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Board of Directors Appoints New Chair and Vice Chair and Welcomes New Board Member

Brandon Elliott, who simultaneously served as Board Chair, Executive Director, and Artistic Director for 11 years has asked the Board to identify a new Board Chair and Vice Chair.

Irvine, CA – April 12, 2023 – Choral Arts Initiative has named Jeffrey Derus Chair of the Board and Loren Asmus Vice Chair of the Board effective April 30, 2023. Brandon Elliott, who has served as Chair of the Board in addition to his Executive Director and Artistic Director duties, requested that the Board of Directors identify a new Chair of the Board by the end of the year as part of continued capacity building efforts to strengthen the organization. “I view this as an essential step for our organization to grow in its governance role while also giving me the personal capacity to allocate more focus to my Executive and Artistic responsibilities. I have the utmost confidence in both Jeffrey and Loren who are already proven leaders in the Choral Arts Initiative family,” says Brandon Elliott.

Jeffrey Derus is an accomplished composer and is a founding member of Choral Arts Initiative. He has served on the Board for the past 10 years in various capacities. His extensive experience both within the organization and in his professional life will provide excellent leadership for the Board of Directors. “Choral Arts Initiative has been my musical home for the last decade. I am incredibly proud of the work we have accomplished and look forward to leading our board as we continue to grow and expand our impact as a world-class destination for new choral music.”

Loren Asmus is the Vice President of Investment Research at Canterbury Consulting and currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors. His extensive financial background has helped Choral Arts Initiative navigate the uncertainties of the pandemic crisis, and has ensured balanced books for the past several years. In his new role as Vice Chair of the Board, Loren will collaborate with Jeffrey to identify new potential board members. "I am truly honored by what we have accomplished over the past decade. I am excited to contribute towards the continued growth of this exceptional organization, and to work alongside such dedicated and passionate individuals. Together, I am confident that we will scale new heights and make an even greater impact on choral music."

As part of Choral Arts Initiative’s efforts to build organizational capacity, expanding the Board of Directors membership is a high priority for 2023. The Chair and Vice Chair are seeking to identify members within the community that reflect the vibrant diversity of our region and share a passion for the arts. To that end, Choral Arts Initiative is pleased to welcome Bonnie Pridonoff to the Board of Directors effective April 1, 2023.

Equally at home being an actress, musical theater performer, choral artist, worship leader, voice coach and music director, Bonnie has been involved with the arts for over 40 years. Bonnie holds a degree in Vocal Performance from California Lutheran. She studied voice with Gert Muser and Mark Clark and was in the Cal Lu Concert Choir and Chamber Singers under the direction of CR Zimmerman. She started her post collegiate singing career with the Don Walker Singers and she has been singing ever since. She has sung under the batons of Al Brightbill, William Lock with both the William Lock Singers and the Musica Sacra Singers, John Alexander and Robert Istad with the Pacific Chorale and James Bass with the Camerata Singers of Long Beach.

Brandon Elliott, Executive & Artistic Directors states, “Bonnie is a champion and supporter of the arts in our community, and she has attended numerous Choral Arts Initiative performances for the past 10 years. We are thrilled that our relationship has deepened to now welcome her to the Board of Directors. I’m confident she’ll help us further our mission and vision in partnership with our other Directors and the community.” Upon Bonnie’s appointment to the Board of Directors, she adds, “I’m looking forward to serving on the Board because I love choral music. I think it is vital to the choral art form that new composers have a place to hear their works performed.”

To learn more about how you can partner with Choral Arts Initiative, visit


Choral Arts Initiative is a non-profit 501(c)(3) choral organization comprised of some of the most talented and passionate musicians in the Southern California region. Widely recognized as a champion of new music, Choral Arts Initiative has been praised as “gracefully lyrical” (Voice of OC), hailed as one of Orange County’s “Best Choirs” (CBS News, Los Angeles), and noted for its “sublime” and “triumphant” performances (Textura). Winner of the American Prize in Choral Performance, recipient of the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming, and Winner of the San Francisco Classical Voice Audience Choice Awards for Best New Music Performance, Choral Arts Initiative continues its commitment to musical innovation and excellence. Their inaugural album, How to Go On: The Choral Works of Dale Trumbore, ranked #6 on the Billboard Charts (Traditional Classical Albums), and #4 on the iTunes Best Seller Classical Charts. Their passion for new music has led to the commission of nineteen compositions and the premiere of over eighty works. In April 2022, Navona Records released From Wilderness: A Meditation on the Pacific Crest Trail, composer Jeffrey Derus’ new concert-length work and meditation on the transformative experience of traveling the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,650 mile scenic coastal hiking pathway that stretches the length of the pacific coastline of the United States and traverses the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges. Since release, the album charted for four cumulative weeks on the Billboard Charts, and was the #1 Best Seller and #1 New Release on Amazon.

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Choral Arts Initiative


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