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    A Message From Kate Albert...

    Our Exectutive Director

    Dear Friends,

    It’s with great sadness I relay the passing of Gary Lamprecht, beloved Musical Director of  the San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts Ensemble for 47 years. Gary Established the choir in 1977 and developed it to become an internationally acclaimed choir, especially recognized for its dynamic repertoire. His song selections were legendary…. The music, a combination of traditional and classic songs sprinkled with surprising delights from past centuries and other lands. His concerts built bridges of understanding between people. Gary believed that music could bring people together, calm our anxious hearts, and bring hope for a better world. In addition to being a choir leader, Gary taught music and choir at both San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay High Schools for over 34 years. Gary and Cricket Handler brought the San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay High Combined Concert Choir twice to New York City. In 2003, they travelled with 144 students to give three performances at the American Choral Directors Association National Convention attended by 6,000 delegates and returned in 2005 with 122 students which was one of 3 choirs selected from around the county to participate in the inaugural year of this prestigious festival.

    Gary strived for excellence from his students and from his singers in Vocal Arts. He established the Central Coast Choral Festival which brings together high school and junior high school choirs from all over California to perform on a professional stage at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center.


    Touching the lives of thousands of students and giving them a voice amongst their peers, Gary believed that music could heal the spirit.


    In furtherance of his goal to enhance music education in the county the Gary and Patricia  Lamprecht Music Education Endowment was established to award yearly scholarships to seniors in San Luis Obispo County who excel in choral music and orchestral strings.


    Gary shared with us his love of choral music and brought us the gift of song to enrich our lives. He built a family in Vocal Arts, one that will carry on his memory. He taught us that together we can create a more harmonious world by singing from the heart…

    Rest in peace dear Gary.


    Services are pending. Donations to Vocal Arts Ensemble, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, in Gary’s name can be mailed to Vocal Arts Ensemble PO Box 4306 San Luis Obispo CA 93403. Please indicate if you would like to donate to the Vocal Arts general fund or to the Gary and Patricia Lamprecht Music Education Endowment.


    There will be a memorial sing-along in honor of Gary on Saturday,  February 24, at the San Luis Obispo Mission from 12:30 pm. to 1:30 pm.  Everyone is invited to participate: fans, former students, current and former singers- no singing talent required. Optional gathering at Giuseppe’s bar/back patio to follow.

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  • A Message from our Founder and Musical Director, Gary Lamprecht

    Two years ago the world was confronted by Covid 19. Here at home, we suddenly found that as a choir we could no longer be in the same room and sing together. After more than 40 years of rehearsing and performing together, all of a sudden we were cautioned that it could be dangerous, and even life threatening.


    Through abstaining, we found that singing in the choir, especially on a daily or weekly basis gave us satisfaction by striving to achieve a collective goal. But more important than that, singing reinforces our need for belonging, for belonging to something bigger than ourselves. We found that we missed something we all took for granted.


    Scientists have shown that people singing in a choir breathe together in a unique rhythm that is shared by all in a special bonding experience. That is something that we all have missed in the past two years. It took this pandemic to make us realize that we NEED this repeated experience for happiness and a feeling of well being.


    Over the years many patrons have expressed how emotional our choir makes them feel. It’s the reason that we memorize all our repertoire. And that’s no easy task. We are free to show a deep understanding of the literature and convey it to our audience. We connect emotionally with them in this shared experience.

    A Message from Kate Albert, our Executive Director

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    Dear Patrons and Friends,

    We welcome you to our new choral concert season! The Spring concert series "Music for Generations" will include Gary's favorites and have songs that appeal to all ages. A special appearance of the Central Coast Youth Chorus will enliven the offerings and be of special interest to younger audience members. Consider bringing the whole family for a bonding experience through music. See you in the Spring!








