"Michel Colombier , famed composer and orchestrator; Larry Levine , award-winning recording engineer; and Hal Blaine , prolific session drummer on countless hit records, are three unique artists who have touched my life and contributed to their fields in significant ways," says Herb Alpert, eight-time Grammy award winner and co-founder of A&M Records. "Having the opportunity to honor each of them with an endowed faculty chair enhances the legacy of the music school and is very personally gratifying."
The endowed chairs are the result of an extraordinary gift. In April 2008, Herb Alpert  and his wife, Grammy award winner Lani Hall , made a $15 million gift to the music school at CalArts. In recognition of the gift the school was named The Herb Alpert School of Music.
The Hal Blaine Chair in Musical Performance was appointed to Vicki Ray , solo pianist and collaborative artist for a three year term, 2010-13. Ray is the coordinator of programs in the piano/collaborative keyboard program at The Herb Alpert School of Music. The Hal Blaine Chair follows last year's appointments of the Michel Colombier Performer-Composer Chair to Vinny Golia  and the Larry Levine Chair in Contemporary Music to Mark Trayle .
The three appointed chair holders, Vinny Golia, Mark Trayle and Vicki Ray are among the most outstanding musical artists in their fields. Each is recognized for their teaching abilities to mentor CalArts students and contributing to The Herb Alpert School of Music's transforming programs.
"Once again, The Herb Alpert Foundation  has generously lent its support to CalArts," said Dean Rosenboom. "The Foundation's deeply held belief in the power of music education is reflected in prescient gifts such as this—honoring the talents of visionary faculty members like Vicki as they convey their experience to younger artists. Such gifts keep music education alive and continue the evolution of artistic practice in our culture."