playing piano

Artistic Staff

The Choral Society employs an artistic staff including an Artistic Director/Conductor, Assistant to the Conductor, Accompanist and Section Leaders. Soloists and musicians are hired, as needed, for performances.

DAVID POTTER, ACCOMPANIST

David Potter has conducted, musically directed, and played in over 230 musical productions.  His many credits include music director for “Man of La Mancha” at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura and musical director for Jesus Christ Superstar, starring Ted Nealy and Carl Anderson at the Concord Pavilion. He directed the West Coast premiere of The Baker’s Wife with Wanda Richert, and in Los Angeles, They’re Playing Our Song with Joyce DeWitt and Richard Kline, and Bells Are Ringing with Nancy Dussault. For the Rubicon Theatre Company, David has been Musical Director for Old Wicked Songs, High Button Shoes with Jason Grae and Susan Egan, and Tintypes. For Santa Barbara City College he has recently musically directed productions of Bat Boy, the Musical, Violet, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Spitfire Grill.He composed the music for Joan of Arc performed locally in Santa Barbara and also in New York’s Westside Theatre. For the Ensemble Theatre Company, he musically directed Gun Metal Blues this past October. David attended California Institute of the Arts and Music Academy of the West, where he accompanied for Martial Singher. He has accompanied many singers in concerts including Marni Nixon, Marvin Hayes and Erich Parce.  An accomplished organist as well, he was the organ soloist with the Santa Barbara Symphony in their performance of the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony. He is Co-founder and President of the Contemporary Music Theatre of Santa Barbara; David is presently the Director of Music and Liturgy for San Roque Catholic Church. David has won several Drama-Logue Awards, five Independent Theatre Awards and the local Hero Award from the Independent.

STEVEN BROWNING THOMSON, ASSISTANT TO THE CONDUCTOR

steven browning thomsonSteven Thomson has been singing with The Choral Society as a baritone section leader since Fall 2019. He is a choral artist with training as a conductor, vocalist, organist, and ethnomusicologist. He holds a MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago where he specialized in ethnomusicology, conducting research on the Lebanese Maronite liturgy. Steven is currently a graduate student in Choral Conducting at UCSB, where he studies with Dr. Nicole Lamartine and co-directs the newly formed Tenor/Bass ensemble, The Singing Gauchos. He has also pursued additional advanced coursework and research in ethnomusicology at UCSB. Additionally, Steven currently serves as the Interim Music Director and Organist at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Montecito. Before moving to Santa Barbara for graduate school in 2018, Steven served over two years in the US Peace Corps as a teacher in the Republic of Armenia. While living in Armenia, he also had opportunities to study Armenian sacred music and to sing and tour with the Hover State Chamber Choir of Armenia. When he’s not making music, Steven can be found hiking, surfing (badly), studying languages, practicing yoga, and gathering with friends.

Section Leaders

Naomi Merer  – Alto Section Leader

Susannah Ruth – Alto Section Leader

James Kirkland – Tenor Section Leader

Will Breman – Tenor Section Leader

Steven Thomson – Baritone Section Leader

Soprano and Bass Section Leaders – to be filled

THE CHORAL SOCIETY

Individual donations make up more than 50% of our budget. Your generous support keeps the song alive.