, Artistic Director, founded
Cantare Con Vivo in 1987. He is Conductor of the Cantare Chorale as well as
Director of the Cantare Chamber Ensemble.
David is widely recognized for his outstanding choral ensembles. With 42 years
of professional conducting experience, he has conducted numerous performances
featuring choirs of over 100 voices with full orchestras, and also directs
ensembles of select voices performing music in traditional, contemporary and
various ethnic styles. His choirs have been featured at both national and
regional American Choral Directors Association conventions and on national
television. He leads conferences and seminars across the nation in choral and
church music and is widely recognized as an outstanding director who displays
exceptional skill and insightful musical interpretation, challenging and
inspiring singers, instrumentalists and conductors. David is also a music
professor and Chair of the Art and Music Department at Merritt College in
Oakland. David earned his Master’s Degree in Choral Music in 1973 at the
University of Southern California, while studying with the acclaimed director
Dr. Charles C. Hirt. In 2003 David received a Doctor of Ministry Degree from
the University of Creation Spirituality in Oakland.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, David began piano studies at age four and has
remained deeply involved in music ever since. He accompanied and sang in choirs
at school and church from age 8. With the instruction and support of many of
the finest choral and church musicians in the nation, David secured his first
church music position at age 19 and founded his first community chorus, Firebranders
. After completing his music degrees at USC, he moved to the Bay Area in 1974
to establish the Oakland Youth Chorus. Under his leadership, the group's
membership grew to over 130 students by its second season. David served twelve
years as Minister of Music at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, and in
1999 concluded a nine-year tenure at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church,
establishing well-renowned, highly successful music programs at each. He has
presented numerous major works with full orchestra to Bay Area audiences and
has directed hundreds of children, youth and adults, presenting concerts,
musicals and leading local, national and international musical tours. The
common thread that David Morales inspires in each of his choirs is the
expression of music with sensitivity, passion and conviction - music that
reflects the depth of feelings of those singing. Above all else, people (both
singers and listeners) become the focus, not merely their voices.
Now beginning his twenty-fifth season with Cantare, David Morales continues to
delight audiences with performances of uncompromising quality and beauty. His
mission is perhaps best captured in his own words:
"It is rewarding to
bring people together to perform the music, to experience a sense of community
and sharing. Music can convey a message that goes beyond spoken words which
puts us deeply in touch with what we believe, what we feel and who we are. We
can't be quite as eloquent without it."
is the Director of Cantare
Children's Choirs. Students in her choirs develop not only as musicians,
through learning choral singing fundamentals and music theory skills, but they
also develop important tools for success, such as team work, self-confidence
and creativity. Julie began working with Cantare’s children’s programs in 2000.
Julie is currently Choir Director at Trinity Lutheran Church in Alameda and has
served as choir director for Berkeley Chinese Community Church. She previously
taught elementary school music in San Rafael City Schools and worked as a
Teaching Artist for Youth In Arts.
Music played an important role in Julie’s life growing up in Lafayette,
California, where she benefited from outstanding school music programs while
studying the flute. While earning a Bachelor of Music at Northwestern
University, she began teaching music to children in inner-city Chicago and
working as a Teaching Artist for the Chicago Symphony. These opportunities
developed Julie’s love for working with children and for helping them discover
the positive difference music can make in their lives.
She earned a Master’s degree in Music Education at Holy Names University in
Oakland where she specialized in the Kodály philosophy of music education,
which places singing as the most important foundation for musical development.
Julie also holds Level One certification from the Choral Music Experience
Institute and completed graduate seminars in Choral Conducting with Rodney
Eichenberger and at the University of Michigan with Jerry Blackstone.
Laili Goahartaudje Samori
Administrative Director. Laili completed her Bachelor of Music in Instrumental
Performance at Holy Names University in Oakland where she studied clarinet.
