In Fall 1987, Artistic Director David Morales founded Cantare Con Vivo (To Sing With Life) as a non-profit, tax-exempt music organization. From its inception, the 24-singer mixed choral ensemble has provided choral music with an uncompromising commitment to excellence for its singers and listeners. In 1989 they expanded to 40 singers and remained as such for a decade, until February 1999, when Cantare reorganized, forming three distinct wings to its program: Cantare Chorale, Chamber Ensemble, and a Music Education and Outreach Program for children in Oakland's urban center.
The Chorale is the finest of its kind in the East Bay, with over 100 auditioned singers performing three different concert programs each season, often accompanied by full orchestra. They successfully completed their first international tour in June 2005, traveling to the Baltic Countries and presenting outstanding concerts in each. In June 2008 they returned to Europe, this time to Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Prague, performing for standing-room-only audiences in addition to giving the premiere performance of Ernst Bloch's Sacred Service in Eastern Europe. In June 2012, the Chorale will head to Spain, performing numerous concerts in cities including Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Barcelona and others.
The 24-voice Chamber Ensemble, Cantare's premier musical group, presents a rich array of the most challenging choral works available, including those hot off the press from various countries. They continue to collaborate in concert with a variety of musical organizations in the Bay Area, and this season they will record their fourth CD, a 25th season commemorative recording.
Cantare Children's Choirs of Oakland offers weekly choral music education to over 2000 underserved children from kindergarten through high school. This outstanding program, free-of-charge to all its participants, helps to fill the widening gap created by state and city cutbacks. Our education program began in 1999 at the Samaritan Center housed at First Baptist Church, Oakland with our first choir of 30 elementary-aged students. Today, we partner with 16 schools across Oakland to offer in-school choral music education and performance opportunities. In April 2010, we debuted our first commissioned piece, Measuring the Holy by Lee Kesselman in celebration of our tenth anniversary. Last season, our advanced treble choir, Nova, will premiere two new new works: Spiritual Musick by David Brunner and Ev'ry Time I Feel The Spirit by Rollo Dilworth. We are now laying the groundwork for establishing a young men’s choir in the East Bay.
Cantare offers a rich variety of both sacred and secular music in styles representing numerous national and international composers. (See the repertoire on the Cantare Chorale and Chamber Ensemble pages). Cantare's adult choirs have performed over 100 different concert programs, representing over 1000 compositions, including numerous major choral/orchestral works. Cantare is funded through the generosity of its singers and supporters in addition to several foundations, grants, government and corporate sponsors, and gratefully welcomes tax-deductible contributions to assist in making its events and programs possible.
|Sep, 1987|| ||First rehearsal with 24 singers, Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, Oakland|
|Dec, 1987|| ||First performance - Handel’s Messiah with orchestra|
|Mar, 1989|| ||Expand to 40 singers for Rachmaninoff All Night Vigil|
|Mar, 1990|| ||Performance at ACDA Western Division Convention, Fresno, CA|
|Sep, 1992|| ||First CD recording, Five Years: A Choral Retrospective|
|Mar, 1994|| ||Benefit Concerts for Homeplace Family Center, Oakland|
|Nov, 1995|| ||Second CD recording, A Red, Red Rose|
|Sep, 1997|| ||Reduced ensemble size back to 24 singers|
|Jun, 1998|| ||Lesher RCA, expanded for Brahms Nänie, Thompson Frostiana|
|Dec, 1998|| ||Third CD recording : Hodie Christus Natus Est|
|Feb, 1999|| ||Cantare Chorale (symphonic choir) is formed |
|Feb, 1999|| ||Cantare Con Vivo original performance group changes name to Cantare Chamber Ensemble |
|Apr, 1999|| ||Cantare Chorale premieres with two performances of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis|
|May, 2000|| ||First combined concert featuring both the Chorale and Chamber Ensemble|
|Feb, 2003|| ||Collaboration concert with Bay Area’s Gospel Workshop of America|
|Feb, 2005|| ||Collaboration concert with Coro Hispano|
|Jun, 2005|| ||First International tour: St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Tallinn, Stockholm|
|Jun, 2008|| ||Second International tour: Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Prague|
|Feb, 2009|| ||Collaboration concert with UC Berkeley Gospel Choir and Chamber Ensemble|
|Feb, 2010|| ||Collaboration concert with OIGC, and Chamber Ensemble||