Perla L. Warren

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Perla Warren was graduated from the University of the Philippines Conservatory of Music in 1957 with a degree in Piano Performance with the highest honors. In the United States, she received two further degrees in Music History and Literature and in Choral Conducting at the Jordan Conservatory of Music, Butler University. Appointed to the faculty of the University and as a choral teacher at Pike High School for the next five years, she then accompanied her growing family to Sacramento, California in 1965. In 1974, she entered the faculty of the American River College as a choral conductor, voice teacher, and piano instructor.

She was the conductor of both the American River College Chamber Singers (a classical repertoire ensemble) and the American River College Jazz Choir. In addition to her college choirs, she also acted at the interim Chorus Master of the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra in 1992-1993 and conducted Sacramento Master Singer during their director, Ralph Hughes, sabbatical in 2001. She was actively sought as a conductor, clinician, and adjudicator in jazz, chamber, and concert choir festivals, music conferences and workshops through the United States. For three decades, she conducted all-state honor choirs in local, state, and national arenas. She managed choral workshops at several universities and music conferences through the United States and the Philippines. Her Carnegie Hall debut occurred in May, 1994 when she conducted massed choirs and the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra in the Gabriel Faure’s “Requiem.”

Her American River choirs received numerous awards and invitations to prestigious European music festivals in Ireland, England, the Philippines, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France and Holland. Her Jazz Choir performed at both the Montreaux International Jazz Festival and opened for Ray Charles at the North Sea International Jazz Festival in Holland.

Over the years, innumerable honors were awarded to Perla as well. In 1984, the students and faculty at American River College bestowed upon her the prestigious “instructor of the Year Award.” In 1989, she was voted by students, faculty, employees and local community representatives “the American River College Patron’s Chair.” In 1991, the Music Educator’s national convention honored her with the Eunice Skinner Award as “Outstanding Choral Director of California.” Her own California Music Educators Association Capital Chapter elected her one of the outstanding music educators in 1994. In 2001, she received the “Howard Swann Award” given by the American Choral Director’s Association for outstanding contribution to the choral arts.

After retiring from teaching she continued her efforts to keep music in the forefront of schools and community by involving herself in community organizations as varied as the Junior Music Sponsors, the American Association of University Women, a music professional sorority, Mu Phi Epsilon, the Sacramento Symphony League, and the Sacramento Medical Auxiliary; taking on many musical roles as lecturer, guest conductor, music advisor, and chairwoman.