Laili performed with the university orchestra, chorus, chamber ensemble,
chamber singers and musical theater. She especially enjoyed performing works by
Brahams, Stravinsky and Hindemith during her junior and senior recitals. Laili
also performed with the Honolulu Community Concert Band and University of
Throughout her undergraduate career, Laili pursued an interest in
ethnomusicology focusing on Persian traditional and sacred music. For her
senior thesis she both completed extensive research and conducted a
presentation on Persian music structure, instruments, and cultural
Laili also completed a Master of Arts in English at Holy Names with a creative
writing focus. She combined her passions for music and writing by presenting a
pedagogy seminar on the benefits of using music while teaching creative
writing. The culmination of her graduate studies was a collection of original
work focused around the power of music.
Laili was drawn to Cantare’s mission to provide music education to the children
of Oakland and she feels strongly that learning and performing music is a human
right. Laili has worked with several non-profit organizations and has a
background in social justice, which makes Cantare a perfect fit. She is very
happy to be supporting Cantare’s singers and directors and to be a part of this
is the Administrative Assistant of Cantare Con Vivo. She received both her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Piano Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. During her graduate years, she was involved as the studio assistant of SFCM’s Chairman of Piano Department. She also served as the assistant to the Artistic Director of Zephyr International Chamber Music Festival held in Italy.
Janice has travelled throughout Italy to perform in chamber ensembles for two summers in the past. Having grown up in the Bay Area, she performed with local symphonies and in concerts collaborating with other musicians. She was given the Mayor Recognition for Young Musicians by the City of Pleasanton Cultural Arts.
During her undergraduate years, Janice began teaching in a piano school in Berkeley and in private lessons in the East Bay. She has been committed to educating music to children ever since. Janice believes music should be presented to children with love and inspiration; therefore, she is happy to be part of Cantare Con Vivo to help bring music to the community and its children.
, a native of Washington state, is thrilled to be teaching music on the West coast after several years away. She is a firm believer in the importance of music education for all, and is excited to be a part of Cantare's mission to ensure that all children have access to quality musical experiences.
Rita received her B.A. in music from Yale University, where she played in the Yale Concert Band and Yale Precision Marching Band, as well as multiple orchestras and chamber ensembles.She also enjoyed arranging music for the marching band, singing with Asempa!, an a capella group specializing in traditional African music, and teaching clarinet lessons to New Haven students.
She taught elementary general music and choir for two years in Greenwood, MS, through Teach for America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that low-income urban and rural students receive a high-quality education. This experience deepened her dedication to ensuring that all students have access to excellent educational opportunities, as well as providing an invaluable opportunity to experience a new culture. She is currently pursuing her master's degree in music education with Kodaly emphasis at Holy Names University in Oakland.
Singer and Music Teacher,
was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal
Performance at Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music and a certification in the
Despertal Musical concept, a special program of the Conservatory.
Grisell has been teaching vocal technique and elementary music education since
2004. Her love of singing and teaching brought her to California in 2010 to
complete her Master’s Degree in Music Education with emphasis in Kodály Method
at Holy Names University, Oakland.
Grisell enjoys developing Kodály curriculum utilizing traditional folk music in
Spanish. She is member of NCAKE (Northern California Association of Koday
Educator) also member of OAKE (Organization American of Kodaly Educator ) and
MENC (The National Association for Music Education).
Grisell is eager to bring students into the twenty-first century discovering a
unique and modern approach of the music education experience.
began singing professionally
in 1989, and began touring with the a cappella
group Street Sounds in
1991. She has shared the stage with artists such as Robert Cray, Joan
Armatrading, Zap Mama, Chick Chorea, Al Green, Holly Near, Manhattan Transfer,
Ladysmith Black Mombazo, Wynton Marsalis and many others in such places as
Korea, Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, and Belgium. Currently, Rhonda
sings with newly formed band, “Chelle and Friends.”
