New West Symphony Chorus - Wyant Morton, director

Selections from Handel’s Messiah
April 6-7, 2024

Carmina & Carnival
March 1-2, 2025

Best of Beethoven
October 4-5, 2025


About the Chorus

The New West Symphony Chorus is a group of dedicated skilled volunteer members who make performances of choral works for New West Symphony possible. The chorus members go through a competitive audition, rehearse and perform throughout the season.

The New West Symphony Chorus has been led by Chorus Director Dr. Wyant Morton since 2023.

“Having a Symphony Chorus as part of the New West Symphony family is a true jewel in our artistic crown. The Ventura and West LA County region is full of amazing vocalists. Our recent choral/orchestral projects have proven there is great interest in contributing to the vast repertoire that puts these artists onstage with the power of a symphony orchestra. New West Symphony is proud to create a new top chorus serving our region under the leadership of Dr. Wyant Morton. I know our audiences will be thrilled by the excitement and visceral experience of vocalists under Wyant’s expert guidance,” says Artistic and Music Director Michael Christie.

“For many years I have enjoyed my collaborations with the New West Symphony preparing my choruses for performances with several different conductors. In recent years, under the baton of Maestro Michael Christie, the musical experiences for my singers in the Areté Vocal Ensemble and at California Lutheran University have been especially enjoyable and rewarding. I am thrilled that this musical relationship is being formalized with the creation of the New West Symphony Chorus. I am excited for our future and look forward to exploring the great choral/orchestral repertoire together,” says Dr. Wyant Morton.

For more questions regarding participating in the New West Symphony Chorus, please contact Dr. Morton at:

Wyant Morton

Wyant Morton

Dr. Wyant Morton is Professor of Music at California Lutheran University and is in his 32nd year as conductor of the Cal Lutheran Choral Ensembles, which includes the Cal Lutheran Choir, Cielo (treble choir), and Areté Vocal Ensemble–a chamber choir he founded in 2009 comprised of alumni, faculty and local professional level singers.  He served as Chair of the Music Department from 1998-2013 and 2018-2019.

In 2023, Morton was named Director of the New West Symphony Chorus and prepared Mozart’s Requiem for the chorus’ debut. This season, he will prepare Handel’s Messiah for performances in April 2024. In prior season, Morton has prepared the Cal Lutheran Choral Ensembles for many performances with the New West Symphony including Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in 2022, A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream by Felix Mendelssohn in 2019 both with Michael Christie; Leonard Bernstein On Stage in 2017 with John Mauceri; Gloria by Francis Poulenc in 2017 with Kynan Johns; The Planets by Gustav Holst in 2016 and Daphnis et Chloé in 2015 with Marcelo Lehninger.

In 2012-13, Morton conducted concerts with Areté Vocal Ensemble in collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Minimalist Jukebox Festival curated by composer John Adams, and the Los Angeles Opera’s Britten 100/LA Festival, commemorating the centenary of composer Benjamin Britten.  In 2017-18 Areté again collaborated with the Los Angeles Opera in the Leonard Bernstein Centenary.

Other highlights in Morton’s career have been conducting New Music Concerts at Cal Lutheran which he helped start in 2003.  A memorable concert brought award winning composer and then Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Esa-Pekka Salonen, to Thousand Oaks.  The concert culminated with Morton conducting Salonen’s Five Images After Sappho, a performance the Los Angeles Times called “persuasive”.  Morton has conducted similar concerts with Pulitzer Prize winning composers Henry Brant, Steven Stucky and David Lang. He has also collaborated with composers Libby Larsen and Morten Lauridsen; and Grammy Award winners Eric Whitacre (composer), Hila Plitmann (soprano), and Gloria Cheng (pianist).