    WE SUPPORT PROPOSITION #28 ( art & music k-12 Education funding initiative )

  • Our Singers




    Cynthia Kennedy

    Dawn Spare

    Susannah Fletcher

    Kris Springer

    Lindi Doud

    Tracy Gillsen

    Rosey Parks

    Carol Oelker

    Melody Svennungsen

    Kathy Hamrick

    Risa Brown




    Jessica Devaney​

    Meghan Behrens

    Kit Hansen

    Pat Lamprecht

    Leigh Tacker

    Jessica French

    DD Patrick

    Wendy Lewis

    Jodi Kondo

    Victoria Miller

    Valerie Tacker

    Lindi Ward





    John Morrow

    Renee Dispensa

    Mike Patrick

    Howard Keele

    Logan Patrick- Miernicki

    Jeff Spevack



    Don Gaede

    Mark Stengel

    Raplph Lewis

    Steve Reams

    Brian Reynolds​

    Greg Springer

    Bob Holzhauer

    Ralph Lewis​

    Roy Lovtang

    Mark Stengel​

    Steinar Svennungsen

    Dave Bernhardt

    David Ruiz


  • Spring Concert Schedule 2024 Music for Generations



    Upcoming Events


    Thursday, May 2nd 2024 at 7:00pm at the Trilogy at Monarch Dunes

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  • Youth Music Education

    Developing The Next Generation of Choral Enthusiasts

    Central Coast Choral Festival

    27 years strong!

    For over two decades, Vocal Arts has produced the Central Coast Choral Festival, which brings over 55 school choirs, elementary, middle and high school, from all over California to the beautiful Performing Arts Center of San Luis Obispo, on the Cal Poly campus, to compete in a professionally adjudicated concert. Local judges give important feedback to choir directors and students and it's a chance for students to perform on a professional stage. Last year we hosted 40 schools and 1,307 students from elementary school to high school. Eleven schools took home engraved plaques for choral excellence.


    SAVE THE DATE FOR THE NEXT Central Coast Choral Festival 2024. Cal Poly Performing Arts Center. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Thursday, March 21 from 10 a, to 1:00 Pm featuring elementary and intermediate choirs and Friday March 22 from 10:00 am to 9 pm. featuring intermediate and advanced choirs. More detail to follow.
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    The Gary & Patricia Lamprecht Education Endowment

    Additionally, to further our mission of choral excellence in the schools, The Gary & Patricia Lamprecht Music Education Endowment was established in 2017 in recognition of the 40th anniversary of Voca Arts Ensemble. The endowment provides for scholarships in the areas of choral music and orchestral strings. Each year we award a $1000 scholarship to up to two local high school seniors to continue their education in music.


    This year Matilda Bravante of Morro Bay High School won for choral music. She was a stand out! Congratulations Matilda! Matilda accepted her scholarship on Saturday, June 3 at Cuesta Performing Arts Center Welcome to Summer concert.


    Last year Colin Guan of San Luis Obispo High School won for orchestral strings. Hannah Snow of Heartland Charter School in Santa Maria won for choral music.


    Applications are sent to local high schools choir and music directors and are DUE by Friday, March 29th 2024 to qualify. Must be a senior. For more information please contact Kate Stulberg, Executive Director, Vocal Arts Ensemble, (805) 541-6797, or kate@vocalarts.org

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    2023 Scholarship Recipient

    Matilda Bravante


    Here's more about Matilda:

    My name is Matilda and I am a graduating senior at Morro Bay High. I have loved music and expression my entire life. I have been singing and playing various instruments since the age of 6 with private lessons in piano and singing. I found joy in so many more instruments but the most in my voice. After graduation I will be attending Cuesta College where I plan to continue private singing lessons centered around Jazz and continue working and developing my voice along with playing gigs with my band and joining Cuesta's Jazz Choir.

    Thank you so much for this opportunity. It has been an honor!


    Prior scholarship recipients

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    From Hannah Snow:

    "I am so thankful for this scholarship because I am able to attend Pepperdine University and am pursuing a degree in theater directing. Thank you so very much. I really appreciate the scholarship."


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    From Colin Guan:
    " I am extremely grateful to Vocal Arts and the Lamprechts for helping me reach my potential. I would not be able to attend Columbia University and The Juilliard School without their support!"

  • Our Mission

    The mission of the San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts is to foster excellence in choral music. We strive for the highest level of vocal performance, providing educational and inspirational experiences for students, audiences, performers, and all people seeking harmony in our community and our world.

