree in Vocal Performance with Erie Mills. She also studied choral conducting with Dr. Charlene Archibeque and became the assistant conductor to the concert choir and the Choraliers. While in the role of soprano soloist in the soundtrack of the award winning short film I, she was commissioned to write the De Anza College Jingle that was broadcast in radio stations throughout the Bay Area.

Working with numerous organizations, Ms. Jordana sang in Opera San Jose's production of Carmen. She served as the assistant conductor to Barbara Day Turner's San Jose Chamber Orchestra for three years during which she received positive reviews from newspapers including the San Jose Mercury News. Most recently, as a vocal jazz instructor at a summer jazz camp sponsored by the Alum Rock School District, she and her students were auditioned and chosen by the Oakland Raiders organization to sing the national anthem at a televised Raiders versus Broncos game.

During her music teacher certification program at San Jose State University, she served as a fellow with the California Music Project assisting music teachers in low-income schools. Currently, Ms. Jordana works as a vocal jazz instructor with the Alum Rock Jazz Band, sings lead soprano under the San Jose Choral Productions with the a cappella jazz sextet Amaranth, and serves as the Director of Music Ministries at Foothill Presbyterian Church.    

MASUMI MAEI, MUSIC TEACHER, RISING NOTES

Masumi Maei graduated from Brown University where she studied voice with Kathryne Jennings, and spent three years as a board member of the student opera production company. Favorite memories from that period include directing a fully orchestrated production of Cristoph Willibald Gluck's "Orpheo ed Euridice", and performing Samuel Barber's "Knoxville: Summer of 1915" with a chamber orchestra.

After college, she took a break from classical music doing education research in Sri Lanka on a Fulbright grant, and living in Bali. Upon re-entry to the United States, she began the Kodály Masters program at Holy Names University, trained as a Music Together teacher, and studied music at West Valley College. She studies privately with Katya Roemer, and takes Hindustani voice lessons (Gwalior Gharana) with Dr. Madhuvanti Mirashi.

Masumi teaches first through third grade music at Berkeley Rose Waldorf school, teaches private voice and musicianship lessons at her home, and sings in the choir for St. Lukes Episcopal Church in Los Gatos. She joined Vivace in early 2015.

KAREN JOHNSON, ACCOMPANIST

Karen Johnson has accompanied Vivace since its inception. She holds a degree in Piano Performance from Cal. State University, Sacramento where she studied with Thomas Gentry. She has also studied with George Oliynyk, Patricia Taylor Lee from the University of California, Davis and Thomas Schumacher from the University of Maryland.

Ms. Johnson also plays for the Orchard City Community Chorus and St. Philips Episcopal Church. She does extensive freelance work as an accompanist and soloist playing both classical and jazz repertoire.

Ms. Johnson maintains a private studio and is a member of the Music Teachers Association of California, the National Guild of Piano Teachers, Phi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society and California Association of Professional Music Teachers (MTNA) where she serves on the board.

JULIE POKLEWSKI, ACCOMPANIST

Mrs. Poklewski holds a Bachelor of Music degree from San Jose State University and Masters in Piano Pedagogy from Notre Dame de Namur University. During the summer of 2004, Mrs. Poklewski took part in the Vienna International Pianists Academy in Vienna, Austria, and studied piano performance with the legendary Leonid Brumberg who was a pupil of Shostakovich. She also studied accompanying with Stephen Moller.

Mrs. Poklewski has been an accompanist for various choirs, musicals and soloists around the Bay Area including Ragazzi Peninsula Boy's Chorus. In addition to being an accompanist for Vivace's Women's Teen Ensemble, Mrs. Poklewski holds an accompanist position at Oak Grove High School and maintains a private piano studio.

Her professional affiliations include the Music Teachers Association of California, Music Teachers National Association where Mrs. Poklewski currently serves as District II Coordinator and VP of Santa Clara Valley Chapter, and Director of Operations for the International Russian Music Piano Competition.

