Highlights of the 1990 Concert Series: an organ concert given by our new organist, Derek Gordon; a CSULB Chamber Music Concert; another LAUMC Pops Concert; and a concert by the Pacific Handbell Ensemble.
In March, 1991, The Sanctuary Choir and the Choir of Riviera United Methodist Church presented the Mozart Requiem. In October, Derek Gordon gave an exciting concert of Toccatas for organ. Our December concert was Ye Olde English Christmas.
An important event of 1992 was the establishment of the Chancel Choir, a second adult choir whose main responsibility is to provide music for the 8:30 a.m. worship service. That year the concert series featured Derek Gordon in an organ concert, the Aman Folk Ensemble in a concert of folk dance from around the world, the Sanctuary Choir presented the Rutter Requiem, John Ranney presented the Chopin Concerto No. 1, and there was a concert by the Night Blooming Jazzmen.
Also in 1992, the Sanctuary Choir embarked on a second tour to Europe, this time going to Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Paris. Concerts were given in each of these places. A highlight of the tour was singing in the St. Laurenskerk in Alkmaar, Holland , the home church of the Holland Men and Boys Choir hosted previously by some of our church families. This church has one of the finest organs in Europe, which was played by Derek Gordon during our concert there.
In 1993, a project was funded to complete the Pedal division of our organ and revoice it for our sanctuary necessitated by the installation of seat cushions. On April 25, 1993, Derek Gordon gave a marvelous concert to re-dedicate the completed instrument featuring the Poulenc Concerto for Organ and Orchestra in Sol Mineur. In December, the Sanctuary Choir presented Handel’s Messiah with the L.A. Baroque Orchestra.
In 1994 our church received a grant from the Long Beach Public Corporation for the Arts. Subsequently, that year the Arts Series featured a calendar of varied ethnicity. A Korean Choir performed, a Cambodian group, and the Spirit Chorale of Los Angeles. In addition, Derek Gordon presented a Bach concert, and the choir presented the Brahms Requiem.
In 1995, Cherry Rhodes, a well known L.A. organist and associate professor of organ at USC, presented an organ recital, a concert by the Holman UMC Choir was given, and the Night Blooming Jazzmen returned.
The summer of 1995 found our Sanctuary Choir again going to Europe this time to England and Wales. The choir performed in the Cathedrals of Salisbury, Winchester and Wells.
In 1996, the Sanctuary Choir with the cooperation of Ken McMillan, Senior Pastor, took on a year long project of preparing and presenting Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Sermons and anthems were planned several times during the year to prepare the congregation, and then the full presentation was given in the Spring with Marvin Finnley singing the role of Elijah. During an extended intermission, a box meal was provided for the performers and audience by United Methodist Women.
Also in 1996, Derek Gordon and the Sanctuary Choir made a compact disc, Sunday Masterworks. Derek organized the music into three sections; Christmas, Passion/Easter, and Festival Music. Each section offered Prelude, Offertory, Anthem, and Postlude.
Highlights of the 1997 Arts Series were the March presentation of the Durufle Requiem, and the Christmas presentation of the Respighi Laud to the Nativity.
In 1998 the California Children’s Chorus presented an outstanding concert at LAUMC.
The Sanctuary Choir repeated the Rutter Requiem. Also featured, as a part of the Arts Series, was Violins, a series of bronze sculptures by Dr. Howard Hitchcock, long time member of our Sanctuary Choir and Professor Emeritus of Art, CSULB. Dr. Hitchcock also began a project which would continue for the next 3 years to paint figures to decorate the sanctuary at Christmas time. This year, he provided us with the Holy Family.
The 1999 Arts Series featured the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus, and the Fauré Requiem by our Sanctuary and Chancel Choirs. Also in 1999, Dr. Hitchcock painted the two Angels for our use at Christmas.