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Thursday, December 7, 2023

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Photo: Pro Arte Voices. Photo: Pro Arte Voices.

Keeping Art Alive

Pro Arte Voices will host a two-day concert to celebrate the arts in San Diego.
By Jack Haworth

“I want people around the country and world to be aware of what is going on in San Diego. I want San Diego to be an arts haven.”

The San Diego arts community has a new voice thanks to San Diego State University’s Director of Choral Studies Patrick Walders.

Walders and his wife Katie started a non-profit arts organization called San Diego Pro Arte Voices. The organization began in 2013 and is dedicated to uniting the arts in San Diego and bringing awareness to the work professional artists do.

“The conversation I had with folks in San Diego was that the choral community was not up to speed and they could not do art for a living here,” Walders said. “So I proposed to my wife that we make an organization that gives voices to all the arts here in San Diego.”

About Pro Arte Voices

San Diego Pro Arte Voices is a professional choral ensemble that brings all forms of art together through collaborations tied to their concerts. The organization not only aims to entertain the community — It also aims to educate the arts.

“Artists have fallen into a bind,” Walders said. “It is our responsibility as educators to help people better understand the arts.”

One way the Pro Arte Voices is bringing awareness to the arts is by releasing their debut CD, "Fair and Bright." The recording was released in December and features traditional carols such as “Silent Night,” as well as a collection of known and unknown holiday carols.

Pro Arte Voices raised $7,000 to pay for the production of the album which features nine tracks. In keeping up with their collaborative goals, Walders hired an SDSU Graphic Design and Art student to design the album cover. 

“We are very excited about this CD and proud to keep up the collaborative nature,” Walders said.

“Tears” in Concert

Pro Arte Voices will host "Tears," a two-day concert that will take place at Calvary Lutheran Church on March 27 and at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church on March 28. The concert will feature the professional chamber choir, a lute player and a special performance by SDSU art students.

“SDSU art students will be voting for one of their peers to come and create art live during our concert,” Walders said. “It will give both the students and the audience a unique experience.”

In addition to the live art performance, SDSU art students will also have their work featured in a gallery at the concert. Walders believes this concert is a great way to get both professional and student art out into the community.

Walders hopes to be able to grow this organization in order to commission new works, seek new artist collaborations and continue educational outreach to support both students and teachers of the arts. However, strengthening the San Diego arts community remains the key goal for Walders.

“I want people around the country and world to be aware of what is going on in San Diego,” Walders said. “I want San Diego to be an arts haven.”