Music Director and Founding Artistic Director ANNE MARIE KETCHUM has been the conductor of the Verdi Chorus since its beginning in 1983. Well recognized as a singer, conductor, stage director and educator, she taught on the voice faculty of Pasadena City College for 34 years until her recent retirement. During her tenure at Pasadena, she directed a full opera each spring to critical acclaim. As a singer, she has appeared internationally and is well known for her performances of contemporary art music, vocal chamber music, solo recitals, and opera. Her recordings of Morten Lauridsen's Cuatro Canciones and of Aurelio De La Vega's Recordatio were both honored with Grammy nominations. She has premiered numerous works by such composers as Ernst Krenek, Aurelio De La Vega, Schulamit Ran, and Hans Werner Henze. Among Ms. Ketchum's creative activities is This and My Heart: A Portrait of Emily Dickinson in Text and Song - a concert/theater piece which she co-wrote and performs with actress Linda Kelsey and pianist Victoria Kirsch. This was first presented as part of Grand Performances in Los Angeles and made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Cultural Affairs Department of Los Angeles. She has also served on the faculty of OperaWorks, Angels Vocal Art and at California State University, Northridge. Ms. Ketchum and the Chorus have received commendations on several occasions from the county of Los Angeles and from the city of Santa Monica.