about us

Artistic Leadership

The San Luis Obispo Master Chorale boasts outstanding professionals in artistic direction. With reputations for excellence and extensive records of accomplishment, Music Director Thomas Davies attracts and retains talented singers and musicians from a wide variety of artistic backgrounds, experience levels, and demographics.

Music DIRECTOR

Dr. Thomas Davies

Thomas Davies has been the music director and conductor of the San Luis Obispo Master Chorale since the fall of 1984. He was a faculty member at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, from 1983 to 2017. Now professor emeritus, he was a recipient of the university’s Distinguished Teacher Award for 2010-11.

He and David Arrivée, conductor of the Cal Poly Symphony, were co-founders of Cal Poly’s annual Bach Week held each January. He has been a guest conductor for Opera San Luis Obispo, leading performances of Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosi fan tutte, Die Fledermaus and Red Cloud. With the Cal Poly Theater Department, he conducted Guys and Dolls, Into the Woods, Fiddler on the Roof and The Apple Tree.

He served as associate director and director for the Oregon Bach Festival Master Class in Choral/Orchestral Conducting from 2005 to 2011 as well as the director of the Taipei Bach Festival Master Class in Conducting in 2010 and 2012. He was the choral conductor of the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival 1996-2007, served as a conductor with the Central Coast Children’s Choir program from 2008 through the spring of 2012 and was a member of the choral faculty at the Idyllwild Summer High School Choral Festival 2004-2007. He is a former president of the American Choral Directors Association Western Division.

Born in Toledo, Ohio, he received his Bachelor of Music Education from Bowling Green State University and his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California.

Accompanist

susan azaret davies

SUSAN AZARET DAVIES (BM, MM, USC) has appeared as pianist in recitals at Carnegie Hall, CSU Summer Arts, Idyllwild Summer Arts, Festival Mozaic, Cabrillo Music Festival, San Francisco Presidio Chapel and numerous Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo area concerts. She has served as an accompanist in Master Classes with Marilyn Horne, Peter Pears, Hans Hotter, Vera Rosza and Martin Katz. Susan was the Musical Director/Pianist for the Educational Opera Association of Los Angeles, which was awarded an Emmy award for its KCET television special “Opera for Children.”

Ms. Davies is the principal keyboardist for the San Luis Obispo Symphony and Orchestra NOVO, pianist for the San Luis Obispo Master Chorale and Opera SLO, and choir director/ organist for St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Pismo Beach. She was staff accompanist and adjunct music faculty at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for 34 years.

Festival Appearances

San luis obispo master chorale

Board of directors

The San Luis Obispo Master Chorale board of directors is comprised of dedicated community supporters who generously commit their time, energy, and resources to serve as advocates for the Chorale and the choral art.

2023-24 Officers

Jeanne Potter

Jeanne Potter

President

 

  • Singer in the Chorale
  • Certified Public Accountant, Retired
  • Rotary Club member
  • Pianist – Jazz/Classical
  • Keyboardist – Critical Mass rock band
  • Skier and hiker
Carol Selby

Carol Selby

Vice President

 

  • Retired prosecuting attorney
  • Former singer
  • Former educator to coordinate Team Court and mock trials at Atascadero High School
  • Forensic psychology lecturer at Cal Poly
  • Gardener
Mark Fugate

Mark Fugate

Treasurer

 

  • Singer in the Chorale
  • Vice President of Charter Brokerage and Investment Company
  • Former Cal Poly choir member
  • Cal Poly graduate
  • Orange and pistachio grower
  • Civil War buff
Chuck Hill

Chuck Hill

Secretary

 

  • North County realtor
  • Cal Poly graduate and former choir member
  • Chamber of Commerce member
  • Enjoys camping with family

Directors

Vicki Ewart

Vicki Ewart

Director

 

  • Singer in the Chorale
  • Retired accounting professional
  • Degree in vocal performance
  • Church leadership volunteer
Brian Lawler

Brian Lawler

Director

 

  • Professor Emeritus at Cal Poly
  • Singer in the Chorale
  • Member of the Foundation for SLO County Public Libraries
  • Volunteer at the Shakespeare Press Museum
  • Former Rancho Burro Donkey Sanctuary board member
  • Woodworker, traveler, kayaker, hiker, camper, + adventurer
Marti Lindholm

Marti Lindholm

Director

 

  • Singer in the Chorale
  • Retired educator
  • Degrees in piano performance and music education
  • Church organist/choir director
  • Rotary Club member
Alison Stuart

Alison Stuart

Director

 

  •  Singer in the Chorale
  • Experienced development director and grant writer
  • Involved in several community outreach organizations
  • Dance major
  • Ballet student for over 60 years
  • Reader + Gardener
Craig Updegrove

Craig Updegrove

Director

 

  • Singer in the Chorale
  • Retired clinical psychologist
  • Jazz musician
  • Composer/Arranger
Raymond "Bud" Zeuschner

Raymond "Bud" Zeuschner

Director

 

  • Strong supporter of the arts
  • Former Mayor of Morro Bay
  • Church leadership volunteer
  • Enjoys traveling and playing bridge

San luis obispo master chorale

staff

Katelyn Schiavone

Katelyn Schiavone

Executive Director

  • Degree in Journalism
  • Event planner
  • Large-scale festival organizer for KCBX
Sharon Carro

Sharon Carro

Graphic Designer

  • Singer in the Chorale
  • Studied art and computer graphics
  • Painter + Printmaker
  • Active artist in Paso Robles

bring music to the central coast

support us

Become a Sponsor! Please get in touch with us if you are interested in sponsoring a concert, Beyond the Notes series, or a particular singer. Co-sponsors, corporate sponsorships, concert program advertisements, and general unrestricted individual donations are also welcome.