You can now purchase tickets
on the Events Page or you can call the Chorale Office at 324-1940
To sing with us or volunteer...
Thirty Years of Tradition
Sierra Nevada MasterWorks Chorale is the only group in Northern Nevada to exclusively promote and educate about vocal music, exposing the public to this time-honored art form, keeping alive this lovely tradition for the community.
The Sierra Nevada MasterWorks Chorale has been performing vocal music in Northern Nevada for over thirty years. An integral part of Reno’s vibrant arts scene, the Chorale is the area’s primary choral organization, with an auditioned chorus of men and women, performing a variety of works from the Middle Ages to the 21st Century.
Why the Chorale Is Important
Community chorales allow us to participate in, as opposed to being passive consumers of, music. The musical experience is uplifting and reinforces a strong social message: A choir of human voices singing in harmony is the most elegant metaphor we have for a community that works.
The mission of the Sierra Nevada MasterWorks Chorale is to educate, enrich, and entertain through performance, promotion, and preservation of quality choral music. Our repertory includes traditional musical presentations, from American heritage and patriotic pieces, to Broadway and popular classical selections.
The Sierra Nevada MasterWorks Chorale is an auditioned chorus of men and women who perform the great choral repertoire from the classics to contemporary work giving voice to the State of Nevada. In addition to concerts, the Sierra Nevada MasterWorks Chorale is committed to innovative programs of education and outreach in the schools and community. The Sierra Nevada MasterWorks Chorale also encourages the professional artistic development of singers, composers and conductors who work with the choral repertoire.
Richard Lee, Founder and Musical Director
Under the direction of Maestro Richard Lee, the Sierra Nevada MasterWorks Chorale first gained national recognition in 1985 as one of two choral groups selected to perform at the 50th Presidential Inaugural Parade for President Ronald Reagan in Washington, D.C.
In 1992, Encore International Discovery invited the Sierra Nevada MasterWorks Chorale to perform in a celebration co-hosted by the United States, the Dominican Republic and Spain to mark the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas.
The Sierra Nevada MasterWorks Chorale earned a standing ovation for performances in New York City's Carnegie Hall in 1994 and 1996 and performed at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City in 1997.
Among its many local venues are performances at the Pioneer Center, Nightingale Concert Hall, Wingfield Park, opening of the Nevada Legislature and State-of-the-State address by Governor Kenny Guinn, liturgical concerts in local churches, and special civic dedications and memorials.
Through Mr. Lee’s talent, the Chorale has risen from an amateur musical group to prominence in Northern Nevada’s artistic community. Born in Chunking, China, Mr. Lee was trained in Taiwan, first as a soloist and then as a conductor. He received a Master’s Degree from Brigham Young University, where he won numerous honors. He’s served on the faculty at University of Nevada Reno and Sierra Nevada College and most recently at Truckee Meadows Community College. In his role as Musical Director, Mr. Lee selects the music, trains Chorale members, leads twice-weekly rehearsals and conducts public performances.
Eric Kao, Chorale Accompanist
Eric is a recent graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno, earning a Masters of Music in Collaborative Piano. He previously graduated with a Dual Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering and Piano Performance along with a Minor in Mathematics at UNR.
Eric has studied with Dr. James Winn and Dr. Hyeyeon Park throughout his high school and college career. In addition, he attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for year to study with Dr. Timothy Bach.
As a pianist for eighteen years and violist for fourteen years, his musical experience ranges from solo performing to playing with full orchestras for both instruments; orchestras include UNR Orchestra, TOCCATA, Ruby Mountain Symphony, and Reno Pops Orchestra.
In 2008, he was the only freshman to perform a piano concerto with the University Orchestra. A year later, he was the winner of the First Annual Reno Pops Concerto Festival. As for solo performing, he was one of the prize winners at the 2010 Valencia Young Artist Piano Competition in Sacramento, CA. Eric is an active chamber musician and accompanist, collaborating with many students through the University and several freelance opportunities in the NV-CA area.
Besides music, Eric enjoys several activities such as running, basketball, and kayaking.
