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Gothold picks up the choir baton once again

Ashley Morgado
Staff Writer

Coming out of retirement, Stephen Gothold is taking back his position as the choral director for the University of La Verne.

Many students are happy to see his face again, but frustrated that the University has brought through numerous directors in such a short amount of time.

The previous director, Todd J. Harper was unable to come back this year and left the University midway through last semester. With little time to search for a permanent conductor, Gothold accepted the invitation to come back for at least a year and be the temporary director in the meantime.

“I am very happy to be back,” Gothold said.

Although he is not sure if he will be staying longer than the year, he is still striving to get the best ULV has to offer.

“I will not be satisfied until I have a big group.

Gothold has already started making some major changes in the choral program in attempt to create a larger group.

One change is that the chorale will now be available to faculty and staff as well as the students. So far, Gothold says the turnout of students and faculty has been great and the group is almost thirty strong.

“The students seem comfortable with the staff,” Gothold said.

However, he is still hopeful to continue to grow within the next weeks.

“We could still use some more tenors and basses,” Gothold said.

The other change that Gothold is making is the rehearsal ritual. Instead of twice a week, he is planning rehearsals just once a week, between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday evenings in Founders Hall.

He is making it a once a week meeting to ensure the attendance of all enrolled.

“He changed a lot when he was here” previous President of the Choral Organization Matthew White said.

But White added that they were good changes, which allow more diversity on the stage.

“Change is necessary sometimes” senior music education major Taylor Duling said. “The dynamic is very different having faculty and staff.”

Making people want to be a part of the program may be hard, but what seems to be even more difficult is maintaining a conductor.

Gothold joked about how the University has seen over 30 conductors, while other universities such as Whittier College have only had three, himself included.

He served as director of choral activities at Whittier from 1977 to 2003.

“The No. 1 priority should be a permanent director,” current President of the University Chorale Christopher Kaelberer said.

Those interested in joining the choir need not audition. All he requires is a desire to make music.

Ashley Morgado can be reached at

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