History of the San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts Ensemble
The San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts Ensemble is a 40-50-voice community adult choir that has achieved remarkable worldwide acclaim. It was founded in the fall of 1977, under the direction of conductor Gary Lamprecht.
The first significant success for the Ensemble occurred in 1982, when the group was awarded first place for the State of California in the Great American Choral Festival that culminated at Royce Hall at UCLA.
In the summer of 1985, The Vocal Arts Ensemble toured England, Wales, France, Belgium and Germany where they received a third place award in the mixed adult choir category in the competition at the 34th Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales. Concerts by the choir were aired on BBC Television and on Belgian National Radio.
In June and July of 1991, the choir sang ten performances for thousands of people in Russia and Poland. The American Friendship Ambassadors and the Chancellor to the Senate of Poland organized the tour of Eastern Europe as an outreach. A similar tour took place in 1995 in central Europe, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Austria. While in Austria, the Vocal Arts Ensemble competed in the Spittal International Choral Festival. Out of hundreds of auditions submitted for this event, the San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts Ensemble was selected to represent the United States. The group finished fourth in the classical music category.
The VAE was again selected to represent the United States at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in the summer of 1999. In 2000, they participated in a Canadian international choral competition and festival at the Powell River in British Columbia. The group placed second in the folk competition.
In 2004, the group was again invited to participate in the Spittal, Austria International Choral Festival. This time, two prizes were awarded: second in the folk competition and fifth in the traditional competition.
The Vocal Arts Ensemble performs in venues throughout San Luis Obispo County, including the Performing Arts Center on the Cal Poly University campus, the Cambria Community Presbyterian Church, and Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, the historical 18th century California adobe mission.
Barbara Hoff is the accompanist and a founding member of the Vocal Arts Ensemble. She is principal keyboardist of the San Luis Obispo Symphony, organist and choir director for Trinity United Methodist Church in Los Osos, busy recitalist, chamber music player and private piano teacher.
Vocal Art Ensemble is a non-profit California Corporation, under IRS USC 501(c)3.
2012-2013 Vocal Arts Board of Directors
Dave Bernhardt, President
John Barnhart, Vice President
Kris Springer, Secretary
Robert Silva, Treasurer
Warren Hamrick, Immediate Past President
Bob Gordon, Valerie Tacker, Leslie McKinley, Gael Mueller- Directors
Vocal Arts Ensemble 2010 Fiscal Year Tax Return