The Georgia & Nolan Payton Archive of Sacred Musicconsists of music, books, periodicals, documents, audio & visual materials, and oral histories. The primary goal of the Archive is to facilitate research and documentation of collections of African Diaspora sacred music (church music and religious concert music) created and/or performed by the multicultural population of Southern California.
Dr. Joanna Medawar Nachef
Joanna Medawar Nachef is the first woman conductor from the Middle East. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, she moved to Los Angeles in 1977. She is the Director of Choral Activities at El Camino College. She earned her B.M. in piano performance from California State University, Dominguez Hills; and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree and Master of Music degree in choral music from the University of Southern California. She is on the faculty of California State University at Dominguez Hills, California Academy of Mathematics and Science, and is the artistic director for Los Cancioñeros Master Chorale. As a church musician, she served as Minister of Music at Peninsula Community Church from 1980 - 1997, and is their choir director at the present time. Dr. Nachef was selected as one of the Outstanding Young Women of America in 1986, one of 1996's Who's Who Among America's Teachers, 2008 Who's Who Among America's Women, 2010 Who's Who in the World. The City of Torrance Cultural Arts Commission honored Dr. Nachef by selecting her as the recipient of the "2005 Excellence in Arts Award" in Music. In May 2008, the United States Institute of Peace in Washington D.C. selected Dr. Nachef to participate in the "Global Peace and Security Seminar" for community college faculty. During her recent sabbatical, Joanna traveled to Lebanon where she compiled Arabic choral music for publication in the United States. On July 26, 2009, she gave her conducting debut in her native land, Lebanon, at Al Bustan Summer Festival, in Beit Mery.