Jen Rogers Named New Executive Director
(San Diego, California) The San Diego Master Chorale’s Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Jen Rogers as its new Executive Director. This will be the first full-time Executive Director for the SD Master Chorale in the choir’s 61-year history.
Jen Rogers joins the San Diego Master Chorale with nearly twenty years’ experience in arts administration. She formerly served as the President & CEO of the Phoenix Chorale, a Grammy Award-winning professional choir in Phoenix, AZ.
“Jen rose to the top of a very strong pool of candidates in several ways,” said Julie Ann Sih, SD Master Chorale Board President. “The search committee was impressed with her achievements with the Phoenix Chorale, her varied consulting experience, her solid reputation in the choral field, and her sense of adventure and fun when asked how she would approach this new Executive Director position.”
Sih went on to explain that the 100-member San Diego Master Chorale consists primarily of serious amateur singers, augmented by a core of paid professionals. “We have a pastry chef and an ophthalmologist among our singers. Any community member, regardless of day job, who can pass our rigorous auditions can share the stage with world-class artists. Jen Rogers’ understanding of both community choirs and professional choirs will position our hybrid volunteer/professional chorus to thrive.
“We are excited to think how much more impactful the Chorale’s engagement with San Diego County’s communities will become, with the benefit of Jen’s leadership. And we are grateful to the Conrad Prebys Foundation and to an anonymous matching donor, that together have enabled us to hire a full-time Executive Director with the experience and drive to help us reach new heights and new hearts.”
Respected throughout the U.S. and abroad for her work in the choral field and in performing arts, Jen Rogers brings extensive experience and innovative solutions to both emerging and long-established choral organizations. She is most notably recognized for transforming an unknown regional choir, the Phoenix Chorale, into a world-renowned brand and Grammy-winning ensemble. Highlights with the Phoenix Chorale include increasing ticket sales by 159% and season subscriptions by 281%, building the fundraising program and increasing contributions by 120%, and promoting the Chorale’s top-selling albums with more than twenty weeks on the Billboard Charts.
“I’ve been working as a performing arts consultant and I honestly wasn’t looking for a full-time role, but this one grabbed my attention. In addition to connecting with the SD Master Chorale’s mission and legacy, I was impressed by the board’s commitment and the community’s investment in creating this leadership role,” said Jen Rogers. “I’m thrilled to bring my skill set and love for this art form to this beloved institution, one that is so obviously committed and excited for its growth and its future. Personally, I have family in San Diego, and I’ve always wanted to live here—and now I’m looking forward to also joining the Master Chorale family.”
Since leaving the Phoenix Chorale in early 2021, Jen started a chorus-focused consulting business and has been in demand by youth, community, and professional choirs across the country, advising in a wide range of capacity-building areas from marketing to board engagement to fundraising. A champion and advisor for many nonprofit performing arts organizations, she has previously advised The Nash, Arizona’s jazz education center, and the Phoenix Boys Choir. She currently serves as an Advisory Board member of Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix, Downtown Chamber Series, and Tonality, an L.A.-based professional choir whose mission is to present concerts on themes of social justice and community activism.
Recognized for its inspiring and thrilling performances since 1961, the SD Master Chorale showcases more than 100 of the region’s finest amateur and professional singers. Today, the SD Master Chorale continues its self-produced concerts, collaborative programming, and community engagement under the leadership of Music Director John K. Russell.
“I am thrilled that Jen is taking on this vital leadership role with the SD Master Chorale. She brings a wealth of expertise in leading choral arts organizations and I have no doubt she will immediately raise the profile of the SD Master Chorale,” said John K. Russell, SD Master Chorale Music Director. “She will make a perfect addition to our thriving San Diego arts community. Welcoming Jen to the role of Executive Director is a significant step forward for us, and I could not be happier with the opportunity to work with her.”
Each year, the SD Master Chorale reaches tens of thousands of listeners through live performances and through re-broadcasts on KPBS, San Diego’s NPR station. The Chorale can frequently be heard in collaboration with the San Diego Symphony and the Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra. Its community programs include an annual High School Honor Choir workshop for more than 100 outstanding young singers from across San Diego County.
Grant Oliphant, CEO of the Conrad Prebys Foundation, stated, “The Foundation is delighted to be the lead donor for this landmark moment in the Chorale’s history and the next era of growth it will usher in. Participatory education experiences—such as the Chorale’s annual High School Honor Choir programs and collaborative concerts with elementary school students—can change and lift up lives in just the way the Foundation hopes to promote through its support of San Diego’s visual and performing arts organizations. Professional administrative leadership will expand the San Diego Master Chorale’s capacity to serve and celebrate local communities, by means of an art form whose very substance is diverse voices.”
