Victoria Theodore, Keyboardist for Beyonce and Stevie Wonder and friend of Castilleja's Director of Vocal Music, Ahmed Elgasseir, will be visiting to play and work with Music 7, Music 8, and US Choir classes on Friday.
Victoria Theodore received her Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Classical Piano Performance and Computer Music from Oberlin College / Conservatory of Music and her Master of Arts degree in Classical Piano Performance from Stanford University.
As a teen, Victoria studied piano and voice in the UC Berkeley Young Musician’s Program (YMP) and sang (and began her accompanying career) with the Oakland Youth Chorus (OYC), under the direction of Trente Morant. Through YMP, Victoria studied piano primarily with Eugene Gash (1920-1995), (who a student of E. Robert Schmitz (1889-1949), who was a student of composer Claude Debussy).
During her Stanford years, Victoria studied Jazz Piano with Bay Area legends Mark Levine, Bill Bell and Frank Martin.
Touring with Beyoncé
In early 2016, Victoria was hired as the keyboardist for Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour. The tour is now underway! Visit Beyoncé.com for information!
Touring With Stevie Wonder
Victoria joined Stevie Wonder’s touring band as a keyboardist and background singer in August 2007. She has traveled around the world with Stevie, performing for President Obama for his 2nd inaugural celebration in 2012, Queen Elizabeth for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert Live at Buckingham Palace, accompanying Stevie and other musical icons of every genre. Victoria is also featured in Stevie’s DVD “Live At Last”, and is seen in the Oscar winning documentary “Twenty Feet From Stardom”.
Stevie Wonder Performing at The Diamond Jubilee Concert
Arsenio Hall came back to television in 2013, and Victoria was chosen to be the keyboardist in the band, Posse 2.0. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled before the end of the first season, but Victoria had the opportunity to perform with an amazing group of musicians: Music Director, Robin DiMaggio, bassist Alex Al, guitarist Rob “FONKSTA” Bacon and multi-instrumentalist/singer Sean Holt, creating incredible musical moments with a wide variety of artists, including Gladys Knight, Earth Wind & Fire, Joe Satriani, Nathan East, Randy Jackson, R Kelly, Trombone Shorty, Flo-rida and Lil Jon.
As a freelance musician, and through her work with Stevie Wonder and on the Arsenio Hall Show, Victoria has performed with artists such as Sting, Prince, B.B. King, Tony Bennett, Esperanza Spalding, John Mayer, and Bay Area legends such as Sheila E., Ledisi, Dwayne Wiggins (Tony! Toni! Toné!) and Tony Lindsay (lead singer for Santana). Victoria has accompanied classical artists such as soprano Hope Briggs, tenor Robert Simms, and worked with conductors Marika Kuzma, Michael Morgan, and Deidre McClure and for several Bay Area classical organizations and ensembles.
Victoria is a highly sought pianist, composer, singer and music instructor, respected for her wide-ranging musical versatility. Her debut album of original music, “Grateful”, was released September 1, 2015! “Grateful” demonstrates Victoria’s musical breadth, with songs that include elements of Jazz, R&B, Pop and hints of Classical. The 14 songs are tied by common threads: Victoria’s piano and her abiding sense of gratitude.
“I have a commitment to expressing gratitude in my daily life. Even during times of challenge, I make an effort to find the proverbial silver lining, the lesson, the blessing in what manifests in my life. Writing a song about being grateful is a natural extension of who I am. I’ve been the beneficiary of incredibly beautiful blessings in every aspect of my life.”