    Vocal Arts welcomes and encourages diversity and is actively pursuing and expanding our audience to include people of all ages, races, religions, and cultural backgrounds. If you have any ideas as to how we can expand our presence, please contact executive director Kate Albert. kate@vocalarts.org

  • About the Award Winning Vocal Arts

    Singing from the heart since 1977

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    "As long as we live there is never enough singing"

    - Martin Luther

    Vocal Arts has been performing locally since 1977 and has toured Canada, Spain, South America and Europe, including Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic. Singers in the ensemble are required to pass an annual vocal audition to qualify for membership. The Board of Directors consists of a mix of singers and community members, as well as the Executive Director and Music Director.


    From 2007 to 2013, the Vocal Arts produced the California International Choral Festival and Competition (CICF) with thousands of singers from around the world visiting San Luis Obispo and performing at the Harold Miossi Hall, Performing Arts Center. On our 40th year, the Board created the Gary & Partricia Lamprecht Music Education Endowment to establish scholarships for local high school seniors who want to pursue an advanced degree in music. Vocal Arts also sponsors the Central Coast Spring School Choral Festival, held at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center each year. Between 45-60 school choirs (from elementary to high school) from all over California perform on the main stage of the grand theater, over two days, and received valuable feedback from a panel of adjudicators.


    Vocal Arts seeks to deliver the experience of choral music to a wide audience in San Luis Obispo County and beyond our local region through our international touring. Tours are held every other year and usually incorporate a competition or festival. Vocal Arts has secured dozens of medals at choral competitions all over the world, making our organization one of the most decorated performing arts groups in San Luis Obispo County.

  • Get Involved with Vocal Arts

    "Singing has always seemed to me the most perfect means of expression." - Georgia O'Keefe

    unknown; unknown; unknown; Pia Laurie; Rocky DelLamas


    Consider Ushering

    Vocal Arts is always in need of volunteers to help us execute our concerts and special events. Ushers arrive about one hour before concert time and are finished about 20 minutes after the concert, and receive a complimentary seat at the concert as a thank you for their assistance. We also seek community members to join our Board of Directors periodically. Contact Kate@vocalarts.org or call 805-541-6797 to learn more or to sign up.

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    Audition Info

    Sing with Us

    The Vocal Arts is an award winning choir with members who are passionate about choral music. Singers must memorize the music and commit to a rehearsal schedule typically Tuesday evenings once a week at Morro Bay High School. If you are interested in joining our group, please download the Member Guidelines and review. Next open audition for all singing parts will be held Tuesday August 27, 2024 at 6:00 pm. by appointment only. Contact Gary via email to get the audition music at:




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    Youth Music Education

    Developing The Next Generation

    To further our mission of choral excellence in the schools, The Gary & Patricia Lamprecht Education Endowment was established in 2017 in recognition of our 40th anniversary. The endowment provides for scholarships in the areas of choral music and orchestral strings. Each year we award a $1000 scholarship to two local high school seniors to continue their education in music. Deadline to apply for the scholarship is Friday, March 29. Over $9000 in local scholarships have been awarded to deserving seniors.


    To donate to the endowment, please mail your check, written to "United Way of SLO County" with "Lamprecht Endowment" in subject line, to Vocal Arts PO Box 4306 SLO CA 93403

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    Speakers Bureau

    Chorale members of San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts Ensemble are available to speak to your organization!


    The Vocal Arts Ensemble is a volunteer based Chorale group of 37 members who have created an internationally acclaimed Community Choir led by Musical Director Gary Lamprecht. We provide lively presentations for civic groups around the county. We showcase our educational programs as well as upcoming concerts. Most talks are from 30 to 45 minutes but can accommodate other needs.


    Possible topics include:


    The importance of Choral music in the schools, showcasing our Central Coast Choir Festival in March. The Pat and Gary Lamprecht Endowment awarding music scholarships to deserving high school students in San Luis Obispo County, and presentations on our three concert series during the year.


    Talks are free of charge but donations are accepted via our website!


    Please contact (805) 541 6797 and leave a message with name of organization, date of event and contact information.

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    Donate to Vocal Arts Today!

    Give The Gift of Song

    Vocal Arts is dependent on your generous donations to continue our mission. We are a 501(c)(3) non profit organization and your donation is fully tax deductible. Your financial support allows us to rent concert venues, produce promotional material and cover operating expenses.

