MEET OUR DIRECTOR
Our Westside Childrens' Chorus Director, Ann Pittel, has spent her life involved in music and music education. She is a Founder and currently the Artistic Director of the Allegro Music Foundation which supports our performing arts organization. In the past she has directed the Westside Boys Chorus, the Westside Children’s Community Chorus, The Fruitdale Congregational Church Children's Choir (Fruitdale, CA), and Choral Programs for the Monroe-Woodbury Schools (Monroe, New York). She was the Associate Choral Conductor of the UC Berkeley Treble Clef Society (Berkeley, CA), vocal and opera coach for the San Francisco Boys' Chorus, Assistant Conductor of the Orange County Community College Band (Middletown, New York) and Supervisor of Music Programs for the City of Culver City Department of Parks and Recreation where she developed and ran seven music programs including a children's chorus. Ann Pittel was a recording and production consultant for the late puppeteer Shari Lewis and collaborated with her and directed a children's chorus in her first music CD, "Lamb Chop's Sing-A-Long, Play-A-Long".
Besides choral directing, Ann is an accomplished teacher of piano, voice, group music classes and composition which she teaches at the Cornerstone Music Conservatory where she serves as the Director of Music Education. Formerly she was the Director of Westwood Yamaha Music School in WLA. A native of Los Angeles, her first stage appearance was at the age of six as a child chorus member of the opera, Hansel and Gretel. She has previously taught piano at UCLA and has sung recitals and participated in concerts locally as well as in the Bay Area, Chicago, New York, Canada, Europe and South America.
Ann has many musical interests and has participated in many musical service projects over the years. She has lectured at national education conferences and was the New York delegate to an International Conference on Non-Western Music. She formed a choruses for Partially Sighted and Blind Adults at the Lighthouse in New York City and for Seniors at a summer camp in Chicago, and also formed an international childrens' chorus in upstate New York to raise money for UNICEF. As a composer, Ann has written many compositions including pieces for small ensembles, piano, voice, and chorus. Ann plays the string bass on occasion and has coached actors on piano, voice and violin for musical roles for plays, commercials, movies and television. Because of her expertise in music education, She has served as a music education consultant for Yamaha International Corporation, trained beginning music teachers, and has been called upon from time to time to provide effective music instruction and curriculum to pre-school and elementary classroom teachers. She has been interviewed as a guest on most all major network television stations as well as the LA Times for her innovations in the field of music education.
Ms. Pittel, received her education at UCLA, University of Wisconsin and UC Berkeley with postgraduate work at Northwestern University, NYU, and the Manhattan School of Music and doctoral studies with a Major in Choral Music and Composition and a minor in Vocal Pedagogy at USC. She has studied choral conducting from Dr. Charles Hirt, Madi Bacon, and Dr. James Vail, orchestral conducting from Michael Senturia and Daniel Lewis, voice from Maureen Parzybok, William Eddy, and William Vennard, vocal coaching from Gwendolyn Koldofsky, and composition from Halsey Stevens and Robert Linn.
"There is something about music that is life-giving, increases one’s capacity to express and understand, to think more clearly."
"I love being involved with music and imparting my love of it to others. There is something about music that is life-giving, increases one’s capacity to express and understand, to think more clearly. I love opening ears to new sounds, teaching fingers to express what the whole body is feeling, and watching students discover the joy and reward of learning to play and sing music successfully. I love helping students create their own musical ideas so that they can feel an even greater connection between themselves and the music they are making. It is exciting directing the Westside Children’s Chorus and working with young voices as they learn to sing more beautifully and blend with each other in harmony. I feel so lucky to be involved in work about which I am so passionate."