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Note from Founders


Welcome to the Conejo Valley Choral Society's season finale! We started this organization with one thing in mind: improving accessibility to the arts in our community. Our choir members are musicians with various levels of experience, all from our very own community who come together each week to share our love of music. We are very proud to present this program to you, and thank you for not only supporting CVCS, but supporting artists in our community.



All donations are tax-deductible!

Everything that we do is made possible by the support of local businesses and individual patrons who believe in the importance of the arts in the Conejo Valley.


Here is the impact your donations will make:

$100 donation:

  • Sponsors one student

  • Pays for our rehearsal space


$250 donation:

  • Donates 10 free tickets to local schools

  • Offsets promotional material costs


$500 donation:

  • Pays for 5 student membership fees

  • Sponsors an orchestra member


$1,000 donation:

  • Covers the choir's music for a semester

  • Pays for our rehearsal pianist


$5,000 donation you can be our Fall 2023 Sponsor!

$10,000 donation you can be our 23/24 Season Sponsor!

With gratitude,

Conor Whalen and Michelle Pina



A very special thanks to our generous donors who provide the necessary foundational support for music opportunities in the the Conejo Valley.

Maestro's Circle ($4,000+ Level)

Linda Ragsdale


Golden Patrons ($1,000+ Level)

The Pina Family

Dr. John Dressler

Conor Whalen

Michelle Pina


Silver Patrons ($500+ Level)

Grace Kiang

Michael Breitner

Bronze Patrons ($250+ Level)

Lisa Whalen

Peter Whalen

Shaw-Hwa Kiang


Friends of CVCS ($99+ Level)

Heidi Cissell

John Pina

Jessie Ragsdale

Dawn Scott

Marlys Pulos

Conert Program


CONOR WHALEN, Music & Artistic Director

proudly presents

5 Mystical Songs

Ralph Vaughan Williams

I. Easter
II. I got me flowers
III. Love bade me welcome
IV. The Call
V. Antiphon


Malek Sammour, Baritone

----- INTERMISSION -----

Mass in C

Ludwig van Beethoven

I. Kyrie
II. Gloria
III. Credo
IV. Sanctus
V. Benedictus
VI. Agnus Dei


Jennie Olivia, Soprano

Dana Rouse, Alto

Albert Ong Stanley, Tenor

Malek Sammour, Baritone



Conor Whalen



Maestro Conor Whalen is currently a Los Angeles-based conductor working in opera, orchestral, and choral fields of music. He has served as the assistant conductor for the Newburyport Choral Society, Boston Conservatory at Berklee Opera, and OperaNEO. Recently, his conducting credits include working on productions of Britten's Turn of the Screw, Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Rossini’s La Cenerentola, and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.

Conor made his European conducting debut in 2021, conducting the Morovian Philharmonic in a performance of Dvorak Symphony 7. He has also appeared in masterclasses with Maestro Charles Olivieri-Munroe and Alice Parker. Conor also was invited to compete in Budapest, Hungary in the Anal Doráti International Conducting Competition in 2021.

Jennie Olivia


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American soprano Jennie Olivia most recently sang the titular role in Rusalka with LAH-SOW Phlaldelphia at the Academy of Vocal Arts. In the fall of 2021, Ms. Olivia joined the Los Angeles Opera to workshop Carla Lucero’s Las tres mujeres de Jerusalén, which premiered the following spring at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Ms. Olivia was slated to sing the roles of Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) with LAH-SOW Minneapolis and Corinna (Il viaggio a Reims) with Scheggino Opera; both engagements were canceled due to COVID-19. Some of Ms. Olivia's other operatic roles include Tatyana (Eugene Onegin), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte) Micaela (Carmen), Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Le Prince Charmant (Cendrillon), Hanna Glawari (The Merry Widow), Clorinda (La Cenerentola), and the Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors). She has also sung the soprano solos in Dvorák's "Te Deum"  and Bach's BWV 140.


Ms. Olivia was a finalist in the 2022 James Toland Vocal Arts Competition (Tier II) where she was awarded the Bonnie Bell Encouragement Prize. She was the 1st place winner of the 2017 Vocal Vision Award (UCLA) and was a recipient of the 2016 Mimi Alpert Feldman Award. She has also received prizes and awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Opera Buffs of Los Angeles, the Ahmanson Foundation and the Nakamichi Foundation. 

Dana Rouse


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Dana Rouse, Mezzo-Soprano, has performed in concert with the New West Symphony, Eastman Philharmonic, Los Robles Master Chorale, Arete Vocal Ensemble, and Westlake Village Symphony. She regularly collaborates with Peace in Concert, Fall of Ai Productions, and the
Westlake Chamber Society as a soloist. Dana currently sings alto in the award-winning sacred women’s quartet Seraphour.

In addition to her performance schedule, Dana maintains a full voice studio in Thousand Oaks
and serves as the Director of Music at Monte Vista Presbyterian Church in Newbury Park.