    • Consider adding us to your estate plan
    • Consider sponsoring a singer for $175 for the year.

    Donate via Paypal - use credit/debit cards or your account

    Mail a check to "Vocal Arts Ensemble"

    PO Box 4306 San Luis Obispo, CA 93403

  • Meet our Staff & Board

    • He who sings scares away his woes” — Miguel de Cervantes.

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    Gary Lamprecht

    Founder and Musical Director

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    Executive Director

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    Vice President

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    Leslie McKinley


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    Dave Bernhardt


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    Assistant Musical Director

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  • What Our Fans Say

    Music replays the past memories, awaken our forgotten worlds and make our minds travel

    - Michael Bassey Johnson

    Judith, Cambria, CA

    "Vocal Arts is a community treasure!"

    Cindy, Atascadero, CA

    "Their performance moved me to tears!"

    Mary Ann, Pismo Beach, CA

    "Vocal Arts Concerts always bring out every emotion in me; tears, laughter, a feeling of peace, such a special experience."

    Mark, Santa Maria, CA

    "Fabulous talent that never disappoints."

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    Meet our singers for the 2024 season!

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    Meghan Behrens / Alto 2


    Meghan lives in Los Osos with her husband and two beautiful young children. She and her husband own a well known local food truck, Bear City Social.

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    Dave Bernhardt / Bass 2

    Dave is a retired physician and has sung in Vocal Arts for 21 years. He sang in choirs in high school and college but did mainly satirical skits until joining the choir.

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    Risa Brown / Soprano 1


    Risa sang with our founder Gary at SLO High School. She has been a member of VAE on and off since 2002. She lives in Creston.

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    Jessica Devaney / Alto 1

     Jessica sang under Gary’s direction at SLO High. She thanks her husband Bart and two beautiful daughters for supporting her in this adventure.

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    Reneé Dispensa / Tenor 1

     Renee has been singing in choral groups since the 4th grade. She sings in a barbershop quartet in San Luis Obispo. She loves her four footed children.

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    Lindi Doud / Soprano 1

     Lindi joined Vocal Arts in 1991, and has sung with the group in Europe, South America, and Scandinavia. She also plays Celtic harp and piano.

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    Susannah Fletcher / Soprano 2

    Susannah sang with the Central Coast Children’s Choir. She and her husband Westley have a son and live in Garden Farms.

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    Jessica French / Alto 1

     Jessica is a SLO local and sang in VAE, Voce, Chamber singers, Master chorale, Canzona and Resonance starting in junior high and through college and adulthood.

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    Don Gaede/ Bass 2

    Don is a (mostly) retired physician, and enjoys performing in choirs, musicals, operas, and theater.

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    Tracy Gillson / Soprano 1

     Tracy lives in Templeton with her husband and two daughters. After ten years away she is happy to be back home – with VAE!

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    Kathy Hamrick / Soprano 2

     Kathy has been singing with VAE since 2001. Singing and harmonizing with others is one of life’s great joys.

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    Warren Hamrick / Tenor 2

    Warren has been singing since high school. He has enjoyed being part of the VAE family since 2001. To him, music brings people together.

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    Kit Hansen / Alto 2


    Kit is grateful for her two kids and six grandkids. Her 25 years as a Vocal Artist have given her wonderful music and travel and friendships.

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    Bob Holzhauer / Bass 2

     Bob sang with VAE in the 80’s and returned in the 2000’s to sing again. He is a doctor specializing in allergies.

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    Howard Keele / Tenor 2

     Howard has been singing with Vocal Arts since 1993. He has performed in musicals, choirs, show groups and melodrama. Bachelor of Music from CSULB.

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    Cynthia Kennedy / Soprano 1

     Former history professor, Cindy began singing with and for others as a “wee one.” Her journey continues with VAE and sparks indescribable joy and fulfillment.

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    Jodi Kondo / Alto 1

     I love singing with this group of friends. I’ve missed being a part of something joyful.

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    Pat Lamprecht / Alto 2

     Pat has sung alto with VAE for 45 years. She also plays the viola. She and Gary have three children and three grandchildren.

