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The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

SBCC music department welcomes seasoned choir director as chair

Nate Stephenson
The newly appointed Music Department Chair Nathan Kreitzer directes the City College’s Quire of Voyces on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, in the Drama/Music building, Room DM-101 at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Kreitzer is the founder and director of City College’s Quire of Voyces, and teaches many singing classes on campus.

Nathan Kreitzer has been named Chair of the Music Department after over 20 years of teaching voice at City College.

Stepping into the role of department chair is a daunting task, but Kreitzer said he couldn’t be happier.

As a successful vocal instructor and founder of the globally renowned Quire Of Voyces, Kreitzer is exactly where he wants to be. His favorite thing about his job is getting to sing with others.

Kreizter said he has been singing “ever since I could remember.”

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Born and raised in Iowa in 1967, Kreitzer learned to sing in church choirs alongside his family, who were also all musicians.

As a child of the 1970s and 80s, Kreitzer grew up listening to harmony heavy bands such as Earth, Wind and Fire, The Beach Boys, Yes and Chicago.

“I just found the sheer beauty of the sound and architecture of choral music so stunning,” Kreitzer said on the pop music that shaped his childhood.

Despite harboring a passion for singing from elementary school to college, he didn’t see a career in it. 

In fact, Kreitzer attended the California State University Fresno with the intention to major in computer engineering.

“I couldn’t stand it so I finally switched, my junior year, to music,” said Kreitzer.

After graduating from the University of California Irvine with a master’s degree in choral conducting, Kreitzer moved to Santa Barbara in 1993 looking for new careers.

Since moving, Kreitzer has held many job titles, including Director of the First Methodist Church children’s choir and vocal instructor at Santa Barbara Christian School where he instructed a young Katy Perry

Kreitzer even worked in an old record shop for a short stint.

“There were no full-time spots and I was just looking for work,” Kreitzer said. “I had all kinds of part-time jobs, I started collecting jobs.”

Kreitzer officially started at the City College music department in 1995 teaching a voice class.

The following year he took the position of choral director.

Jack Ullom, the chair back then, called me and asked if I wanted to come teach a voice class,” Kreitzer said. “The following year the current choir left and the position opened, so I applied, along with 300 other people.” 

Kreitzer is the director of City College’s Quire of Voyces, the gothic renaissance acapella group which he founded in 1993.

The Quire of Voyces is globally recognized and has toured Europe several times. This June the group is touring festivals in Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden. 

“He’s a fun teacher,” said Debra Brinker, who has been studying under Kreitzer for over 20 years. “As a leader he makes you believe you can do anything.”

Kreitzer is beloved in the music department, both as a teacher and a colleague.

He said he was always most comfortable singing and collaborating with others. 

“That was the one place where I felt the most at home, right in the middle of the choir,” Kreitzer said. “I turned my passion into my job.”

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