FEATURE: Celebrate Unity, Diversity, Hope at Angel City Chorale

Photos: Courtesy

By Keldine Hull 

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From their humble beginnings, Angel City Chorale (ACC) has evolved into one of the most well- known singing groups in Southern California, celebrating unity, diversity and hope through their music and dedication to the community. 

Artistic Director Sue Fink founded ACC in 1993. Fink explained, “I started teaching private voice and classes at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. One of them was a choir workshop. That choir, made up of 18 of my voice students, eventually morphed into the Angel City Chorale.” 

Fink’s hope was to create a community for singers in Los Angeles, filling in what she found lacking in the city. Fink continued. “We live in such a big city, and I wanted to create a sense of a small town and community for folks. I started with people who were not choral experts but rather singers who hadn’t sung in harmony groups academically or in church. The music we chose was more audience-friendly, and since most had been performers but not from the more ‘dignified’ choral world, we sang with joy and spontaneity that echoed in our performances. We became a ‘gateway’ choir for a whole new audience who hadn’t experienced choral music before.”

Now in their 26th year, ACC has grown to over 180 singers, with a varied repertoire of songs, from classical and gospel to jazz, pop, and world music.

Last year, ACC competed on Season 13 of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”, earning millions of new fans across the globe including creator and judge, Simon Cowell. Fink said, “Our cover of Toto’s ‘Africa’ exploded on YouTube and other viral sites, garnering nearly 50 million views and counting. It caught the attention of America’s Got Talent and helped propel us to the Semi-Finals last year. That additional exposure has been tremendous, with people from all over the world expressing interest and praise for our singing. It’s been overwhelming how much our music has resonated with folks from all corners of the globe.”

Equally known for their involvement within the community, ACC has donated food, personal items, and supplies to non- profit organizations that serve Los Angeles. ACC also collaborated with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Los Angeles County to form Angel City Youth Chorale. The program, which began with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Venice and Santa Monica, provides LA youth with a safe place to explore musical interests. Angel City Chorale members who are also music teachers meet weekly with 30 children to engage them in singing, music and the joy of belonging to a choral community.

Local fans can see ACC perform live at Santa Monica’s Barnum Hall on June 21 and June 22 at 8 p.m. ACC will be performing the songs that took them to the semifinals on “America’s Got Talent” as well as classic TV theme songs, contemporary pieces, gospel and world music. With a special appearance by Angel City Youth Chorale, the 2- night musical event will be one fans won’t want to miss.

To learn more about ACC, visit: angelcitychorale.org