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 received an Associate of Arts degree from Fullerton College in Fullerton, California under the guidance of faculty including Steven Dahlke, Jamie Shew, John Tebay, Dr. Katharin Rundus, and Dr. Tony Mazzaferro.
He then 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. There he studied 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 found and directed SJSU's all-male a cappella ensemble, Pitch, Please!, which has participated in multiple campus and community activities.
Albert currently directs the Voices in Harmony Barbershop Chorus in San Jose and sings with his barbershop quartet, Some Friends of Mine.
Anna Johanna 'Jay' Jordana, Director, Intermediate ChoiR
Anna Johanna “Jay” Jordana attended San Jose State University where she completed her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, studied Choral Conduction with Dr. Charlene Archibeque, and became the assistant conductor to Barbara Day Turner’s San Jose Chamber Orchestra. Jay sang lead soprano with two nationally and internationally acclaimed a cappella jazz and world music Ensembles, +4db and SoVoSo. She completed her teacher certification in Secondary Education at San Jose State as well as Level Two Kodaly Certification at Holy Names University. Jay is former Director of Music Ministries at Foothill Presbyterian Church. Currently, she is a music and choral teacher at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley, and also directs Vivace’s Intermediate and Teen A Cappella Choirs.
MASUMI MAEI, MUSIC TEACHER, RISING NOTES
Masumi Maei is an educator, musician, and scholar exploring the connections between music, community building, and social justice. She has a Masters in music with a focus on Kodály pedagogy from Holy Names University and a B.A. from Brown University in Africana and Development studies. She currently studies privately with Katya Roemer.
She received a Fulbright Fellowship in 2011 to research education in Sri Lanka. In 2018 she was an inaugural fellow for Berrett-Koehler's Action-Learning Fellowship where she connected with contemporary authors and scholars around fostering leadership in community organizing.
In addition to teaching for Vivace, she teaches elementary and early childhood music at Berkeley Rose Waldorf School, Cantare Con Vivo in Oakland, and Holy Names University. She also performs with Thrive Choir and organizes Thrive Street Choir, an open community of activists and singers who bring the energy of song to protests and actions. She joined Vivace in early 2015.
In Memoriam: KAREN JOHNSON, ACCOMPANIST
It is with deep sadness that we mourn the loss of our long-time accompanist and friend, Karen Johnson. Karen supported Vivace's mission and students for nearly 15 years. As our first accompanist, she journeyed with us as we sought to bring choral music to youth in the South Bay. You may read more here.
In celebration of her life and work, Vivace has created the Karen Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund. Donations to the fund can be made here or by mailing a check to Vivace Youth Chorus, 915 Meridian Ave Ste 110, San Jose CA 95126.
Karen's memory will live forever in the hearts and minds of all who made music with her.
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 and Oak Grove High School. She maintains a private piano studio in Campbell.
Her professional affiliations include the Music Teachers Association of California, Music Teachers National Association where Mrs. Poklewski currently serves as President of Santa Clara Chapter, and Director of Operations for the San Jose International 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.
JOshua Lanam, Executive Director
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 Language and Academic 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.
Cathy Yuan, program & development coordinator
A native of the Bay Area, Cathy Yuan graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Art Practice. She has a diverse background in arts administration, having worked in local nonprofits such as SOMArts in San Francisco and Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside. She also worked at PACE Gallery in its inaugural exhibition in California. Cathy is a practicing multi-disciplinary artist with recent exhibitions for Root Division in San Francisco and LoosenArt in Rome, Italy.