The Santa Cruz County Arts Commission is pleased to announce acclaimed choral director, conductor and music educator Cheryl Anderson has been named 2018 Santa Cruz County Artist of the Year. She will be honored with a June 1 concert at Cabrillo’s Crocker Theater. The Artist of the Year award is presented to local artists for outstanding achievement in the discipline of performing, visual, or literary arts who have also made a substantial contribution to the cultural enrichment of Santa Cruz County. As Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Cabrillo College, Anderson is incredibly active in both the national and international choral music industry. During her 26-year career, Anderson built the choral and vocal programs at Cabrillo, including her founding of the Cabrillo Youth Chorus, which provides not only an introduction to chorus and a training ground for young singers, but also a pathway for future music majors. Under her direction, Cabrillo choirs have performed in many of the world’s most famous concert halls, cathedrals and opera houses, and the Cabrillo Symphonic Choir performs annually with the Santa Cruz Symphony Orchestra. Her students have transferred to the nation’s best four-year universities and are performing on the world’s greatest stages, from international opera houses to the World Series. “I am so deeply honored to receive this award – the gratitude I feel for the job I get to do each day is boundless; I have been able to envision and breathe life into a program encompassing all ages and spanning the fullness of music which can be sung,” Anderson said. “Few musicians are able to realize that dream — and I feel like I’m just getting started.” “The County Arts Commission selected Cheryl to receive this prestigious award for her tireless commitment to choral and musical excellence, the development of her students, her passion for exceptional music and vocal literature, and her contributions to the local community through her work in the arts,” said Cynthia Kilian, chair of the Arts Commission. “We are extremely fortunate to have Cheryl in our county, and her position in the international community heightens the awareness of Santa Cruz County’s commitment to the arts.” Over the years, world-renowned conductors have commissioned works for Cabrillo Chorus performances. Last year, the group commissioned a work from Latvian conductor Eriks Esenvalds that they debuted at Carnegie Hall. Anderson is also past president of the American Choral Directors Association Western Region, as well as an internationally-acclaimed guest conductor, clinician and choral adjudicator. Join us at the Crocker Theater, Cabrillo College on Friday, June 1, for a Profile Performance concert from 7:00-9:00 p.m. featuring members of Cabrillo Symphonic Chorus, Cabrillo Chorale, Cantiamo!, Cabrillo Youth Choruses, Il Dolce Suono, and Peace Chancel Choir. Advance tickets are not available for this FREE event. Tickets are required for theater entry and will be issued the night of the performance ONLY. One ticket per person will be issued starting at 6:00 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Over the last 33 years, the Santa Cruz County Arts Commission has selected outstanding artists nominated by the public and has honored them through the Artist of the Year Award. Nominees must be a resident of Santa Cruz County, must have a national or international reputation, must have contributed to the cultural enrichment of the local community, and must have created or presented work in Santa Cruz County. For more information, including how to nominate an artist for the award, please visit

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