Dr. Frederick Bayani Mabalot is a Filipino-American composer and choral conductor from Southern California currently based in Washington state. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle. His doctoral dissertation entitled "A Path to Song: The Incorporation of Aboriginal and Environmental Influences in 20th and 21st Century Australian Choral Music" explores the diversity and unique characteristics and elements found in Australian choral music. It also examines the devastatingly traumatic impact of Australia’s colonial history on generations of Aboriginal people and Aboriginal societies and how this generational trauma manifested and continues to manifest in varying degrees and forms in Australian choral music. With this comes the issue of cultural appropriation and identifying a path towards respectful cultural referencing and respectful ways to engage with Indigenous influences in choral music and performance while honoring Indigenous communities who are indeed the sole and original custodians of their artistic, cultural, and musical heritage. During his two year residency at UW, Dr. Mabalot taught Glee Choir, Recital Choir, and Chamber Singers. He studied under the guidance and supervision of Dr. Geoffrey Boers and Dr. Giselle Wyers; who was also the Chair of his Doctoral Supervisory Committee. Service, empathy, transformative connection, and celebrating diversity and the power and resilience of the human spirit through music are at the very core of his teaching and performance style and approach. He passionately believes in the power of music to heal and transform the way we feel and perceive ourselves, the world, and our individual and collective spirituality helping us recognize the humanity and divinity in one another.
Dr. Mabalot completed initial composition studies at Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Australia where he graduated with First Class Honours. At Sydney Conservatorium, he studied composition with Dr. Michael Smetanin, Dr. Matthew Hindson, and Dr. Paul Stanhope. In addition to composition, he studied voice with soprano Anke Höppner and was mentored in choral conducting by Dr. Neil McEwan who also became a foremost advocate of his choral music. In Sydney, he sang with the highly acclaimed Sydney Chamber Choir and the Choir of Christ Church Saint Laurence where he was given opportunities as a tenor soloist in concerts and liturgies, and as assistant conductor in McEwan's absence. In addition, he sang with the Conservatorium Large and Chamber choirs and served as choir manager assisting McEwan with rehearsals, performances, international tours, and other choral events on and off campus. He was also featured as a tenor soloist in some of the Conservatorium Choirs' concerts. Furthermore, McEwan commissioned him to compose new works for the Conservatorium Choirs which were performed in Australia and all over Europe and were broadcasted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Classical radio station. During his time in Sydney, his various compositions were performed in the recital and concert halls of the Conservatorium and at Sydney Opera House. He is immensely grateful for the lifelong friends and connections he has made during his time in Australia.
Dr. Mabalot completed graduate studies in composition at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen with internationally renowned Danish composers Hans Abrahamsen, Niels Rosing-Schow, and Jeppe Just Christensen as his teachers. He continued classical voice study with Helene Gjerris and Jan Lund and conducting with Maestro Jørgen Fuglebaek. In Copenhagen, he conducted the Royal Danish Academy of Music Voices and Coro Latino Copenhagen, and sang with RDAM's Chamber Choir whose membership was exclusive to undergraduate and graduate voice majors. While living in Copenhagen, his various compositions were performed in Copenhagen's PULSAR Contemporary Music Festival, and were performed by ensembles such as the Paris based Ensemble Alternance, Espjerg Ensemble, RDAM Sinfonietta, RDAM Symphony, RDAM Voices, and Tourdion Chamber Choir. He continues to engage in artistic collaborations and performance projects with former colleagues from the Royal Academy and treasures the lifelong bonds and friendships he has made with some of the most talented and emerging artist musicians in Scandinavia.
Dr. Mabalot holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from California State University, Northridge. He studied voice with Dr. David Scott, and piano with Dr. Charles Fierro and Dr. Jeanine Jacobson. He was admitted to pursue a piano performance degree, but after two years, he switched to full time voice studies and continued private piano studies simultaneously. While at CSUN, he also studied choral conducting with Paul Smith, and orchestral conducting with Gary Pratt. He participated in Opera Workshop classes with OperaWorks founder Ann Baltz, an experience that would shape the trajectory of his approach to some of his more dramatic and theatrical works. It was during his time at CSUN when he began to explore composing vocal and choral music. Dr. Mabalot has worked as Director of Music and Liturgy, collaborative pianist, and organist for various churches within the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Over the years, he has taught piano and voice to a small group of private students, and has also worked as a private musical coach to opera and musical theater voice students. In Washington, he currently serves as the Director of Music and Liturgy at Church of the Assumption, a position he has held since 2016, and the Artistic Director and Conductor for Bellingham Chamber Chorale, a position he has held since 2018. He loves collaborating with other creative artists and musicians and frequently incorporates theatrical concepts, poetry, movements, and dance in choral concert projects.
There have been performances of Dr. Mabalot's music in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Philippines, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He has made a very special connection with the multi-awarded and internationally acclaimed Filipino choir, University of Santo Tomas Singers and their conductor Maestro Fidel Calalang Jr. as they have been instrumental in promoting through performance his choral music all over the world. UST Singers recently included his piece Ubi Caritas et Amor in their album Illuminare. A revised version of his Stabat Mater, an oratorio-chamber opera premiered at Copenhagen's PULSAR Contemporary Music Festival, will be performed in 2022. US and European performances of his song cycles for soprano and chamber ensemble are also in the works for 2021-2022. The Bellingham Chamber Chorale will give the world-premiere performance of his new work Incarnations for choir, two soprano soloists, and large orchestra in their 2021-2022 concert season. Dr. Mabalot's choral music has recently been published by Walton Music Publications. He is immensely grateful to be part of Walton and for the opportunity to share his choral music to an even wider audience worldwide. He is a member of USA's ASCAP and Denmark's KODA.
Some of his personal interests include veganism or plant-based food consumption/production, racial and social justice, environmentalism, yoga and mindfulness meditation, hiking and running, existential philosophy, mental health and holistic well-being, and staying connected to his Filipino roots while flourishing as an American.