Rhonda is currently Director of the Children’s Ministry for the Edwin and
Walter Hawkins Music & Arts National Conference and the Love Center Church. She
is also a member of the Hawkins’ Community In Praise Choir who traveled to
Japan as special guests in Music and Arts, Japan 2008. Rhonda’s vocal talents
developed in the Baptist church, and she studied classical piano and viola
through college, toured with the Lowell High School Orchestra in Japan, and
received the San Francisco Sun Reporter’s Youth of the Year Award in her senior
year of high school. While studying as a music/education major at San Jose
State University, she sang in the opera AIDA with Grace Bumbry and organized
the Rhonda Hudson Singers. She began serving as a church pianist at age 16 at
the historic Third Baptist Church in San Francisco, and has continued playing
in various venues throughout her career, including work as choral director and
the Minister of Music of Greater True Light Baptist Church in Modesto,
In addition to her performing, Rhonda does studio work, runs workshops, and
teaches piano and voice to school children in the San Francisco, Belmont,
Oakland Unified School Districts, and Gospel music to adults in the Marin Adult
& Community Education program. She can also be found on the teaching rosters of
Leap, Imagination in Learning, San Francisco Arts Education and Oakland Youth
Chorus because she loves to teach children how to sing!
DeMore has a remarkable voice, weaving the fibers of African American folk
music with soulful ballads, spirituals and her own original music. DeMore
beautifully brings her audience together through her music and commentary. She
has toured extensively, singing at festivals, universities, in coffee houses
and concert halls. Her recordings 'Share My Song' and 'Come Follow Me' are both
heartfelt collections of her music. In addition to her solo work, DeMore
facilitates vocal workshops for professional and community-based choral groups
and has taught her program called “Sound Awareness” in schools, prisons, and
youth organizations in the US, Canada, Cuba and New Zealand.
DeMore was a California Artist in Residence with the Oakland Youth Chorus for
10 years and has received an award from the Music Educators National Conference
for her work with young singers and artists. She is on the music faculty at St.
Paul's School in Oakland, CA where she teaches a cappella singing.
DeMore was also a founding member of the Grammy nominated, critically-acclaimed
vocal ensemble 'Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir', a group that
tours extensively in the US and abroad. DeMore traces her interest in music to
her parents who started one of the first Black theater groups in Alaska in the
early 60's. DeMore majored in music at Incarnate Word University in San
Antonio, Texas, and later worked as a studio musician, was a member of a
melodrama company, sang in an all women's Black a cappella
group Scintilla, sang for commercials and wrote music for the theater. DeMore
describes her music as “in the African-American folk tradition of Odetta,” to
whom she has often been compared, noting, “I have a very, very, very low
voice.” She has shared the stage with numerous artists including Buffy Saint
Marie, John Prine, Josh White, Jr., Laura Nyro, Sweet Honey in the Rock and
is a professional musician
with almost 20 years of professional experience. He's a versatile
multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who has performed many styles of music from
classical and avant-garde to rock, jazz and blues.
Music has taken Bryan around the world including Japan, Switzerland & Jamaica
and alongside such artists as Al Green, Michael McDonald and Bonnie Raitt.
His talents are in a high demand as he performs with as many as 8 different
groups at a time. Some of the groups he currently performs with include SoVoSo,
Slammin All-Body Band, Chelle! and Friends, Rankin' Scroo & Ginger and Linda
Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir.
music classes at Cleveland Elementary and is the accompanist for Nova. She has
worked as an accompanist for Southern California Children’s Chorus and Contra
Costa Children's Chorus, and currently accompanies for San Francisco Girls
Annie loves teaching music and says: “When I was in third grade I decided I
wanted to be a music teacher, mostly because I was crazy about my piano teacher
and wanted to be just like her. I never changed my mind and got my degree in
Music Education at Crane School of Music, State University of New York in
Potsdam, New York. I spent the next twenty years teaching K-6 vocal and
instrumental music in public schools in New York and California. At that point,
I thought I was retiring, but within a year or so, found myself teaching
preschool music classes.
"I am delighted to be part of the Cantare outreach team. The best times in
my life are my experiences of making music with children."”
Arwen Ilona Lawrence
, vocalist, dancer,
and player of several regional Mexican guitars, earned her Bachelor of Arts in
Latin American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and has
become an accomplished interpreter of Mexican regional music and dance.