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    Ralph Lewis / Baritone

    Ralph is a founding member of Vocal Arts having sung with Gary Lamprecht in college. He enjoys camping, sailing, and spending time with his grandchildren.

  • ...continued

    Meet Our Singers for the 2024 Season!

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    Wendy Lewis / Alto 2

     Wendy has been singing in Vocal Arts for almost 40 years. She enjoys camping with family and friends and playing with her three precious grandchildren.

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     Roy Lovtang / Bass 2

    Roy is a retired teacher and a 40+ year (on and off) Vocal Arts participant. Pleasurable and productive habits persist.

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    Victoria Miller/ Alto 2

     After a 12-year break raising her two children, Alto Victoria Miller is thrilled to be back performing with the Vocal Arts Ensemble.

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    John Morrow / Tenor 1

     John has been singing in choirs since high school. He joined Vocal Arts in 2001. He is a Senior Environmental Scientist and resides in Atascadero.

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    Carol Oelker / Soprano 2


    Carol is a retired school counselor and first sang with VAE in 1988. She loves to travel, visit with family, and volunteer with her therapy dog.

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    DD Patrick / Alto 1


    DD has been a member of VAE for over 20 years. She and Mike are parents to three girls and four adorable grandchildren.

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    Mike Patrick / Tenor 2

    Mike believes VAE is a wonderful treasure for he and his wife DD to share the gift of singing and forge lifelong friendships.

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    Logan Patrick-Miernicki

    / Tenor 1

     Logan is a SLO native who has performed in band and choir at SLOHigh, Cuesta, CSU Long Beach, many Barbershop groups, and VAE twice before!

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    Steve Reams / Baritone

    Steve is a longtime member of VAE. An electrician by day, Steve is deft at any stage construction, or lighting needs we might have.

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    Brian Reynolds / Bass 2

     Brian has enjoyed music of all types and genres his whole life. He has studied classical and jazz piano. Singing with Vocal Arts is an honor.

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    David Ruiz / Baritone


    David has always used singing as a creative outlet. Vocal Arts has given him a musical family to share his joy of singing

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    Jeff Spevack / Tenor 2

     Jeff is a newbie to VAE. He loves singing, in fact, his last name means “singer”.

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    Greg Springer / Bass 2


    Greg is a general contractor and a proud parent to six children. He is known for his excellent storytelling and BBQ skills.

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    Kris Springer / Soprano 2

     Singing with Vocal Arts since 1996, Kris works as a tour guide at 101 Wine Tours and Road Scholar. Kris and Greg have six kids and a grandson.

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    Mark Stengel / Bass 2


    Mark first sang with Vocal Arts in 1999. A retired librarian living in Avila, he enjoys fly fishing, walking with his dog, and traveling with wife Anne.

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    Melody Svennungsen/ Soprano 1

    Melody has over forty- five years of vocal and theatre experience. A member of VAE since 1986, Melody serves as Gary Lamprecht’s Assistant Director.

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    Steinar Svennungsen / Bass 2

     I was born and raised in the high Montana Plains town of Shelby. I moved to San Luis Obispo in 1986 to make it easier for Melody to find me.

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    Leigh Tacker / Alto 1


    Leigh joined VAE in 1994 and has been music librarian for over 25 years. She loves singing Alto with her mom, Valerie.

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    Valerie Tacker / Alto 1


    Valerie says singing with Vocal Arts is a spiritual experience. She loves singing alto with her daughter Leigh

  • ...continued

    Meet our singers for the 2024 season!

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    Lindi Ward / Alto 2

     Lindi is a musician and retired educator. She loves to sing, play cello & piano. Thrilled to sing in Vocal arts Ensemble!

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    Judy Robertson / Accompanist

     Judy plays piano for services at the Community Presbyterian Church of Cambria. She says it’s an honor to be a part of the Vocal Arts Ensemble.

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    In Remembrance...

    Barbara Hoff

    Beloved Accompanist at Vocal Arts for 45 years. Her memory lives on.

  • Get Involved with Vocal Arts

    Sing With Us - Volunteer With Us - Donate To Us 

    San Luis Obispo, CA
    By Appointment only
  • Connect With Us

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