Central Region – Women’s Honor Choir Conductor

Central Region 2015

Dr. Iris Levine


Cristian Grases joined the USC Thornton faculty in the Fall 2010 semester as assistant professor of choral music and conductor of the USC Thornton Concert Choir. Born in Venezuela, he earned degrees from the Simón Bolívar University (MM) in Caracas, Venezuela, and the University of Miami (DMA). He has previously served as interim director of choral activities at Central Washington University; assistant professor in choral music at California State University, Los Angeles; and national coordinator of choirs for EL SISTEMA under Maestro José Antonio Abreu.
He also served as conductor for the Women’s Chamber Ensemble of the University of Miami, was the assistant conductor of the Miami Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Eduardo Marturet, and the conductor of the Young Musician’s Orchestra. Additionally, he is an award winning conductor and composer, and has been comissioned to write for several prestigious organizations such as the Piedmont Children’s Chorus and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. His works have been performed by numerous enesembles including the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

Dr. Grases has participated in numerous festivals, workshops, and events as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and conducting pedagogue in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. He has also presented sessions in the World Choral Symposia in Denmark, Argentina, and South Korea. Additionally he has presented at several ACDA regional and national conventions.

Dr. Grases was elected into the Board of Directors of the International Federation for Choral Music in 2008 and remains active in this position. In addition, Grases is currently chair of the Ethnic and Multicultural Repertoire and Standards Committee for the Western Division of the American Choral Directors Association, he is part of the editorial board of the International Choral Bulletin and has been the editor of the Children’s and Youth Column for the bulletin since 2005. Most recently, Dr. Grases has started a new Choral Series entitled “The Choral Music of Latin America and the Caribbean” published by Gentry Publications as an editorial outlet for new Latin American
choral repertoire.