Alumni Highlights and News

                         Dale Trumbore and Jennifer Garza-Cuen


July 2015 residents, Dale Trumbore (music composer) and Jennifer Garza-Cuen (visual artist), did not come to Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts as collaborators.  However, many beautiful connections are made between artists of different disciplines during the time they spend together here and that was the case for these two individuals.  

March 24th, 2017 is the expected release date of "How To Go On: The Choral Works of Dale Trumbore".  This album will feature the world premiere recording of Dale's 35-minute secular requiem "How to Go On", a piece she worked on during her residency at BCFA. This album is the first release from Choral Arts Initiative.

Another special aspect of this album is the photo on the cover.  This photo was taken by fellow resident, Jennifer Garza-Cuen during her BCFA residency.  

Dale Trumbore explains, "I first met Jennifer Garza-Cuen while we were both in residence at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts last summer. There, I was composing secular requiem How to Go On for Choral Arts Initiative; Jennifer was working on a series of photographs and essays also dealing with themes of loss and grief. Jennifer's landscape photography often favors dark, sprawling skies about to break into a storm, and I found myself drawn to the starkness and originality of her images.
This photo, taken by Jennifer during our residency, will become the cover image of How to Go On, Choral Arts Initiative's first commercial recording."

-Interview with "How To Go On" CD cover photographer, Jennifer Garza-Cuen

Read full interview:

To read more information about the composer reflection on this piece from Dale Trumbore, visit : Spotlight: "How to Go On" Composer Reflection

Press Release!

      Choral Arts Initiative Releases Debut Album Featuring Secular Requiem And Other Choral Works by Dale Trumbore

Newport Beach, CA, February 28, 2017 – Choral Arts Initiative will release their first album “How to Go On: The Choral Works of Dale Trumbore,” featuring the world premiere recording of Trumbore's 35-minute secular requiem “How to Go On” alongside three of her other works for chorus. Led by Artistic Director Brandon Elliott, Choral Arts Initiative recorded the album in August 2016 at St. Mark Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, CA and will release it for worldwide distribution on all platforms through their independent label on March 24, 2017.

Following the death of a loved one, poet Barbara Crooker asks, "How can we go on, knowing the end of the story?" “How to Go On” answers this question in eight movements that explore our relationship to life and loss, ranging from doubt and introspection to an acceptance of our own mortality. Composed by Trumbore for the versatile singers of Choral Arts Initiative, "How to Go On" ultimately finds beauty and release in the embrace of everyday life, offering up solace in the words of three living poets—Barbara Crooker, Amy Fleury, and Laura Foley— and in music.

Also featured on the album are three other works by Trumbore: “In the Middle,” “Lodestar,” and “After the Storm Passes.” Trumbore accompanies “In the Middle” on the piano. Together, the eleven tracks of “How to Go On: The Choral Works of Dale Trumbore” explore how, even in the face of turmoil, we bring quiet grace back into our daily lives.


Choral Arts Initiative is a non-profit 501(c)(3) choral organization made up of some of the most talented and passionate musicians in the Southern California region. Hailed as one of Orange County’s Best Choirs (CBS News, Los Angeles) and a winner of the American Prize in Choral Performance, Choral Arts Initiative works in partnership with composers and the community to illuminate emerging choral music through vocal collaboration and performance and to inspire musical creativity through unique outreach and education programs. Embarking on their fifth season, Choral Arts Initiative has commissioned ten new choral works, performed twelve world premieres, and given over forty regional premieres. More information about Choral Arts Initiative may be found at


Composer Dale Trumbore has been called “a rising star among modern choral composers” (AXS), and her works have been praised for their “soaring melodies and beguiling harmonies” (The New York Times). Her compositions have been performed widely in the United States and internationally by ensembles including ACME, The Los Angeles Master Chorale, The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, Northwest Symphony Orchestra, The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists, VocalEssence and the Yale Glee Club.

Trumbore has served as Composer in Residence with Nova Vocal Ensemble and received Artist in Residence awards from Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, Copland House, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, and Willapa Bay AiR. She has been commissioned by organizations including the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Center City Opera Theater, The Hollywood Master Chorale, Inscape Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Children's Chorus, and the Maryland State Boychoir, among many others. Her works for voice have been recorded by Choral Arts Northwest, The Esoterics, New York Virtuoso Singers, Six Degree Singers, and soprano Gillian Hollis, and her compositions are published with Boosey & Hawkes and G. Schirmer.

Trumbore holds a Master of Music degree in Composition from the University of Southern California, where she studied with Morten Lauridsen. A New Jersey native, Trumbore currently resides in Los Angeles. Hear her music at

“How to Go On: The Choral Works of Dale Trumbore”
Choral Arts Initiative
Brandon Elliott, Conductor
Dale Trumbore, Composer and Pianist
Soloists: Marcus Carline, Genie Hussain, Hannah McMeans, Sammy Salvador, Rosaleigh Nicole Taylor, and Lorraine Joy Welling
22 Singers

1. - 8. HOW TO GO ON
1. How
2. However Difficult
3. To See It
4. Requiescat
5. Relinquishment
6. Knowing the End
7. Sometimes Peace Comes
8. When at Last

All compositions by Dale Trumbore.

                                                   David Beale

David Beale was a resident of June 2016.  His focus is watercolor landscapes and portraits. Below, you can see a beautiful piece of buck rail fencing he captured from Brush Creek Ranch while he completed his residency at BCFA.

"The Brush Creek Residency provided me with a life-enriching experience that I'm still digesting. It was so refreshing to be able to shut out the daily routine and grind for a while and immerse myself in the beauty of Brush Creek. I found the sharing of experiences and ideas with my fellow artists from other disciplines especially rewarding. I now realize how important time devoted to reflection in such a quiet and majestic environment can be to creativity. I certainly came back rejuvenated! I'm not a writer but wanted to let you know how much the residency has meant to me." - David Beale


                                                                 "Abandoned Buck Rail Fence"

                                             For more on this artist, visit:                  

                                                   Beth Roddy


Beth was awarded a residency at BCFA during June of 2016.  During her stay, she revised her essay I Died of Dysentery.  This essay was recently published online.  Read on for more details! 

"I have such such fond memories of last June at BCR—seems like another world ago." 

"I'm proud to say that the essay that I revised at my residency at BCFA (the one I also shared in open studio about middle school angst and playing the computer game, The Oregon Trail) has gotten published in a great online literary magazine called The Rumpus, and I got to curate the images -- so I chose images from my time I spent at BCFA, since it was very close to where the original Oregon Trail was, to get an authentic feel." - Beth Roddy

Congratulations, Beth!

Click here to read her essay -

                                                  Oliver Caplan

The New Hampshire Master Chorale (Dan Perkins, Director) premiered Oliver Caplan's newest work "Eve – Absinthe – Alice" on November 19 & 20.  Oliver worked on this choral piece at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts while completing his residency during September 2016.  This three-movement choral work, commissioned by NHMC, sets evocative poetry from author Ruth Kessler’s book Fire Ashes Wings (Finishing Line Press, 2013).


To sample his music or find more information on this accomplished composer, visit:

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