As a member of Los Angeles' Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, she
recorded and toured throughout the United States and Mexico, performing in
venues such as New York's Lincoln Center, Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall and
Guadalajara's Teatro Degollado. Arwen has studied regional Mexican dance with
teachers in both the U.S. and Mexico, and performed with several Ballet
Folklórico groups such as Ballet Folklórico Ollin in Los Angeles and Ensambles
Ballet Folklórico de San Francisco
She earned her Masters in Music Education at Holy Names University in Oakland,
specializing in the use of traditional music in the elementary classroom. Arwen
currently works for the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond,
where she teaches young children in the Center’s outreach program and teaches
singing and dance to older students in the Center’s Diploma Program. Arwen is a
member of Cascada de Flores
, a professional music ensemble dedicated to the exploration, preservation and
dissemination of Mexican and Cuban regional music and dance.
ROBERT LEE comes from Calgary, Alberta, Canada as a pianist and music educator. Robert's musical training includes a MMus in Music Education with Kodály Emphasis from Holy Names University in Oakland, and a BMus in Piano Performance with distinction from the University of Calgary. In continuation of his studies, Robert has focused on collaborative piano repertoire, specifically vocal and chamber music. Robert has taught and accompanied with private studios, choirs, professional musicians, and ensembles throughout Alberta and the San Francisco East Bay. With a strong interest in collaborative piano and music education, Robert is excited to be a part of Cantare Chidlren's Choir of Oakland.
was born in Mexico City,
where he studied ethnomusicology in the Escuela Nacional de Música and became
an accomplished Flamenco guitarist, accompanying diverse figures from Mexico
and Spain in important venues throughout Mexico. At the same time he developed
his skills as a composer and arranger in recordings and performances of
children's music with his project "Grupo Kata".
Now in the San Francisco Bay Area, he is an indispensable part of the Bay
Area's Flamenco community. He has been part of notable groups such as Fuego Vivo
(Flamenco music and dance), and the quintet Potaje, which explores the
musical bridges between Spain and Cuba. He is the musical director and
guitarist of Virginia Iglesia's Flamenco Dance Company and is also held
in high regard as one of the Bay Area's finest treseros (Cuban tres), as a
result of his tenure with the Orquesta La Moderna Tradición
Jorge teaches music to children and adults in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jorge
is a member of Cascada de Flores
, a professional music ensemble dedicated to the exploration, preservation and
dissemination of Mexican and Cuban regional music and dance.
joins the Cantare Con Vivo team of teaching artists this year, bringing her richly diverse and enthusiastic experience to the staff portfolio. While she is the first to credit her many students for all they have taught her about teaching and music, her more formal training includes a BA in vocal performance from UC Santa Cruz, a Master’s in music education with Kodály emphasis from Holy Names University and a K-12 teaching credential in music.
Nancy weaves the principles of Kodály music pedagogy into her teaching to build an accessible and inspiring musical foundation for all singers. Focusing on her particular affection for elementary-age music learners, Nancy has over the course of twenty years made significant contributions to elementary classroom vocal music programs in Hayward, Piedmont, and San Francisco schools where, in addition to vocal music classes, she conducted elementary choirs, and established handchime ensembles. Nancy currently works with younger singers in two community choirs, Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir and Contra Costa Children’s Chorus.
Committed to music educators’ professional vitality and development, Nancy has mentored Master’s candidates from Holy Names University’s Kodály program and maintains active involvement on the Board of the Northern California Association of Kodály Educators, where she also served two terms as its president. On an ongoing basis she renews her techniques, enthusiasm, and synergy with fellow music leaders by participating in conferences, workshops and trainings in Kodály practice and with the American Choral Directors Association, the Orff Schulwerk Association, and the American Handbell Ringers’ Association. Currently her innate love of music is refreshed by singing with Cantare Con Vivo Chamber Ensemble and by ringing in the Piedmont Community Church handbell ensemble.
has been studying the
traditional music of Latin America for over 15 years. She has lived in
Guatemala, Ecuador, Chile and Peru sharing and learning music with local
musicians. Lydia directs the Latin American Youth Ensemble Los Mapaches
over 50 youth and children study and learn native and contemporary music from
Latin America, and perform it in neighboring communities.
