Diana Brownson has held the position of pianist for the Torrance Civic Chorale since September of 2000. She has been honored to be a part of several compositional premieres with the Chorale. She is also the pianist for the Upper and Middle School Choral Programs at Chadwick School in Palos Verdes and staff organist and pianist at St. Lawrence Martyr Church in Redondo Beach. She is the former pianist for the Downey Master Chorale, the Choral programs at Dodson Middle School in San Pedro and is on call pianist/keyboardist for Green Hills in San Pedro. She was also the keyboardist for 3 years with the World's Only all Female Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Band, Lynette Skynyrd, performing at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, among many other venues, and is keyboardist on their debut album.
Often referred to as a Classically trained Bohemian, Diana also plays ukulele, banjolele, harmonicas and her latest addition to the mix - mandolin. She performs with these instruments in The Pennyroyal Players, a Reader's Theater group that present historical presentations all over Southern California, with all proceeds going to various music charities. The Pennyroyals were honored to be the recipients of the 2017 City of Torrance Arts in Excellence Award in Music.
Diana has Music Directed and/or played for over 35 productions, as well as performed in several. Some favorites over the years include 1940's Radio Hour (Music Director/pianist/Zoot Doubleman), Bye Bye Birdie (Music Director/pianist/Gloria) The Fantasticks (Music Director/keyboardist) West Side Story (MD/pianist), Parade, Candide (multiple roles and dancer), Camelot, The Secret Garden (dancer), Grease, Little Shop of Horrors, Kiss Me Kate, Big River (keys, harmonicas and mandolin), Cabaret, Company, Avenue Q and the list goes on. Locally, she has performed in the orchestra pit, as well as onstage at the Norris Theater, Culver City Civic Light Opera, South Bay Light Opera Society, Redondo Beach Theater Company, Manhattan Beach Community Theater, Kentwood Players, San Pedro Theater Company, and with the show choir The Notables as a singer, dancer, pianist and keyboardist.
Diana is also a ballroom and swing dancer and has appeared on film and TV as well as dance shows in the Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and San Diego areas. She holds a B.M.Ed degree from California State University, Long Beach, where she studied piano with concert artists Barbara Crockett and Julien Musafia, and choral conducting with Frank Pooler and Lee Vail. She has taken Master classes with Alfred Brendel at Carnegie Hall, as well as classes at Berklee Institute of Music in Boston, and undergraduate music major course requirements at Palomar College in San Marcos, where she studied piano/harsichord with master pianist and harpsichordist Mildred Nydegger and organ/harpsichord with concert organist James Weld. As an organist, Diana has held positions with Presbyterian, Methodist, 7th Day Adventist, Lutheran, Christian Science and Catholic churches in the greater Los Angeles and San Diego areas. As a collaborative pianist, she has had the honor of working with Karen Morrow (star of stage and screen), Josephine Lott (co-founder of the Long Beach Opera Co.), various Ballet Schools, and several Cabaret and Variety Shows. More info on Diana can be found at www.linkedin.com/in/dianabrownson