Director & Staff

R. Gary Lamprecht

Gary Lamprecht is San Luis Obispo County’s “Music Man.” He has brought choral music to countless number of students, choral participants and audiences for more than 35 years. His cultural legacy is unified voices in beautiful song, bringing the world and diversity of choral music to the central coast.

Gary can’t remember a time he wasn’t interested in music. He joined the choir in 5th grade and he was hooked. He graduated from Long Beach High School and he received his musical education at Long Beach City College with Wayne B. Gard, California State University at Long Beach with Wes Reed and Frank Pooler and at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo with John Russell.

Gary was a choral teacher from 1973 until his retirement in 2006. He taught 7th through 12th grade choral music at Laguna Middle School, Morro Bay High School and San Luis Obispo High School. Under his direction, the choirs collected numerous Superior and Command Performance Awards in both traditional choral and vocal jazz festivals. Mr. Lamprecht was a “favorite” teacher to many a student.

Gary has received local and state accolades for his teaching. He was honored as the first “Teacher of the Year” for the San Luis Coastal Unified School District in 1985, and again in 1999. He was selected County Teacher of the Year for the 1998-99 school year and honored as a California State Mentor Teacher.

In 1977, Gary and other choral enthusiasts founded the San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts. In its 30-plus year history, the group has traveled the world to remarkable international acclaim, receiving many honors. Gary continues to direct and conduct the Ensemble today.

Seeing the void in choral competitions in the United States, Gary spearheaded the formation of the California International Choral Festival & Competition in 2007. It is the first and only choral competition in the United States. The event takes place every other year (odd years) and is hosted by Vocal Arts. Since its formation, the Vocal Arts has hosted 14 choirs from eight countries for the competition. 

Choral music is still very fresh for Gary. His favorite choral music is from Master composers – Bach and Mozart – as well as American composers Lauridsen and Whitacre. He feels the music taps into people’s humanity and can take on a spiritual meaning. Conducting Vocal Arts is a pure joy to him, working with members as passionate about the music and singing as himself.

Gary is married to Patricia, who sings in the San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts, and plays viola in the San Luis Obispo Symphony. They have twin daughters, Carey and Amber, who play violin and oboe, and a son, Darby, who plays trumpet.

Sarah Taylor Maggelet

In August 2011, San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts named Sarah Taylor Maggelet their new Executive Director, taking the reins from Patricia Harris, who has retired. Sarah is a member of Rotary of Templeton, is a San Luis Obispo native, and earned her MBA from Cal Poly in 2001.

 

With a professional background in marketing and sales, Ms. Maggelet has worked in the local media and wine industries, before launching her own website development firm, Applynx Website Solutions, with her husband Scott. Sarah also volunteers her time with KCBX and the Live Oak Music Festival as Marketing Director. She is a graduate of Leadership San Luis Obispo Class XV. The Maggelet’s live in Templeton, CA with their two children, Hayden and Georgia, and enjoy camping, live music, and watching sports, especially their beloved Boston Red Sox. Sarah looks forward to contributing to this incredibly dedicated group of singers.

Sarah can be reached at sarah@vocalarts.org or by calling the office at (805) 541-6797.

 

Barbara Hoff

Barbara Hoff, a native of Southern California, began her performing career when she was a very small child. The daughter of musicians, she does not remember a time when she did not play the piano. She also studied violin and viola, playing in school orchestras from fourth grade through college. She sang in church choirs as a child and teen, and in concert choirs, small ensembles, and madrigal singers at Pomona College and UCLA.

 

In 1967, Barbara and her husband, Lowell, moved to Los Osos, where they raised their three children, and where they owned and operated Sheltered Acre Nursery from 1967 to 2008.

Barbara Hoff is the main accompanist and a founding member of Vocal Arts.  She retired as the principal keyboardist of the San Luis Obispo Symphony in 2013 and keeps busy as the organist and choir director for Trinity United Methodist Church in Los Osos, is a private piano teacher and a sought-after recitalist and chamber music player.

Melody Svennunsen

Melody is the Assitant Director for Vocal Arts. Melody Svennungsen also directs the Central Coast Children's Choir, is a San Luis Obispo native with over thirty years of experience in vocal and theatre performance. She has appeared as soloist for the Cuesta Master Chorale and San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts Ensemble and has also performed with the Mozart Festival Chorus. Melody’s conducting career began after she earned her music degree in vocal performance at Cal Poly in 2007, where she served as assistant conductor for Dr. Davies and studied voice with Katherine Arthur and Jackie Kreitzer. A member of SLOVAE since 1986, Melody is Gary Lamprecht’s Asst. Director and Soprano Section Leader. Melody teaches private voice and music theory, specializing in working with young voices and coaching students for theatre and musical auditions. In her 8th year with the CCCC, she loves working with these delightful young adults and believes that they will reap the benefits of singing together for their whole lives. She wholeheartedly believes the proverb, "If you can walk you can dance. If you can talk you can sing!"