Lydia has her masters from Holy Names University in Music Education with an
emphasis in Kodály and has been teaching music for K-6 for the past 6 years. In
2003, Lydia co-authored “Mariposa Vuela,” a collection of children’s songs in
Spanish for parents and teachers. She continues to work on the development of
repertoire in Spanish for use with native Spanish speakers. In June of 2008,
Lydia co-taught a three day Kodály training workshop in Puerto Rico, and this
past year she travelled to Peru in January and to Puerto Rico again in June to
teach Kodály training workshops.
contributes a unique and
rich musical experience! His musical training is a rich blend of traditional
and contemporary gospel music which has universal appeal, reaching both church
and concert audiences. Kevan has traveled the America’s and Europe as an
performer and he is able to communicate spiritual and cultural expressions that
are welcomed by his diverse audiences. Kevan conducts music workshops and
seminars and offers his expertise as a director, songwriter, arranger,
instrumentalist and producer to choirs and individuals.
Kevan’s production credits include Edwin Hawkins, Dr. Bobby Jones, Lawrence
Beamen and Emmit Powell & the Gospel Elites. His current solo piano project is
entitled Songs From The Place of God
Kevan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Francisco State University and
is C.E.O. of Twin Productions. He resides in Oakland, California with his wife,
Mary and twin sons, Kevan and Edwin.
, MME, MT-BC, is an Orff Music
Specialist, Board Certified Music Therapist, and a Drum Circle Facilitator
endorsed by Remo, Inc. She completed a Master’s of Music Education in Music
Therapy at the University of Kansas and holds a Bachelor's of Music in Piano
Performance from Northwestern University. A playful singer-songwriter, she
enjoys playing piano, percussion and ukulele!
Kathy’s greatest teachers are children. She completed the Orff-Schulwerk III
music education training to pursue her passion of structuring creativity and
improvisation for people of all ages. A Board Certified Music Therapist for
over fifteen years, she supports speech development and other therapeutic needs
for children with special needs.
, serves programs and individuals in seven Bay Area counties. Kathy spreads the
message of empowerment, community and wellness through interactive rhythm
events. A spokeswoman for the power of drumming, her work has been featured on
PBS and at conferences worldwide.
For more than ten years, Kathy provides drum circles to a variety of settings
including Juvenile Hall, Beringer Vineyards, UC Berkeley Center for Public
Health, Alameda County Office of Education, Oakland Unified School District,
East Bay Regional Park District, San Francisco General Hospital, Seoul’s Cosmos
Music Center and Seattle's Bumpershoot Festival. In the Bay Area, Kathy
provides Health Rhythms drum circles at Kaiser Permanente, private music
lessons and Orff music classes in Oakland public schools.
Emily Ryan, a native of San
Francisco, started singing as a child with the San Francisco Girls Chorus. She
now teaches Kindergarten and first grade music at the San Francisco Girls
Chorus as well as the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir.
This fall, in addition to working with the Cantare Children’s Choirs, she will
begin teaching for an after-school program called Music Team San Francisco,
which brings music to children of low-income families.
She currently sings with Volti, Schola Cantorum
San Francisco, and the
Solemn Mass Choir at St. Mary the Virgin in San Francisco. Emily holds a
Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from San Francisco State University and is
pursuing a Masters in Music Education degree from Holy Names University in
received his BA in Music from Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he served as the Occidental Glee Club's General Manager, tenor Section Leader, and Student Conductor, in 2009 winning the Peters Memorial Prize for the student who most “advanced the ideals and prestige of music on campus.” He has toured with the Occidental Glee Club in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. In Los Angeles, he also performed with the Pasadena Symphony in the chorus for several large works. Currently Daniel sings with the Cantare Chamber Ensemble and is the tenor Section Leader at Community Presbyterian Church in Vallejo. Passionate about conducting, singing, and teaching, Daniel plans to pursue a Master's degree in Choral Conducting.
As a child Daniel sang with the VOENA Children's Choir, performing three times at the White House and touring around the Bay Area. His children's choir experiences inspired his love for choral music, and now he loves working with children, seeing music inspire them too. Working with Nova, Daniel witnesses first-hand how choral music boosts the members' confidence, builds community, and allows their natural creativity to shine.