Kate Crellin joined MBUSD’s music faculty in August of 2021 as the Choir Director for both MBMS and Mira Costa. In addition to her enthusiasm for teaching and love of singing, Ms. Crellin brings a wealth of experience as a vocalist, composer, educator, researcher, conductor and arranger. Ms. Crellin holds degrees from the University of Cambridge (Masters in Choral Conducting) and the University of Southern California (BA Choral Music & BA Law, History and Culture). As an educator, Ms. Crellin has taught pre-K through 12th-grade music in both public and private schools across Los Angeles. As a composer and arranger, Ms. Crellin recently received the CCDA/George Heussenstamm Composition Competition prize (2021) and Queens’ Cambridge Competition award (2020). Ms. Crellin is passionate about singing and teaching both classical and contemporary music. She has performed choral music across the world, including singing with the Rolling Stones in Indio, CA and touring across eight countries with various ensembles. Additionally, Ms. Crellin is active in the contemporary a cappella scene as a freelance arranger, performer in collegiate and pro groups, and staff of A Cappella Academy. For fun, she loves to travel, spend time with her friends, and walk her recently adopted dog, Maisie.
Gordon has been accompanying choirs since he was in seventh grade at Holland (NY) Middle School, when his choir director asked him to be the accompanist for the seventh and eighth grade choir. He continued accompanying his school choirs through to the end of twelfth grade. At the end of both his junior and senior years of high school, Gordon was selected through a statewide audition, to serve as accompanist for the New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Choral Studies, held on the campus of State University of New York at Fredonia. In two summers there, he had the opportunity to work with composer Randall Thompson, and conductor Abraham Kaplan, who had previously prepared the choirs for New York Philharmonic performances under Leonard Bernstein.
These highly influential summer music programs as well as his childhood piano teachers Paul Szafranski and George Kelver inspired him to pursue studies in music in college. Gordon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where he majored in composition and minored in piano performance. He studied composition with Elias Tanenbaum and John Corigliano, music theory with Ludmila Ulehla, orchestration with Giampaolo Bracali, and piano performance with Dalmo Carra. During these years, he also sang with the Oratorio Society of New York, and the Buffalo Choral Arts Society.
After graduate studies at UC San Diego, Gordon served as staff accompanist at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, where he also taught piano classes and music theory. Concurrently, he was accompanist for the independent California Youth Chorale under conductor Loren Salter, and accompanied voice lessons at San Diego State University.
After moving to Los Angeles, Gordon became a musical director for musical theatre productions, working at a number of local theatres, including Greenway Court Theatre, the Secret Rose Theatre, the Odessa Theatre, and the Open Fist Theatre Company. He also musical directed productions of brand new works at the Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, including shows for which he composed the music. He has composed the music for several full-length musicals, and also several mini-musicals.
In 2007 Gordon joined the Angel City Chorale, a 180-voice community chorus led by artistic director Sue Fink, based in West L.A. He sings baritone with the Chorale, and, along with Mark McCormick, serves as Principal Accompanist for the group.
He accompanies the Chorale either at the piano, or on keyboards as part of an orchestra which regularly plays for their concerts. He also does orchestrations for this ensemble to play.
His association with the Angel City Chorale has taken him to perform on the stage of Carnegie Hall, at local venues such as the Dolby Theatre, the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, the Shrine Auditorium, the Novo at L.A. Live, the Beverly Hilton International Ballroom, and at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
Highlights of his experiences with the Chorale include recording with Grammy-winning composer Christopher Tin at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London, getting the opportunity to play piano and celeste with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at London’s Cadogan Hall, and appearing on TV with the Chorale four times during the 2018 season of “America’s Got Talent.”
Gordon also enjoys serving as Principal Accompanist of the Angel City Youth Chorale (ACYC), which formed in 2018 in association with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Venice and Burbank.
Since 2008 Gordon has been proud to be the accompanist at Manhattan Beach Middle School, working with choir directors Heather Gold-Pollak, Mark McCormick, and now Kate Crellin. In 2020 he became the accompanist at Mira Costa High School. He looks forward to many happy experiences continuing to make music together with the supremely talented singers of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District community!