Albert Ong Stanley



Singaporean-American Tenor Albert Ong Stanley is excited to be making his Conejo Valley Choral Society debut as the Tenor Soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C.  Finishing up his second semester at USC under the ineffable Thomas Michael Allen, Albert had his Southern California debut this fall as Bill in Jonathan Dove’s “Flight”. Over the past few seasons, Albert had the incredible opportunity to originate roles in Anthony Brandt’s “Kassandra” (Al) with Opera in the Heights, and Laura Schwendinger’s “Cabaret of Shadows” (Willy) with MUSIQA.  Albert is excited to continue his studies along the academic and artist path towards the Operatic and Concert stage and is eager to keep honing his instrument with new and challenging repertoire.

Malek Sammour


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Southern California based baritone Malek Sammour performs actively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States. Recent solo appearances include J.S Bach’s BWV 132 with John Harbison’s L.A Songfest Chamber Ensemble, Durufle’s Requiem with the Aspen Music Festival, and Vaughn Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme with Pasadena United Chamber Singers. Recent stage credits include Il Conte Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Marquis de la Force (Dialogues des Carmélites), and Dr. Pangloss (Candide). 


As an ensemble musician, Malek has recently appeared with groups such as Pacific Chorale, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Seraphic Fire, Florida Grand Opera Chorus, Tonality, and the Kronos Quartet. 


Malek holds a degree in Vocal Performance (B.M) from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at Cal State University Long Beach. Malek is excited to sing these beautiful and underrated pieces with the Conejo Valley Choral Society, and hopes you enjoy the performance.

CVCS Members



Heidi Cissell
Graciela Garibaldi
Barbara Gregg
Patricia Lathrop-McPherson
Mary Lee
Jennifer Li
Michelle Pina
Marlys Pulos
Jessie Ragsdale
Michelle Zdybowicz


Mary Lou Collier
Kaitlyn Foy
Elizabeth Friedrich
Veronica Johnson
Grace Kiang
Nancy La Sota
Isabelle Leon
Denise Lopez
Diane Lord
Kim Noller
Margot Parker
Sheila Rumenapp


Paul Dufresne

Robin Gregg

James Kirkland

Michael Murray

Ralph Santitoro


Michael Breitner
Nick Esser
Joey Li
Don Rommereim
John Sargent
James Stemen



Cari Celaya, concertmaster


Dylan Gruber


Jennifer Diermendjian


Fred Beerstein


Weronica Miller


Karen Gatchel


Whitney Raleigh


Nick Akdag


John Hester


Kevin Stoller


Helen Farson

Program Notes


Despite becoming an atheist at a young age, English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams had a life-long fascination with religion and religious texts. He was so moved, so inspired by the religious texts of George Herbert that he set transformative words to mystical music. The Five Mystical Songs, composed in his thirties and premiered 1911, bookends three reflective and personal poems with two congregational songs of praise. What is most unusual about this arrangement, particularly for English music, is the subordinate role the chorus plays, that is, until the last movement. Enjoy the visionary quality of text and musical imagery that comes out of Ralph Vaughan Williams' Five Mystical Songs.

Ludwig van Beethoven's Mass in C was composed and commissioned in 1807 by Prince Esterhazy II of Austria. Following Joseph Haydn's nearly 30 year legacy composing some of the most sublime music of the Classical period, Beethoven was tasked with penning a piece for the name day of the Prince's wife. Completed at the last minute, copyists worked feverishly to have the parts ready in time, making several errors along the way and leaving little time to rehearse. In contrast to how we regard his music today, the premiere of Beethoven's supposedly "great mass" was anything but. The prince despised it, publishers didn't want it, and it nearly became the mass forgotten. 

Beethoven composed little for chorus: vocal writing in general was not his strength. There is perhaps no greater example than his failed opera premiere, Fidelio, which caused him so much grief he vowed to never write an opera again. The Mass in C comes two years later in 1807, and in it we see a lingering hint of Beethoven's deep desire yet hesitance to redeem himself within the operatic style. From the Mozartian transitions to the recitative moments the soloists sing, to the function the chorus takes that recalls Greek drama, Beethoven includes hints of a style that he never wanted to compose again. Although the Mass in C was deemed a failure, Beethoven was fiercely proud of this piece, and it is easy for modern audiences to see why.

Text & Translations


Five Mystical Songs


I. Easter

Rise heart; thy Lord is risen.

Sing his praise Without delays,

Who takes thee by the hand,

that thou likewise With him may'st rise;

That, as his death calcined thee to dust,

His life may make thee gold, and much more, Just.

Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part

With all thy art.

The cross taught all wood to resound his name

Who bore the same.

His stretched sinews taught all strings,

what key Is best to celebrate this most high day.


Consort both heart and lute, and twist a song Pleasant and long:

Or since all music is but three parts vied,

And multiplied; O let thy blessed Spirit bear a part,

And make up our defects with his sweet art.

