Saunder Choi is a Los Angeles-based Filipino composer and choral artist. As a tenor, he maintains an active singing schedule in Southern California. He regularly sings with the L.A. Choral Lab, Pacific Chorale, Horizon Chamber Choir, C3LA: Contemporary Choral Collective of Los Angeles, the Hex Ensemble and Tonaliy. He serves as teaching artist for the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s Voices Within and Oratorio Project. As a SAG-AFTRA session singer, he sang in the soundtrack of Disney’s The Lion King (2019) live action remake, Disney’s Mulan (2020) live action remake, The Call of the Wild (2020), and others.
He is currently Director of Music at Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica. Born in Manila, Philippines, Saunder holds degrees from De La Salle University – Manila, Berklee College of Music, and the USC Thornton School of Music.
To learn more, visit SaunderChoi.com
the sunset strip
echoes. jacarandas bloom bright
after barren months.
our streets will symphony again
wild beyond gardens,
blaze honey disco
french horns & orange sherbet glow.
you, dear, never stopped
being a proud march, a palm
frond in ragged wind —
yes, you curled up
in last winter’s hush.
this city threads our lonely
heartbeats, a plastic oasis of skin
sweaty in starlight.
but now it’s time for
gogo boots & guitar strings,
rooftop pools & history between your lips
like a cold margarita
while the hot asphalt
west hollywood a song:
equal parts party and protest.
one sings into the other.
it’s time to line each boulevard anew
with our delicious strangeness,
to glitter every tree.
won’t you walk with me?
my glam aunts, my ferocious uncles,
my frankest friends — my chosen family,
look at all that we have lost
and all that survives.
Our Streets, a Symphony Again
Premiering at the 2022-2023 concert, Made in LA: Identity and Belonging in the City of Angels
SSA Choir and Piano
Words from Saunder Choi:
"Our Streets, a Symphony Again is a setting of the playful poem Too early to celebrate? by current West Hollywood poet laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace. The piece was commissioned by VOX Femina Los Angeles for their March 2023 concert – Made in LA: Identity and Belonging in the City of Angels – a concert that celebrates the city’s diversity.
The poem was commissioned by the city of West Hollywood as it began to reopen from COVID restrictions. It was written as a collaborative work that includes words and memories of its diverse residents answering the questions: What does “reopening” mean? What’s the same/different? How does history fit at that particular time and space?
The text’s ability to capture the city’s history of harboring the LGBTQ+ community spoke to me as a gay immigrant who has found home in Los Angeles – a place where I am fully able to celebrate my different intersectionalities. Moreover, as someone who was holed up in LA for the entirety of the lockdown, the poem perfectly encapsulates the post-pandemic anticipation, excitement, and uncertainty that we all experiences."