CLU launches professional vocal ensemble

Arete to perform contemporary, experimental music

Wyant Morton, music department chair and conductor of the annual New Music Concert at CLU, will direct the new ensemble.

Photo: Brian Stethem

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – July 10, 2009) Auditions are being held for a new professional vocal ensemble to be based at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

Areté Vocal Ensemble, a group of professional artists that will be in residence at CLU, is designed to fill a need in Southern California. While visionary composers are creating a distinguished body of work for voices, there are few professional American ensembles to perform the works.

Under the direction of Wyant Morton, the ensemble will perform and record a wide choral repertoire including works from essentially all periods of music history. Special attention will be given to contemporary, experimental, improvisatory, crossover and ethnic music.

Morton, music department chair and conductor of the annual New Music Concert at CLU, hopes to build new audiences for the music by developing trailblazing modes of presentation. Areté, which takes its name from the Greek word meaning striving for excellence, will perform in different sizes and configurations as well as in various venues including concert halls, churches, clubs, festivals and performance spaces. The ensemble will present music in formats that incorporate photography, video, dance and theatrical elements to make it accessible and alive.

The ensemble will be the second professional performance group in residence at CLU. The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company became the professional theatre company of the university this year.
The ensemble’s inaugural concert season will be in 2009-2010. Performances are already scheduled for Nov. 8 and March 28 at CLU.

Singers interested in auditioning for the ensemble should have ample solo and ensemble experience, excellent sight-reading skills and familiarity with common vocal styles. For more information or to schedule an audition, call (805) 493-3307 or e-mail

For more information on Areté, visit the Web site at