Dr. Joe Stanford, Artistic Director

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Dr. Joe Stanford is faculty emeritus of Palomar College where he taught vocal and choral music and served as chairman of the Music and Performing Arts Department for many years. He is an accomplished baritone and has performed oratorio, recitals and opera in the southwestern United States. Dr. Stanford holds degrees in music from Baylor University, University of Southern California, and the University of Colorado. While at Palomar College his choral ensembles toured the western United States, as well as Mexico, New York City, and
the New Czech Republic.

Justin Gray, Center Chorale Conductor

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Justin Gray has been active in the music scene in San Diego for 40 years, specializing in musical theatre, cabaret, opera, and choral music. He is a pianist, music director, music arranger, and custom soundtrack producer. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano and Master of Music Degree in Conducting from San Diego State University. Justin was the Music Director at Welk Resort Theatre for 25 years and was recently appointed as Executive Director of Pacific Lyric Association bringing professional opera to the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. Justin has conducted choral singers in San Diego County and has performed concerts at the California Center for Arts, Escondido in support of Interfaith Community Services.

Dr. Joseph Valent, Pianist, Accompanist

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Dr. Joseph Valent holds degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music and Ithaca College in piano, and a Doctor of Arts in Music with a Primary Emphasis in Orchestral Conducting from Ball State University. He is currently the organist at St. Timothy's Catholic Church in Escondido, accompanist for The Center Chorale at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, and a member of the San Diego American Guild of Organists.


Children's Chorus Conductors

Dana Stanford, Children's Chorus Conductor, Choral Arts Coordinator


Dana Stanford teaches music and conducts children's choirs in area schools and has developed a choral program using the Kodaly teaching method for children. Along with her husband Joe Stanford, she founded the Escondido Choral Arts' Center Children's Chorus and coordinates children and youth choral activities. Dana holds a music and education degree, as well as Kodaly, Orff, and Education through Music certificates for music teaching. She is a vocalist, choral singer in the Center Chorale, a member of the Choristers Guild of America, and the American Choral Directors Association.