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Mount Announces New Chair of Tradition-Rich Music Department

Nov. 22, 2010 -- Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles, announces Sister Therese Fassnacht, BVM, as the new chair of its tradition-rich music department.

Fassnacht, a career vocalist who has performed with the New York Philharmonic's resident choir, plans to expand the Mount's choral and chamber music programs. She specializes in Latin American choral music, and brings knowledge of the Italian, French, German, Latin and Spanish languages to her position. She has been in the post since August, and takes the helm following a long tenure by Sister Teresita Espinosa, CSJ.

Fassnacht's top priorities for the department include boosting its visibility and enrollment, enhancing the longstanding Mount Chorus and Mount Singers ensembles and reaching out to students in other disciplines who love to perform. Fassnacht also envisions creating an all-student Mount chamber orchestra.

She is exploring new connections with the College's education and film and social justice departments, including the possibility of adding emphases for future music teachers, and for film-lovers who want to score music for movies. "Students will come to the Mount if they know there is an ensemble they can perform with," she says. "If you're an instrumentalist or a singer, you want to be a part of a group. We want everyone to know that this department is here and it is vibrant."

The Mount's small, liberal arts setting is ideal for promising musicians, she says. "The Mount offers many, many more opportunities to perform than at a larger school. It's a place with a strong sense of community."

Fassnacht holds her master's degree from Westminster Choir College of New Jersey and her doctorate in choral conducting from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. For more on the College's music department, click here.

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