Dr. Christopher G. Gravis

Canon for Music Ministry & Cathedral Arts

cgravis@stjohnsla.org

 

 

Dr. Christopher Gravis is an American choral and orchestral conductor, composer, and lecturer.  He is considered a specialist in the area of English choral-orchestral masterworks, and of Anglican liturgical music.  Alongside a robust liturgical music season at St. John’s Cathedral, Dr. Gravis conducts monthly services of Choral Evensong, Compline, and is internationally sought after as a guest conductor.  Most recently, he guest-conducted the Choir of Queens’ College, Cambridge in October of 2018. 

 

Active as both a choral and orchestral conductor, Gravis made his debut with the San Diego Symphony in 2014, and recently finished several seasons leading the acclaimed Orange Coast College Symphony.  Dr. Gravis is also a composer of choral and liturgical music.  His setting of the Preces & Responses was premiered at Canterbury Cathedral in 2016.

 

In addition to his responsibilities at St. John’s Cathedral, he serves as Assistant Professor & Director of Choral Activities at California State University Los Angeles. For seven years he served as Director of Music at St. Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church, where he led the choir in residence at St. Paul’s Cathedral – London. 

 

Christopher was born and raised in Southern California, and earned degrees in music from the University of Redlands, California State University - Fullerton, and the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.

Mr. Zachary Neufeld

Organist

zneufeld@stjohnsla.org

 

Mr. Zachary Neufeld is highly regarded as an organist, keyboard collaborator, composer, and lecturer. He is a composer of a diverse range of work, including choral, orchestral, chamber, and electronic music. As a keyboard collaborator, recent performances include selections from Winterreise with tenor Thomas Segen for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Inside the Music series at Disney Hall, the piano-four-hands arrangement of Barber of Seville with Pacific Opera Project, as well as masterclasses with Susan Graham, John Bucchino, and Speranza Scappucci.

 

Mr. Neufeld’s recent work, Let All Things Know Peace for a cappella choir, was premiered by the LA chamber choir Inspiravi as part of their emerging composers series. His Preces & Responses were premiered by Ensemble XXI in 2016, and published by Paraclete Press.

 

He is equally at home in a jazz setting as in an opera masterclass or church service, and regularly plays keyboard with jazz and pop combos in the Southern California area. He earned an Master of Arts degree in Composition from UCLA, and a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from the University of Redlands. He is currently a doctoral candidate in composition at the University of California Los Angeles, and was recently awarded the prestigious Dissertation Year Fellowship.

Mr. Stephen W. Salts

Director of the Cathedral Choral Academy

ssalts@stjohnsla.org

 

Mr. Stephen Salts is an internationally distinguished Fulbright scholar of choral music. As a conductor, he has enjoyed directing choirs throughout the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe. Highlights of his early conducting career include performances at Westminster Abbey in London, four of the major Basilicas in Rome, and venues in New York City and Los Angeles. In addition to his conducting engagements, he is in demand as a bass-baritone. He has been featured as both a soloist and a chorister on major studio recordings released by Hyperion Records, for whom he also co-authored liner notes on a recording of contemporary American choral music. Some of Stephen’s singing highlights include performing for Her Majesty The Queen, holding weeklong residencies at St Paul’s Cathedral in London and Canterbury Cathedral, and singing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

 

Stephen earned degrees in music from Florida State University, California State University, Long Beach, and Royal Holloway - University of London. He attended Royal Holloway on a Fulbright Postgraduate Award for research focused on the Anglican choral tradition. An avid church musician, he is a staff singer at St James’ in the City Episcopal Church in Los Angeles, served as the Founding Director of the Song School music education program at St Wilfrid’s Episcopal Church in Huntington Beach.