Ryan Humphrey, Pianist
Ryan Humphrey started playing piano for UU services at a young age, having grown up attending the Greenville UU Fellowship in South Carolina (earliest remembered performance: either “The Circle of Life” or the theme from Jurassic Park). He helped found the women’s choir, Bon Voyage, at the UU Congregation of Columbia while in grad school, and prior to joining UUSM’s staff, he served for five years at First Unitarian Church of LA, first as accompanist and later as Director of Music. When not at a keyboard, Ryan mainly spends his time as an orchestrator, having worked on the scores to WandaVision, Frozen II, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Minions, and more. He dabbles in bagpipes and pipe organ, but always plays responsibly.
Ryan’s IMDB page: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm4979105/
Saunder Choi, Director of Music
Our music director, Saunder Choi, is a Los Angeles-based Filipino composer and choral artist whose works have been performed internationally by various groups including the Philippine Madrigal Singers, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Los Angeles Master Chorale, and the World Youth Choir. As an arranger and orchestrator, Saunder has written for Tony-Award winner Lea Salonga, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Filarmónica Portuguesa, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, and many others.
As a choral artist, he sings with the L.A. Choral Lab, Pacific Chorale, Tonality, and HEX Vocal Ensemble, as well as in film scores such as the soundtrack of Disney’s The Lion King (2019), Mulan (2020), and Turning Red (2022).
Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Saunder moved to the US in 2012 to pursue studies in music. He holds degrees from De La Salle University – Manila, Berklee College of Music, and the USC Thornton School of Music. His first encounter with Unitarian Universalism was as a staff singer at First Church Boston in 2013-2014. He grew up in a multi-faith family, where, he says, “we practiced an odd mix of Catholicism, Buddhism, and traditional Chinese lore.”
He believes in music as advocacy, using the media as a platform for diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. His compositions are focused on narratives and conversations surrounding immigration, racial justice, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and other social causes. In addition to serving as our Director of Music, Saunder is a teaching artist with the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s Voices Within and Oratorio Project. His works are published and distributed by MusicSpoke, Earthsongs, MuzikSea and See-A-Dot Music Publishing.
Sander’s website: http://www.saunderchoi.com/
Chloé Vaught, Soprano Section Leader
Chloé Vaught is a native of Los Angeles, California. In December 2020 she received her BA in Vocal Performance from UCLA. During her time at UCLA, she performed with Seraphic Fire, Tonality, and attended the Aspen Festival and School of Music. In 2020, she received a Grammy for her choral performance in Richard Danielpour’s The Passion of Yeshua with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. Chloé frequently records for independent films, background vocals sessions, and enjoys contributing to others’ passion projects. As a soloist, she possesses versatility and loves to sing early music, contemporary classical, jazz, and more. Chloé wants to continue recording for film and television, premiering pieces in collaboration with contemporary composers, and performing in the Los Angeles area.
Chloé’s website: https://www.chloemaliavaught.com/
Jyvonne Haskin, Alto Section Leader
Jyvonne Haskin serves as Alto Choir Section Leader at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica and is Co-Executive Director for Selah Gospel Choir. As a session singer and live performer, Jyvonne has sang with Lady Gaga, Janelle Monáe, U2, Michael Bolton, Arcade Fire, and Roger Daltrey. She *loves* making music with her LA Opera group, The DC6 Singers, an a cappella Gospel/Motown Experience, and is currently melding many of her heart goals as a Founding Partner of GreyLoc Entertainment and singing broadly within LA’s choir community.
Jyvonne’s website: https://www.jyvonnehaskin.com/
Darita Seth, Tenor Section Leader
Teaching choral artist and composer, Darita Seth was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He is the son of Cambodian refugee immigrants and is the first generation of his family born in the United States. His identity has shaped his entire professional career. An early composition, “This Tan Skin,” includes music and text that he wrote as a student at Interlochen Arts Academy and Camp about his struggle with the “model minority” myth.
He is Founder, President, and Artistic Director of CHORAL AUDACITY, a project-based ensemble choir centering stories of marginalized communities through programming of underrepresented composers with a roster of underrepresented singers. He is the Director of the Chamber Choir at Cantabella Children’s Chorus. Before relocating to Long Beach to work on a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting at CSU Long Beach (graduating in 2023), Darita was the Director of Music at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Danville, California, an Associate Director of the Danville Girls Chorus, and the Director of Vocal Music at Stoneridge Creek Retirement Community. He was the former Interim Director of the Grammy Award-winning Pacific Boychoir Academy and recently concluded his tenure with Chanticleer, the Grammy Award-winning, San Francisco-based men’s vocal ensemble.
While pursuing his undergraduate degree at the Capital University Conservatory of Music in Columbus, Ohio, Darita began studying countertenor while immersed in the sacred early music at Saint Joseph Cathedral in Columbus. Darita is also a proud alumnus of Interlochen, where he participated in the composition, opera, and choral programs, as well as spending summers working for the offices of Advancement and Arts Administration. Darita is an active member of ACDA, NATS, and ASCAP.
Outside of music and teaching, Darita enjoys cooking meals from his proud Cambodian-American heritage, weight-lifting, and being a dog-dad to his American Dingo, Remy Martin.
Darita’s website: https://www.daritaseth.com/
Carl Oser, Bass Section Leader
Carl Oser (he/him) is a vocalist, pianist, and educator based in Los Angeles, California. He has taught music at K-12 institutions such as Sierra Canyon School (Los Angeles, CA) and the Harker School (San Jose, CA). At the university level he has taught at San Jose State University and Berklee College of Music’s “Instituto de Música Contemporánea” in Quito, Ecuador.
Carl is proud to perform as one half of kartercarl (instagram.com/kartercarl) and as a core member of the Los Angeles-based vocal ensemble, Tonality. As a collaborative pianist he has accompanied for many choir, cabaret, and musical theater productions.
Carl earned a graduate degree in Choral Conducting from San Jose State University. His graduate recital theater featured over 40 performers, 150 audience members, and the North American premiere of Maarten De Splenter’s Pax Pro Patria for saxophone quartet and choir. Carl graduated magna cum laude from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California where he studied with Grammy-winning pianist Russell Ferrante.
Carl’s website: http://www.carlosermusic.com/
1 thought on “Meet UUSM’s Amazing Team of Talented Musicians”
UUSM is SO fortunate to have so much talent in our choir!
Thank you all for what you bring and do and sing and play!