About CCSD Summer Chorus:
CCSD Summer Chorus is made up with members of the Choral Consortium of San Diego’s 80 member choruses, along with other singers from the San Diego/Tijuana region. Each year, the chorus is an opportunity to learn an exciting program with new friends, or for newer singers to experience choral singing for the first time before committing to a choir which may sing year-round.
About the Program:
Everyday Wonders: The Girl from Aleppo tells the extraordinary story of Nujeen Mustafa, a Kurdish teenager with cerebral palsy forced by war to flee her home and embark on an arduous journey to Europe with her sister. In this five-movement cantata Nujeen’s story – recounted in her biography ‘The Girl from Aleppo’ (co-authored by Christina Lamb) – is retold by Kevin Crossley-Holland and richly scored by Cecilia McDowall. A wealth of musical effects are employed to capture the narrative, including chorales, rhythmic spoken sections, body percussion, and a solo violin part infused with Middle Eastern flavours. The prevailing mood of Nujeen’s story is embodied by the final line of a chorale that bookends this unique concert work: ‘singing the song of life itself.’
Fellix Mendelssohn’s Psalm 42, Op. 42 “Wie der Hirsch schreit nach frischem Wasser” (“As the hart pants after the waterbrooks”) dates back to 1837, when the composer was on his honeymoon. The 42nd Psalm provides vivid visual and sensual imagery of the hart (stag or deer) and fresh water. Yet the motivating force behind the psalm is not their presence, but their absence – an absence that represents separation from the presence of God as well as isolation. At the outset the hart cries out for fresh water, but the water only comes in the form of tears, rushing waters, waterspouts and billows
About the Conductor:
Brian Lustig is currently the Director of Choral Activities at First United Methodist Church, San Diego, where he oversees a thriving choral music program of over 100 singers. At First Church, Brian leads five choirs ranging from middle school to adults, and prepares the Masterwork Chorale and Chancel Choir for two concerts annually. Additionally, Brian conducts special services such as Lessons and Carols and Choral Evensong. Prior to coming to San Diego, Brian served as the Chorister Program Manager and Assistant Choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, as well as on the music faculty at Midlands Arts Conservatory in Columbia, South Carolina.
Prior to his work in South Carolina, he finished a postgraduate degree (MMus Choral Studies) at the University of Cambridge. At Cambridge, Brian studied conducting with Stephen Layton, and sang with the Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge. In addition to his academic work, Brian led a Bach cantata series, conducted Pärt’s St. John Passion, and served as the co-chorusmaster for Bizet’s Carmen. Brian has returned to Cambridge twice to lead Bach festivals in Jesus College Chapel in some of Bach’s most epic music including B-Minor Mass, Ascension Oratorio, Missa in G-minor, Motets (BWV 225-230), and several cantatas.
Brian feels a particular calling to perform music by traditionally unrepresented composers, and looks forward to a performance of this music by Cecilia McDowall, as well as this great setting of Psalm 42 by Felix Mendelssohn.
When Brian isn’t conducting or singing, he is often found at San Diego Wave games, or walking around his neighborhood with his wife Haley and their tiny dog named Ralph!
San Dieguito United Methodist Church
Choral Consortium of San Diego