Adult Choirs

Cantare Chorale

“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” -Leonard Bernstein

The Chorale, Cantare’s symphonic choir of 100 auditioned voices, remains committed to presenting a wide diversity of choral repertoire, employing the highest musical standards. The Chorale debuted in April 1999 under the direction of founder and Artistic Director David Morales. Since then, they have performed in collaboration with Coro Hispano, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Northern California Gospel Music Workshop of America, CSUEB Symphonic Chorus, and San Joaquin Delta College Choir. They have toured internationally three times and performed more than 750 compositions in 72 diverse concert programs, including 20 major choral/orchestral works. The Chorale collaborates with professional instrumentalists from Bay Area orchestras and features nationally acclaimed vocal soloists for choral/orchestral concert repertoire. The Chorale is recognized as one of the finest symphonic ensembles in the Bay Area.

2019-2020 Season

All of Us!

The Cantare Chorale leads the way with in Cantare's renowned December holiday concert, Star of Wonder, Star of Night. The holidays are simply not the same without Cantare setting the stage. With adult, youth and children’s choirs on deck, accompanied by full orchestra and organ, we will feature works by Bach, Bruckner, Thompson, Gibbs, and Ešenvalds along the “Credo” from Ray’s “Gospel Mass”, “Little Drummer Boy”, “Silver Bells”, “Many Moods of Christmas, Suite 3”, and others. As always, the audience is invited to join the choirs and orchestra in singing holiday favorites.

 

In March, the Chorale will present Craig Hella Johnson’s new 95-minute extended work, Considering Matthew Shepard. This dramatic setting recounts the life, death and legacy of the Wyoming teenager who became a national figure after he was beaten and left for dead for being gay in 1998. Accompanied by chamber orchestra, it employs lyrics taken from Shepard’s writing as well as dark passages from the group that picketed his funeral. “The piece actually became a whole lot more than just the story of the suffering,” Johnson says. “It needed to become this larger invitation to return to love. And to return to remember who we are as human beings, in the deepest sense of our essence."

 
Cantare’s Spring Concert, Sweet Rivers, will feature both adult choirs along with Nova and our Children’s Honor Choir. Pieces will include Johnson’s setting of “My Crushed Angel” coupled with “My Funny Valentine”, Elaine Hagenberg’s “The Music of Stillness”, Jake Runestad’s “And So I Go On”, composed in memory of Germán Aguilar, who directed Cantare’s Chorale in Mozart’s “Requiem” in 2014 before dying unexpectedly from a heart attack. Also included will be Shawn Kirchner’s “Sweet Rivers” and selections by Elton John, James Taylor, Burt Bacharach, and several African American spirituals and gospel selections.

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Recruiting Singers for Considering Matthew Shepard

In late February/early March 2020, the Chorale will present Considering Matthew Shepard, composed by Craig Hella Johnson in 2016. Learn more about the concert here

Craig employs a variety of musical genres, including Broadway musical, Country & Western, Blues/Jazz, Pip, Southern Hymnody, and Gospel. The various solos will all come from within the choir. The choruses, as with traditional oratorios, find the choir playing different roles in advancing the story.

Rehearsals are mostly Sunday afternoons in Oakland. Those on Tuesday evenings are in Lafayette. Rehearsals: Jan 5, 12, 19, 26; Feb 2, 9, 18, 23, 25. 

 

Tuition is $150 and for those under 35 tuition is $75.  Performances are Feb 29, March 1 & 7.  If you have questions, sign up here. You can email David Morales at david@cantareconvivo.org with any questions.

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"Watching the enjoyment in the audience’s faces as they were transported and transformed was exquisite and worth all the hours of studying The Messiah...I am so grateful to be a part of Cantare with its high standards, inspiration, and technical excellence...the courage to trust ourselves and let it go tops the whole experience."  - Shari Kramer, Chorale singer

Chamber Ensemble

The Chamber Ensemble, founded in 1987, stems from Cantare Con Vivo’s original choral ensemble. Beginning with 26 singers, it expanded to 40 singers in 1989 for a performance of Rachmaninoff's “All-Night Vigil”, and remained at 40 voices until Cantare Con Vivo reorganized in 1999. With a new symphonic Chorale and Cantare’s nationally acclaimed, award-winning children’s music education program going full steam, this original choir returned to 24 singers. Today, the Chamber Ensemble exemplifies Cantare's rigorous high standards of musical excellence.

 

These auditioned singers perform a stunning variety of sacred and secular choral works, a cappella and accompanied, from a wide historical and cultural range of repertoire. With over 1,250 choral

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compositions performed, the Ensemble continues to seek out the latest offerings from a new breed of American and international composers while also engaging with established musical creators from the past.

 

In addition to numerous collaborative performances throughout the years, in November 2013 the Chamber Ensemble combined forces with a community choir from Los Banos to perform Handel's Messiah, singing movements in Spanish, Portuguese and English. In May 2014, they collaborated with CSU Stanislaus for a concert of Latin American Music, accompanied by the Latin Jazz Ensemble Quijeremá. They have performed over 100 different concert programs since their inception.

2019-2020 Season

All of Us!

 

The Chamber Ensemble begins Cantare’s 33rd season in mid-November entitled She Walks in Beauty. They will present two strikingly diverse settings of verses from Psalm 42 including Palestrina’s “Sicut Cervus” and Jean Berger’s Why Art Thou Cast Down?” They will also perform Eric Whitacre’s “Three Songs of Faith”, Barnum’s “She Walks in Beauty”, Owen’s “I Am the Wind” (“Do not stand at my grave and weep…”), and Runestad’s “Let My Love Be Heard.” Works by Gabrieli, Kverno and Aitken round out this program.

 

The Chamber Ensemble will sing with the Chorale, children's groups, and orchestra in Star of Wonder, Star of Night in December.

 

In March, they will present a program entitles Mystery and Majesty featuring Swiss composer Frank Martin’s “Double Choir Mass.” Without question, this is one of the most beautiful a cappella settings ever written, employing independence from its eight vocal lines offset with sections of lush double choir antiphonal writing. Also featured are compositions by Forrest, Stroope, Ohrwall and Ešenvalds.

 

Cantare’s Spring Concert, Sweet Rivers, will feature both adult choirs along with Nova and our Children’s Honor Choir. Pieces will include Johnson’s setting of “My Crushed Angel” coupled with “My Funny Valentine”, Elaine Hagenberg’s “The Music of Stillness”, Jake Runestad’s “And So I Go On”, composed in memory of Germán Aguilar, who directed Cantare’s Chorale in Mozart’s “Requiem” in 2014 before dying unexpectedly from a heart attack. Also included will be Shawn Kirchner’s “Sweet Rivers” and selections by Elton John, James Taylor, Burt Bacharach, and several African American spirituals and gospel selections.

 

The Chamber Ensemble closes the season with its annual concert of popular love songs from the last 125 year entitled Cheek to Cheek. It will feature American standards from Gershwin, Porter, Berlin, Kern, Mercer, Carmichael, and Rodgers, along with songs from the 60’s and 70's through contemporary artists of today. With two concerts in play this season, there will be room for everyone to enjoy this traditionally sold-out concert performance.

Summer Adult Choir

Cantare’s Summer Adult Choir is open to non-auditioned singers with any choral music experience. They debuted in July 2018 with a concert of great anthems from the Christian tradition, and returned in July 2019 with two stunning concerts of African American spirituals and gospel songs. Attracting over 125 singers, this choir rehearses twice weekly over a three-week period each summer.