II. I got me flowers

I got me flowers to strew thy way;
I got me boughs off many a tree:
But thou wast up by break of day,
And brought'st thy sweets along with thee.

The Sun arising in the East,
Though he give light, and the East perfume;
If they should offer to contest
With thy arising, they presume.

Can there be any day but this,
Though many suns to shine endeavour? 
We count three hundred, but we miss:
There is but one, and that one ever.

III. Love bade me welcome

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin. 
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lack'd anything. 

A guest, I answer'd, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he. 
I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on thee. 
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?

Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve. 
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame? 
My dear, then I will serve. 
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.

IV. The call

Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life:
Such a Way, as gives us breath:
Such a Truth, as ends all strife:
Such a Life, as killeth death.

Come, My Light, my Feast, my Strength:
Such a Light, as shows a feast:
Such a Feast, as mends in length:
Such a Strength, as makes his guest.

Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
Such a Joy, as none can move:
Such a Love, as none can part:
Such a Heart, as joys in love.

V. Antiphon

Let all the world in every corner sing,
My God and King!

The heavens are not too high,
His praise may thither fly:
The earth is not too low,
His praises there may grow.

Let all the world in every corner sing,
My God and King!

The church with Psalms must shout.
No door can keep them out:
But above all, the heart
Must bear the longest part.

Let all the world in every corner sing,
My God and King!

Mass in C


I. Kyrie

Kyrie eleison.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christe eleison.

Christ, have mercy upon us.

Kyrie eleison.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

II. Gloria

Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.

Laudamus te. Adoramus te. Benedicimus te. Glorificamus te.
We praise thee. We adore thee. We bless thee. We glorify thee.

Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam.

We give thanks to thee on account of thy great glory.

Domine Deus, rex coelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens.

Lord God, king of heaven, God the omnipotent Father.

Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe.

Lord the only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris:

Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father:


Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.

Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.

Qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram.

Who takest away the sins of the world, hear our prayer.
Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis.
Who sittest at the right hand of the Father, have mercy upon us.


Quoniam tu solus sanctus, tu solus Dominus, tu solus altissimus:

For thou alone art holy, thou alone art God, thou alone art most high:

Jesu Christe, cum Sancto Spiritu, in gloria Dei Patris. Amen.

Jesus Christ, with the Holy Ghost, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

III. Credo

Credo in unum Deum;

I believe in one God;
Patrem omnipotentem,

the Father Almighty,
factorem coeli et terrae,

maker of heaven and earth,
visibilium omnium et invisibilium.

and of all things visible and invisible.

Credo in unum Dominum Jesum Christum,

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
Filium Dei unigenitum,

the only begotten Son of God,
Et ex Patre natum ante omnia sæcula.

begotten of the Father before all worlds;
Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine,

God of God, light of light,
Deum verum de Deo vero,

true God of true God,
Genitum non factum,

begotten not made;
consubstantialem Patri:

being of one substance with the Father,
per quem omnia facta sunt.

by Whom all things were made.
Qui propter nos homines,

Who for us men
et propter nostram salutem

and for our salvation
descendit de coelis.

descended from heaven;
Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto

and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost,
ex Maria Virgine: et homo factus est.

of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.

Crucifixus etiam pro nobis

He was crucified also for us,
sub Pontio Pilato,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,
passus et sepultus est.

and was buried.
Et resurrexit tertia die

And on the third day He rose again
secundum Scripturas.

according to the Scriptures:
Et ascendit in coelum:

and ascended into heaven.
sedet ad dexteram Patris.

He sitteth at the right hand of the Father;
Et iterum venturus est cum gloria,

and He shall come again with glory
judicare vivos et mortuos:

to judge the living and the dead;
cujus regni non erit finis.

and His kingdom shall have no end.

Credo in Spiritum Sanctum,

I believe in the Holy Ghost,
Dominum, et vivificantem:

the Lord and giver of life,
qui ex Patre Filioque procedit.

Who prodeedeth from the Father and the Son,
Qui cum Patre et Filio simul

Who with the Father and the Son together
adoratur et conglorificatur:

is worshipped and glorified;
qui locutus est per Prophetas.

as it was told by the Prophets.

Credo in unam sanctam

And I believe in one holy
catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam.

catholic and apostolic Church.

Confiteor unum baptisma,

I acknowledge one baptism
in remissionem peccatorum.

for the remission of sins.


Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum

And I await the resurrection of the dead
et vitam venturi sæculi.

and the life of the world to come.


IV. Sanctus

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts.
Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua.

Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory.
Hosanna in excelsis.

Hosanna in the highest.

V. Benedictus

Benedictus qui venit

Blessed is He that cometh
in nomine Domini.

in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in excelsis.

Hosanna in the highest.

VI. Agnus Dei

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Dona nobis pacem.

Grant us peace.

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