SAN DIEGO MASTER CHORALE 2022/23 SEASON
The San Diego Master Chorale’s 2022/23 Season opened in October with Verdi’s Requiem (Oct. 1-2 with San Diego Symphony) and continues in November with Marcos Balter’s Livro das Cores / Book of Colors (Nov. 6), Messiah Sing (Dec. 4), Noel Noel (Dec. 9-11 with San Diego Symphony), High School Honor Choir full-day workshop and free public concert (Mar. 11), The Magic of the Mysterious: Orff’s Carmina Burana and Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Five Mystical Songs (Apr. 7-8 with the Palomar Symphony and several choirs), Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil (Apr. 29), and Singing with the Devil: Payare and Cantata Criolla (May 26-27 with San Diego Symphony).
ABOUT JEN ROGERS
Respected throughout the U.S. and abroad for her work in choral and performing arts consulting, Jen brings extensive experience and innovative solutions to both emerging and established choirs. She is most notably recognized for transforming an unknown regional choir, the Phoenix Chorale, into a world-renowned brand and Grammy-winning ensemble. Highlights with the Chorale include increasing ticket sales by 159% and season subscriptions by 281%, rebuilding the fundraising program and increasing contributions by 120%, and top-selling albums with more than twenty weeks on the Billboard Charts, with multiple Grammy nominations and awards.
Jen has led sessions at Chorus America’s annual conferences including recently co-leading a new initiative, the “Professional Chorus Incubator” to accelerate growth for new organizations. As a consultant, Jen has worked with a variety of performing arts organizations, artists, and ensembles including the Grammy-nominated jazz quintet Kneebody, Ravenscroft Hall, Together In Hope Project & Choir, Rosie’s House: A Music Academy for Children, iSing Silicon Valley, Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix, Phoenix Boys Choir, Master Chorale of South Florida, Music at Trinity, and the Grammy-winning Kansas City Chorale among many others. In one of her most recent roles, Jen served as Tonality’s Tour Manager on Icelandic artist Björk’s 2022 Cornucopia Tour.
ABOUT JOHN K. RUSSELL
Conductor, educator, and tenor, Dr. John K. Russell has served as Music Director of the San Diego Master Chorale since 2014. As Music Director, John programs and conducts the Chorale’s concert season and prepares the Chorale for performances with the San Diego Symphony, La Jolla Symphony, and the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra.
As an educator, he is currently the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Palomar College where he conducts the Chamber Singers, the Palomar Chorale, and oversees the vocal music program. Previously, he was the principal choral conductor of the LaGuardia School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York City. He also conducted over twenty performances of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, was a clinician for the New York Philharmonic’s Education Department, and appeared as a guest conductor with the New York City National Chorale. He has also served on the summer conducting faculty at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey.
In demand as a tenor soloist and noted for his ‘heart-melting legato,’ John has appeared with the Westminster Summer Choral Festival in Princeton, NJ, Bach Collegium San Diego, Piffaro: The Renaissance Band of Philadelphia, San Diego Symphony, Pepperdine University, and Lisbon Summer Choral Festival in Lisbon, Portugal.
A native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, John holds degrees from Western Michigan University, Columbia University, and received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Music from the University of Southern California. He resides in San Diego with his wife, Jill, and son, Parker.
ABOUT SAN DIEGO MASTER CHORALE
Recognized for its inspiring and exhilarating performances, the San Diego Master Chorale has served as the premiere choral ensemble of San Diego County since 1961. Featuring over 100 of the region’s finest singers, the SD Master Chorale performs classical masterworks, new music by contemporary composers, and diverse works of many styles under the direction of Music Director John K. Russell.
The mission of SD Master Chorale is to connect all people to the joy of professional-caliber live choral music and enrich lives by sharing what we have in common — our voice. Each year, the Chorale reaches tens of thousands of listeners both on stage and off through live performances and broadcasts on KPBS, San Diego’s NPR station. The SD Master Chorale can frequently be heard in collaboration with the San Diego Symphony, La Jolla Music Society & Chorus, and Mainly Mozart Festival.
The Chorale’s community programs include an annual High School Honor Choir Festival for more than 130 outstanding young singers featuring an all-day choral workshop culminating in a side-by-side concert with the Chorale for the community. For more information, visit sdmasterchorale.org.