- Performance Calendar
Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall
50 Oak Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Free, no tickets or reservations required
Mouthscape is a vocal ensemble focusing on championing new choral works, with special emphasis on works by composers within the San Francisco Conservatory of Music community. The vision of the group is to emphasize vocal writing on an academic campus by providing opportunities and by having a pedagogical impact on the community. Through the diverse choral backgrounds of our members, Mouthscape strives to unify individual musicians into one collective, creating a musical and social community. Mouthscape aims to bring the diversity of the musical world to awareness, without discrimination between genres. Representing the SFCM community, the choir seeks collaboration with a broad variety of musicians and ensembles, bringing new choral sounds to the Bay Area, and to its home academic campus.
Founded in Fall 2017 by Lukáš Janata in collaboration with Bryan Lin, Bobby Chastain, Eric Choate, John Masko, Joshua Saulle, David Conte and students, the ensemble gave their premiere performances on January 24, 2018 and at the Hot Air Festival on February 25, 2018. By May 2018, ensemble encountered 5 performances, gave 10 premieres and sung over 25 choral works by both international and SFCM community composers. In 2019’s season Mouthscape has collaborated with the SFCM’s Technology and Applied Composition department by recording students’ music for their projects for SONY studios and had become an official session choir, recording at SONY for TAC.
The Return (2017)
Missa Brevis (2019)
Prayer of St. Teresa (2019)
Choral Fantasy on “Ave Maria” (2017)
Nicolas Lell Benavides
I thank You God for most this amazing day (2014)
Caeli enarrant (2017)
Juan Maria Prietto Iborra
Composer, conductor, bassoonist, and singer Robert “Bobby” Chastain has firmly established himself in the San Francisco Bay Area musical scene, composing works for orchestra, choir, and chamber groups with a special inclination toward the voice. His music is often highly contrapuntal and richly textured, with an occasional return to simplicity. Composer John Corigliano described Chastain as being “a virtuoso with the orchestra, [and with] a distinctive sound.” Arts SF described his music as being “irresistible” with “great momentum,” while SF Classical Voice described his orchestral and wind ensemble work, Metanoia, as a “sound poem with well-rendered effects and a rich texture… will have a lasting appeal for wind ensembles around the world.” As a composer of orchestral, chamber, and choral works, he has won the Susan and Ford Schumann Fellowship to the Aspen Summer Music Festival and School as well as a Williamson Foundation Grant to the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France.
As a conductor, Chastain is equally comfortable with instrumental and vocal ensembles. His current ensembles include “Collegium,” the SATB chorus of the San Francisco Conservatory Pre-College Division, “Mouthscape,” the new music of the San Francisco Conservatory, and Bella Musica of Berkeley, CA. He previously led Level IV of the San Francisco Girls Chorus and served as assistant director of the Chamber Chorus at UC Berkeley. He prepared the choir for Opera Parallèle’s production of Rachel Portman’s “The Little Prince” for their December 2017 production. He has also founded several
ensembles for the advancement of new music including the San Francisco Surround- Sound Orchestra, The San Francisco Wind Symphony, and the Ambrosia Opera Company (Eugene, OR). This past summer (2018) Chastain celebrated his European debut, leading the choir of the European American Musical Alliance at Schola Cantorum and Val-de-Grâce. Chastain’s music can be heard in the Naxos Music Library with a recording of his “Metanoia” by the San Francisco Wind Ensemble.
When he is not composing, Bobby enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 sons and practicing the ancient art of fermentation.
It was the intriguing mingling of whole-tone scales and melodic chromaticism in Debussy's L'isle Joyeuse that set a young Alexander Goodhart on the course of becoming a music composer...To this day, his music seeks to juxtapose disparate and complementary musical vernaculars in the pursuit of rediscovering roots through new and revisited language.
Born to parents of German/Russian and Irish/Italian descent, his music reflects an American eclectic style informed strongly by romantic/modern European composers as well as alternative rock writers since the 1960's.
Alex has studied music with composers Alexander DeVaron, Steven Stucky, and David Conte; electronic music with Matthew Greenbaum and Maurice Wright, and orchestration with Hollywood composer Erik Lundborg. He currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and works as both a performing musician and a teacher of piano and music theory/composition.
