"music is what unifies . . ." (Seu-ma-tsen)
In a world which threatens continuously to fractionalize and marginalize, we rejoice to be a part
of an art form that unifies and reconciles.
Domino has, in its more than twenty years of incorporation as a tax exempt California non-profit organization (501(c)(3)),
established a remarkable record of growth by several measures, most notably:
These dimensions are
inextricably intertwined and their development is primarily a result of the leadership of artistic director,
Maurita Phillips-Thornburgh. Her vision is clear and her love for the music and the art
of choral singing is contagious. Her ability to bring together singers of many levels to a focused choral
performance is well-known and well-regarded in the professional music community.
These factors, lived out in an environment that embraces with every gesture the idea that "music
at its highest, as in Mozart and Bach, is pure play" (Watts), have drawn together an impressive core of singers, sixteen
paid and forty to fifty volunteers (including a number of professional singers).
The resulting musical offerings are imaginative and joyful musical
moments for performer and listener alike and so we have enjoyed, with minimal increase in publicity effort and attendant cost,
an increase in attendance at our concerts from an average of fifty in the first season to over two hundred by the fifth season
(with four to six hundred plus for the Bach masterworks which are rotated each year to present the Mass in B Minor
alternately with the Passion According to St. John, and the Passion According to St. Matthew).
We support the notions that:
art is one of the four cornerstones — not a luxury but a necessity — for the health and well-being of the whole
community and not exclusive to the artist;
2) form is not enough, but that,
as in good architecture, form follows function and, further, in the art form called music, the function is communicative
process where the artistic expression has the possibility of being new in every moment;
3) the real therapeutic value of music occurs because of this unique dimension called "process"
because at many levels (local, national, universal) the human community is in crisis, the very best thing we or anyone can
do for a world in need is to do what we are meant to do and in that act we encourage those we encounter to do likewise (if
you are a singer, practice; if you are a doctor, practice).
open the sky and give a happiness and hope to your audience."
are medicine for our pain."
. . deep artistic and human expression . . . the strongest probably provoked by Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms . . .
and exciting Gerlitz' Credo” (translated from Pojizerski Listy, 11 August 93,
Vladmir Havrada, critic)
Cantori Domino's primary purpose is to make music live
and in so doing, to bring something of health and wholeness back to the community. We do so by pursuing
and embracing the highest caliber of artistic understanding/performance and the general public's experience and appreciation
of the arts, predominantly music, through concert presentations of great choral literature from all historical periods (including
commissioned new works), often given in an environment of visual art. We have a particular interest in
cross-cultural events offered both as an outreach to the particular audiences who would resonate with them and to underscore
our philosophy that authentic artistic expressions are always compatible. Past years have included collaborations
with Francis Awe and the Nigerian Talking Drum Ensemble (1993); music of the late North Indian sitarist and composer, Amiya
Dasgupta (1994), and American Indian artists with their varied voices of art, music, and dance (1995) – side by side
with music of composers influenced by both American and western European tradition including Dave Brubeck (1995).
also have a specific interest in preserving and promoting the legacy of great choral music and as such have presented six
major choral workshops under the direction of Maurita Phillips-Thornburgh together with clinicians of international acclaim—Dr.
Roger Wagner and Paul Salamunovich (1991); Dr. Keith Clark and Jeannine Wagner (1992); Sir David Willcocks (1997, 1999, 2000,
2002). Sir David Willcocks and Jonathan Willcocks joined us again on Memorial Day weekend 2009, for a two and a half
day workshop, followed by the annual Dulcis Memoria concert
in which they each conducted. The program included Haydn’s Lord
Nelson Mass and the west coast premiere of Jonathan Willcocks’ A Great and Glorious Victory as
well as his children’s opera, The Pied Piper of Hamelin.
In winter 2003, we mounted a master class on
the art of the baroque obbligato aria with master clinicians: Maurita Phillips-Thornburgh, soprano; Jonathan Mack, tenor;
Kenneth Knight, bass-baritone together with members of Bach’s Circle: Allan Vogel, oboe; Janice Tipton, flute; Patricia
Mabee, harpsichord and friends. Ten auditioned singers participated in the afternoon class and evening concert.
International tours include:
Eastern Europe: in the footsteps of J. S. Bach (1993); Portugal-Spain (2001); One-week residency at York Minster, England
(2004); Italian Odyssey (2007); An Adventure in Eastern Europe (2010); Italy (2011); and a second residency at York Minster
We serve a cross-cultural, multi-ethnic, inter-generational Los Angeles County population, providing
access and particular encouragement for the general public to find a new or renewed appreciation for the value of the artistic
voice in addressing the increasing fragmentation of the human community. Audiences and volunteer singers
come from as far east as Phoenix, and from San Diego to Santa Barbara. They range economically from the
disenfranchised to the privileged, and in age from our eighteen year old alto to our seventy-five year old soprano.
Regular season concerts are presented in-residence in Santa Monica, with performances scheduled throughout
Los Angeles County.