Former CSUN student finds a home with the SFV Master Chorale

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Former CSUN student finds a home with the SFV Master Chorale

Photo couresty of charliekimmusician.com/Erin Lancaster

Photo couresty of charliekimmusician.com/Erin Lancaster

Photo couresty of charliekimmusician.com/Erin Lancaster

Photo couresty of charliekimmusician.com/Erin Lancaster

Cristina Pimentel

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There’s no definite possibility of where we are destined to be or if your life career will be everything you hope. The excitement of it all is the journey and how it all began. At that very moment, all the stress and uncertainties of yourself don’t seem to make any sense until you’re where you have dreamed to be.

For Charlie Kim, alumnus at CSUN, he found a sense of belonging as the artistic director for the San Fernando Valley Master Chorale.

With an interest in music and theater as a child, he wanted to take voice lessons, but because it took a while for his voice to develop, he didn’t start until college. Kim attended CSUN from 2005 to 2008, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in music vocal performance.

“I can’t say that I knew this was what was going to happen when I first started studying,” Kim said. “But by trade, I’m a classical pianist and studied since age eight.”

At first, Kim wanted to do both piano and voice, but realized how much work was entailed. Instead, he sang in a choir because it was a combination of everything he wanted to do.

“Everybody who majors in music has to participate in an ensemble,” Kim said. “Because I chose choir, I realized that I had an interest in it and a need for it.”

Earlier this year, Kim auditioned to be the church music director for one of the members of the Choral. During his audition, he was told the previous artistic director was about to retire. As a result of what he had experienced at CSUN and other universities, he was qualified for the job and took his place as the new director.

He then took it upon himself to rebuild the singing group and unify the performing forces.

“I care about it because of my own memories and experiences in the valley,” Kim said. “I know there’s a lot of singers and musicians out there who don’t have opportunities, so I want to give back.”

As the artistic director, Kim explained his tasks were to program the concerts, select the repertoire, and make sure they are relevant to what the community wants culturally.

His vision for the SFV Master Chorale is to model the Music Center in downtown L.A. It is the home of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Amison Theater, and several other venues. Kim hopes to bring the same musical involvement to the valley, by negotiating with the city of L.A. He said with the symphony, band and choir in his back pocket, he wants to make the Madrid Theater in Canoga Park their home.

If the city of L.A. approves the SFV Master Chorale to revive the venue, he envisions to have two shows every year. He also wants to pull in other valley organizations and schools, like Pierce College, Los Angeles Valley College and CSUN.

“The possibilities are endless,” Kim said. “We just need the space.”

He described the job as scary, but exciting. Despite the hard work and pressure that is on him, Kim never forgets the few influences of his music career.

Coordinator of Vocal Arts Music department and previous voice teacher, David Sannerud, said he was a big fan of him. Kim was easily one of his best students.

“It was so easy to teach Charlie,” Sannerud said. “He came to lessons and classes well-prepared and so enthusiastic about learning.”

Sannerud mentioned they both had a passion for the subject matter and respect for the wonderful repertoire they worked on. With Kim’s skills as a pianist and vocalist, Sannerud believes he will go far in any field because of his range of abilities.

“It always makes a professor so proud when you learn that a past student is enjoying success,” Sannerud said. “We are all very proud of him.”

Even students who are aware of the SFV Master Chorale find Kim to be an encouragement for their own scholastic journey.

While waiting for her Music 306 class to begin, child development major Jesey Gopez, stated how inspiring it was for a previous CSUN student to be successful in what they wanted to do.

“Knowing he got where he wanted to be and started at CSUN makes me think that I can reach my goals too,” Gopez said.

As Kim continues to rebuild the singing group and orchestra, he has high hopes to not only revive the Madrid Theater, but give the valley a sense of identity.

“Providing this for the community brings us together, makes us better, smarter, and productive people, and gives us pride,” Kim said. “It gives me a sense of where I am supposed to fit in this whole thing.”