Isadora Pastragus, Chorale Accompanist
Praised by La Voix de Lille, France as a "Fairy pianist", Mrs Pastragus captivated audiences with her mature command and formidable display of repertoire. In a series programs that seethed with intellectual energy and charisma, she sparked the public's enthusiasm, becoming a crowd favorite.
Mrs Pastragus began her piano studies at age 4 in her native Romania and holds graduated degrees from Royal Conservatory of Music (Brussels, Belgium), Oberlin Conservatory and Rice University.
Mrs Pastragus has toured extensively in the United States and Europe. Her assured touch on the keyboard graced stages in Bucharest ,Kishinev, Moscow, Rome, Lille, Paris , Brussels Cleveland , New York , Houston, Reno. She regularly performs with orchestras around the world in some of the most renowned concert halls. As a chamber musician Mrs Pastragus has performed with violonist Alla Aronovskaya (St. Petersburg Quartet), pianist Cristina Ortiz and the world celebrated quartet Ad Libitum.
No stranger to live radio and TV performances , her playing had been broadcasted for Romanian Moldavian, Russian, French and Belgian National Television as well as Cleveland's WCLV.
Currently, Mrs Pastragus serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Music Department of University of Nevada Reno where she enjoys teaching and accompanying.
Performances are often enhanced by guest artists:
- Helen Lee has taught voice at University of Nevada Reno’s Music Department for more than 20 years. Among her solos are Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra
- Joanne Grauer, Ph.D., has been a guest accompanist. She is an accomplished recording artist and has been a guest pianist on Marian McPartland’s series Piano Jazz.
- Ron Smith has been our Narrator for the past three concerts.
- Past artists have included veteran storyteller and reporter John Tyson, guitarist John Kapeghian, narrator Tony Gonzalez, Band Leader Glenn Little and others.
Board of Directors
- MWC BOARD MEMBERS:
President: Jody Cram
Vice President: Jessica Mingo
Treasurer: Gary Whisler
Board Secretary: Mary Beaubriand
Librarian: Sharon Eyre
Company Manager: Lois Craik
Outreach Coordinator: Barbara Meyer
- AUXILIARY MEMBERS:
Barbara Lienhard: Dues Manager
Jim Price: Sound & Equipment Coordinator
Shawnee Hughes: Special Projects Manager
Chuen Chan: Ticket Sales Coordinator
Support Sierra Nevada MasterWorks Chorale
Ticket sales represent only a portion of the revenue necessary to fund the professional musical staff, youth programs and educational outreach efforts. A broad base of support from foundations, local businesses, and individuals is vital to maintaining the Chorale's extraordinary level of artistic excellence and its accessibility to the community.
You can help us with our work in a number of ways:
|Become a "Friend of the Chorale" ~ Click here to download the form|
|Mail a check to: Sierra Nevada MasterWorks Chorale ~ 925 Riverside Drive ~ Suite 1 ~ Reno, NV 89503|
| Donate from your PayPal account
or credit card by clicking here >>>
|Place an ad in one of our concert programs, providing us with income and your business with recognition. To advertise with us, please call the Sierra Nevada MasterWorks Chorale office at 324-1940.|
|We always need more volunteers, so if you would prefer to donate your time rather than a monetary donation, please call the Sierra Nevada MasterWorks Chorale offices at 324-1940, or click here to notify us of your interest in volunteering.|
Friends of the Chorale
Sierra Nevada MasterWorks Chorale Receives
A Community Foundation Partnership Grant
We were happy to be among the elite 21 nonprofit organizations to receive a grant from the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, These grants were designed to help us weather the current economic storm. Our funding will support our Outreach Initiative, bringing free concerts around the community.
On June 9th the Community Foundation of Western Nevada announced the winners of its 2009 competitive grant program. The Community Partnership Grant program received 80 grant applications from local and regional nonprofit organizations. This was the third year of the Community Partnership Grant program.
The Sierra Nevada MasterWorks Chorale has been funded, in part, by:
- A grant from the Nevada Arts Council... a state agency
- A grant from the National Endowment for the Arts... a federal agency
- Stimulus funding through the Nevada Arts Council's SNAP Grant Program
- City of Reno Arts and Culture Commission