Professor sings in choirs, movies

Dr. John Reinebach, associate professor of music at California Baptist University, has a passion for music that has afforded him many opportunities such as singing in the Los Angeles Opera House and the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

He has been part of operas, well-known choirs and even musical productions for movies. Music has given him the chance to perform with countless people and travel around the world.

Reinebach’s fascination with music began at a young age on a farm in Illinois with a 45 rpm record called “Sparky’s Magic Piano.” His interest further developed when he was given an upright piano to play.

For Reinebach, music has not always been a steady road. After finishing his doctorate, he worked in temporary positions but eventually made his way into the Los Angeles Opera House, with which he has been affiliated for 22 years.

“I have worked with very famous opera singers, like three feet away from them,” Reinebach said.

One such recognizable name is singer-turned-director Placido Domingo.

Reinebach has also been part of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

He traveled to Prague with the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale, a Jewish chorale headed by a professor of choral literature from the University of Southern California.

“The group did this as a pilgrimage, and the Prague part of the tour was done in a government hall,” Reinebach said. “The Nuremberg part was singing the Bernstein Kaddish Symphony for a German audience. Germany keeps alive the memory of what happened to the Jews so it doesn’t happen again.”

Reinebach has also had a hand in the creation of movie soundtracks.

“You are handed a piece of music, and you may sing it once, and they start recording right there,” Reinebach said. “Once they are rolling, you may only get one and only one chance at it. But when they ask you to do it, do it.”

As a professor, Reinebach has taught a long list of music majors and non-majors, including future accountants, nurses and engineers.

“I have seen them grow vocally,” Reinebach said. “From men to husbands to missionaries and the like. It is rewarding to have some sort of an input in their lives.”

Reinebach’s future plans include an opera focus program headed by Phoebe Lambeth in January with CBU singers.

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