 

Brian Holmes, Resident Composer

Brian Holmes was born in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Punahou School in Honolulu, received a Bachelor's degree from Pomona College and earned a PhD in Experimental Low Temperature Physics from Boston University.

He joined the Physics Department of San José State University in 1985. He has often neglected his students to play in the San José Symphony and Opera San José. He is co-principal horn of the Peninsula Symphony, a member of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, and a member of the Menlo Brass Quintet.

He is also a nationally recognized expert on the physics of brass musical instruments, giving many invited talks all over the country. Brian prefers to compose for chorus or solo voice. He has published twenty compositions, won a dozen composition contests and completed a dozen commissions.

Administrative STAFF

JOshua Lanam, Executive Director

A seasoned arts and business administrator, Joshua Lanam’s diverse background ranges from finance, supply chain, and operations management to arts administration and education. With a record of strong leadership, expertise in organizational and operational effectiveness, creativity in production and event planning, and thorough understanding of youth choral programs, Mr. Lanam manages with a strategic, process-driven approach that keeps Vivace’s mission at its heart. 

Mr. Lanam earned a Bachelor of Music from the Conservatory of Music at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, where he focused on choral conducting, vocal performance, and music education. He studied opera performance and music theory at Goldsmiths College, University of London and choral conducting at Trinity College of Music. He earned a Crosscultural and Academic Language Development Certificate through the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University and has completed business leadership courses through employer-sponsored programs.

His directing and teaching experience includes professional and high school musical theatre, jazz and marching bands, elementary general music, and church music. He has appeared in the lead tenor role in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and as a guest soloist with regional orchestras and choral societies in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Mr. Lanam served as a Lay Clerk and tenor soloist of the choir of Leeds Minster in West Yorkshire, England, is now the tenor of the professional five-voice choir of Saint Ann Chapel in Palo Alto, and frequently appears with Bay Area Renaissance and Baroque chamber ensembles.

Mr. Lanam sits on the board of directors for the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival and served on the board for Camp Wyandot, a non-profit youth organization in Columbus, Ohio. He resides in San Jose with his wife, musicologist and organist Faith Lanam, and their two poodles; he enjoys traveling, hiking, and kayaking.

renay falconio, operations manager

Renay Falconio joined Vivace as Operations Manager in March 2015.  You can find her in the Vivace office planning, developing and managing our business operations.

Renay brings to Vivace exceptional administrative skills, significant experience with non-profits and a passion for children. She graduated from Foothill College and later attended San Jose State University where she completed a special studies program in business managment. Renay has always sought out people and work that makes a difference. Her working life has included diverse roles in the non-profit sector – including teaching, volunteer coordinating, consulting and program development. She has also held a variety of office management positions, spent many years as an educator in dental hygiene, and worked as a hospital director in the emergency and trauma departments.

A mother of two, Renay somehow always finds the time to volunteer and chair community and school fundraising events. She is also a dedicated long-time supporter and volunteer member of Children's Make a Wish, Lucille Packard and Pan Can foundations. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to classical music and playing the piano.

 

Julie Asada, Office administrator

Julie Asada joined Vivace as Office Administrator in August, 2015.  In the office she primarily assists with student registration, uniforms, website management, designing concert programs, creating advertising, and the monthly newsletter.  Julie brings her enthusiasm for children and customer service, as well as her organizational skills honed from working over 10 years in the high tech industry to this organization.  She graduated from the College of William and Mary in Virginia with a B.A. in East Asian Studies, and from the University of California, Berkeley with an M.A. in Japanese Literature.  Seeking work-life balance, she has pursued activities that have personal meaning, including substitute kindergarten teacher, hospice volunteer, homeschooling parent, PTA co-president at a Japanese language school, and school volunteer teaching reading and math at the elementary level.

A mother of two Vivace singers, she has been inspired by her children to learn more about choral music and become an afficionado of opera.  While volunteering at Vivace, her children’s schools, and church, she still finds time to go hiking in the hills around San Jose and participating in a women’s book club.