John Hillebrandt, composer
John Hillebrandt keeps an active schedule as a pianist, Acomposer and educator. His numerous and highly acclaimed performances each season include solo recitals, chamber music, concertos, and original compositions. He retired in 2011 from California State University, Stanislaus, where his remarkable career as staff accompanist and lecturer for 15 years included more than 500 performances. He has been the Principal Pianist and Keyboardist for the Modesto Symphony Orchestra since 1996, and plays with other regional orchestras including the Sacramento Philharmonic and the “Music in the Mountains” festival orchestra. He has taught many award-winning students, and is a regular adjudicator for the United States Open Music Competition, the Music Teachers’ Association of California, and others. He is also currently teaching online courses through Modesto Junior College, and performs regularly on faculty artist concerts.
Dr. Hillebrandt is the choir director and organist/pianist at First United Methodist Church of Sacramento, where many of his recent original compositions are heard regularly. Hillebrandt’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra was featured by the Modesto Symphony Orchestra in 2013. He has recently been performing his Twelve Transcendental Hymn-Fantasies to great acclaim, including as the opening concert of the Sacramento State Piano Series 2017-2018 season.
Hillebrandt is also an avid skier and mountaineer. His climbs include the Grand Teton, Mt. Shasta, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Whitney; and he has hiked to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite more than 50 times. He has completed one ultra marathon (50 km) and skied the Vallée Blanche in the French Alps, a 20 km glacier ski descent of Mont Blanc.
Dale Trombore, composer
Hailed by the New York Times for her “soaring melodies and beguiling harmonies,” Dale Trumbore has been widely commissioned and performed by ensembles including the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), Boston New Music Initiative, California ACDA's All-State Honor Choir, Inscape Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Children's Chorus, The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists, and Vocal Essence. She has served as Composer in Residence for Nova Vocal Ensemble and Artist in Residence at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, Copland House, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, and Willapa Bay AiR.
Recently, Trumbore's choral music was recorded on Choral Arts Initiative's new album How to Go On: the Choral Works of Dale Trumbore, which debuted at #6 on Billboard's Traditional Classical Chart. Trumbore's works for voice have also been recorded by Choral Arts Northwest, The Esoterics, New York Virtuoso Singers, Six Degree Singers, and soprano Gillian Hollis. Trumbore's interest in the convergence of music and language leads her to collaborate frequently with contemporary poets. Her compositions are available from Boosey & Hawkes, G. Schirmer, and Music Spoke. Trumbore holds a dual degree in Music Composition and English from the University of Maryland as well as a Master of Music degree in Composition from the University of Southern California, where she studied with Morten Lauridsen and Donald Crockett. A New Jersey native, Trumbore currently lives in Los Angeles.
Alejandro Sabre, composer
Alejandro Sabre is an award winning pianist, composer and educator. Born and raised in Mexico City, Sabre started playing the piano at age 4. He has performed extensively throughout Mexico, the United States and a few countries in Europe and Asia.
On his 20th year as professor of music, Sabre is director of the piano and music theory programs at Modesto Junior College. His busy schedule includes teaching as well as performing and writing music. His performances are centered around the lecture-recital format. Sabre is a fervent believer in musical literacy for all, encouraging and challenging audiences to better understand music and active audience participation. Sabre served on the board of directors of the Gallo Center for the Arts from 2001 to 2011 where he was instrumental in developing the Arts Education Program. He is the founder and director of Music Lives!, a successful recital series in its 4th season dedicated to art music and a partnership between MJC and the Gallo Center for the Arts.
He was invited two years ago to act as editor of the ﬁrst edition of 36 Lyrical Piano Pieces “Canasta de Juguetes para Chicos y Grandes” (Basket of Toys for the Young and the Old) by Mexican composer José Sabre Marroquín (his grandfather), a colorful set that will add signiﬁcantly to the world of piano literature. It is scheduled to be released later this year by Editorial Ponciano Arriaga in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. In September of 2017 he presented the same set of 36 Lyrical Pieces on a sold-out multimedia lecture-recital at the Foster Theater / Gallo Center for the Arts where he talked about the historical and stylistic context of the pieces and paired his performance with art vignettes. The program also included piano music by Mexican composers from the early 1900’s, among them José Sabre Montiel, Sabre’s great-grandfather.
Even though he took composition classes during his undergraduate studies at the National School of Music in Mexico City, Sabre is largely a self-taught composer. During high school he wrote incidental music for independent ﬁlms in Mexico. As a composer he has primarily written songs in a variety of genres. In 1999 he was awarded second place in the John Lennon International Song Writing Competition. In 2008 he spent one year in residency at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts where he took classes in composition and contemporary media. This past year he has been working with Slovenian composer Max Simoncic, who has acted as his composition coach and mentor. Grafﬁti Jive, Scenes from 10th Street Nightlife Modesto California c.1955 is Sabre’s ﬁrst symphonic work.
Sabre holds degrees from Mexico’s National School of Music, Carnegie Mellon University and the Eastman School of Music where he earned a doctoral degree in piano performance and literature with a minor in music theory. His principal teachers include Luz Maria Puente, Irene Schreier, Rebecca Penneys, Malcolm Bilson and Steven Laitz.
He lives in the central valley with his wife and ‘son’ Remington, a 4 year old Airedale Terrier. He loves hiking, cooking and practicing Tai Chi.