Nathan Crowe is a composer, performer, teacher, and librarian of music living in San Francisco. He studied composition at St. Olaf College, continuing at The San Francisco Conservatory of Music after attending the European American Musical Alliance in Paris. He has been privileged with a breadth of performances as an instrumentalist, chorister, and occasionally, conductor. Presently, he works at the SFCM Library, is Librarian for the San Francisco Girls Chorus, teaches general music in the city and sings with St. Dominic's Schola Cantorum.
Aatef Baransy is a Masters student in composition, studying with David Conte at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His music is strongly rooted in the classical tradition and strives to achieve structure, elegance, and beauty. After finishing his Master’s degree, Aatef plans to attend a software engineering boot camp and build a career as an engineer.
A Southern California boy turned San Franciscan, Brennan Stokes is a teacher, composer, pianist, and tenor. He received his Master’s Degree in Music Composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in May of 2019 under the mentorship of David Garner, and graduated with a Bachelor's in Piano Performance from Pacific Union College in 2013, where he studied piano with Dr. Lynn Wheeler, voice with Bruce Rasmussen, and composition with Asher Raboy. Within the last 2 years, he has written vocal works in the realms of chorus, art song, and opera utilizing texts from poets/writers both past and present, as well as writing original texts.
Nicolas Lell Benavides’ (Ben-ah-VEE-des) music has been praised for finding “…a way to sketch complete characters in swift sure lines…” (Anne Midgette, Washington Post) and cooking up a “jaunty score [with] touches of cabaret, musical theater and Latin dance.” (Tim Smith, OPERA NEWS). He has worked with groups such as the Washington National Opera, The Glimmgerglass Festival, Nashville Opera, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Friction Quartet, and Nomad Session.
He was a fellow at the Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab and the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music. Last summer, Nick was the first-ever Young Artist Composer in Residence at Glimmerglass Festival.
Upcoming premieres include Canto Caló with New Moon Duo and a newly revised opening scene of his opera Gilberto with West Edge Opera. Recent premieres include a new work for Friction Quartet based on El Correcaminos (The Roadrunner), and a narrated work called Ocho Bendiciones for Nomad Session. He recently premiered a new opera for Washington National Opera called Pepito with librettist Marella Martin Koch. He and Marella will premiere a new dramatic work with Music of Remembrance in 2021.
Nick has studied at Santa Clara University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.
Justin Ralls is an award-winning composer and conductor, has presented his works at the Lucca International Youth Orchestra Festival, Oregon Bach Festival, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, Britt Festival at Crater Lake National Park, the Newman Scoring Stage in Los Angeles, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, as well as other venues in Salzburg, Rome, Portland, Boston, San Francisco and beyond. His music is featured on the Sierra Club and National Parks websites and NPR. SF Examiner remarked of Ralls’ recent orchestral work, Tree Ride, as “a whirlwind of thick orchestral textures…definitely establishing his own voice…” John Adams spoke of Tree Ride as “impressive…showing a mastery of orchestral technique,” also stating “your analogy to natural forces was done very well, your thunderstorm basically better than the Pastoral.” He has been described by artslandia.com as “a gifted melodist…[his music] a beautiful blend of natural and human-made music.” Ralls’ works have been performed by a variety of soloists and ensembles including Albany Symphony (NY), Third Angle Ensemble, Roomful of Teeth, Fear No Music, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Jarring Sounds, International Orange Chorale, Opera Theater Oregon, San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, Esteli Gomez, Molly Barth and more. Assuming the role of Artistic Co-Director of Opera Theater Oregon in 2017, he has conducted NW premieres of Rachel Portman's The Little Prince, Michael Daugherty's This Land Sings and is currently working on his second opera, Song of the Most Beautiful Bird in the Forest for his Ph.D. dissertation. His education includes The Boston and San Francisco Conservatories and is currently pursuing his Ph.D at the University of Oregon.
Robin Estrada ranks among the bold and innovative talents in Philippine composition today. Melding western forms with Southeast Asian musical styles that accentuate the finesse and fire of the region’s cultural diversity, Estrada’s works evoke a unique sound that brings Asia to the world of contemporary art music.