Congratulations to Oaks Christian School Director of Choral and Vocal Music Edward Rouse and his wife, Dana, (former OCS middle school and Academy V choral instructor) for being named the winners of the 2018 City of Thousand Oaks Excellence in Arts Education Award. The Rouses were recognized for their work with Oaks Christian School and California Lutheran University music students, and as the directors of the Los Robles Children's Choir.
The award is presented to individuals or an organization for excellent work in and significant contributions to arts education, either through enhancing the education curriculum within a school or by creating educational opportunities in the arts outside the school setting, both of which the Rouses have accomplished.
"Receiving this award is a true honor because of the high level of education in the Conejo Valley. To be recognized is to say that our community values the hard work and dedication it takes to make amazing choral and vocal art come alive. We are humbled that we have been singled out amongst our peers who also work so diligently to help bring this special art form to life in the voices of students in the Conejo Valley," Edward Rouse shared.
Now in his 11th year on the OCS faculty, Edward's high school and middle school vocal ensembles have consistently garnered superior and gold ratings at adjudicated festivals and competitions. He has developed a vibrant vocal music program that incorporates many different styles of vocal music and has recently become the college counselor for performing arts students.
In addition to her prior work at Oaks Christian School, Dana has been teaching private voice lessons for over 23 years and serves on faculty at California Lutheran University where she teaches private voice, chamber music, and music theory.
"Ed and Dana have been amazing ambassadors of choral and vocal music in our school, community, and local churches. This is a couple of amazing integrity and character, and they will continue to inspire and ignite passion for music in both their students and audiences alike. We are so privileged to have Ed as part of our Oaks Christian performing arts faculty," said OCS Orchestra/Digital Recording Director and Performing Arts Chair Mary Kay Altizer.
As directors of Los Robles Children's Choir (LRCC), they are both excited to continue developing new opportunities for young singers to perform while maintaining the high standards of excellence in singing and artistry for which LRCC is known. Marked by its dedication to traditional choral music, LRCC has traveled extensively giving concerts in Carnegie Hall and around the world. Edward has introduced new elements of movement to this traditional choir as well as exposure to classic musical theatre.
In addition to their director abilities, both Edward and Dana are also accomplished vocalists. They met as undergrads while singing in choir at Biola University then both went on to study choral conducting and vocal performance respectively at Eastman School of Music in the master's degree program.
Edward has sung professionally as a chorister and soloist with Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati, the Eastman Rochester Chorus, Los Robles Master Chorale and Areté Vocal Ensemble. Dana has performed musical theatre and operatic roles in Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Rochester, NY. She has also appeared as a solo oratorio artist in many works including Brahms' Alto Rhapsody, Verdi's Requiem, and Handel's Messiah. She has served as a chorister in the Eastman Rochester Chorus, The Oratorio Society, Los Robles Master Chorale, and Areté Vocal Ensemble where she and Ed are currently members.