Some higher power apparently declared that June would mark the changing of the guard in major San Diego musical organizations. The board of the edgy choral ensemble SACRA/PROFANA has just announced that Juan Carlos Acosta has been named its new Associate Artistic Director.Only last week Michael Francis, Mainly Mozart’s new maestro, opened his first Mainly Mozart Festival on the podium at the Balboa Theatre, and next week New Yorker David Bennett is slated to arrive in San Diego to begin his tenure as San Diego Opera’s new General Director. The San Diego Symphony recently said farewell to Associate Conductor Ken-David Masur and announced last week that Sameer Patel had been appointed the orchestra’s new Assistant Conductor. Who could deny that change is afoot?
Acosta comes to SACRA/PROFANA at a crucial juncture, inasmuch as its founding Artistic Director Krishan Oberoi is taking a three-year leave to pursue a doctoral degree at Boston University. While Oberoi is studying and fighting frostbite on the east coast, Acosta will have full charge of the organization.
“I’m giving him the keys to the car,” quipped Oberoi, “but I am holding on to the pink slip.”
Altering the wide range of SACRA/PROFANA’s musical identity—from premiering avant-garde contemporary choral repertory to participating in musical theater to appearing with the San Diego Symphony’s Summer Pops—is not on Acosta’s radar. But cultivating new audiences, finding new venues and new configurations for choral singing sit at the top of his to-do list.
“My goal is to break down peoples’ excuses for not going to choral concerts,” he said.
Acosta brings a solid choral directing resume to his new position. In addition to his post as Choral Director for Cuyamaca College, he was recently appointed as Director of Music Ministries at the Community Presbyterian Church of Rancho Santa Fe, following a highly successful 10-year tenure in a similar position at the Chula Vista United Methodist Church. He took his undergraduate and graduate degrees from San Diego State University, where he worked as assistant to Patrick Walders, Director of Choral Activities.