“I love choir because it allows me to meet new people and allows me to express myself through music. I've learned that my voice matters."
"My child had the rare opportunity to perform on several occasions with an adult choir, adult musicians and an orchestra. These experiences provided practice in performing before an audience and enabled her to reach "the next level" in her music development. I am grateful for all that Nova has offered my daughter this year."
Conway Tan, Katerine Carmona Arbelaez, Rhonda Crane, Annie Hargraves, Marie Haws, Rebecca Kleinmann, Robert Lee
Get involved TODAY! Contact Julie!
Cantare’s after-school programs provide choral music performance opportunities to over 2,250 children in grades 3-12. We offer elementary choirs with several of our elementary partner schools spread across Oakland, as well as choirs for middle and high school age students. All students experience what is possible when working alongside others toward a common goal. In addition to developing a lifelong interest in the arts, they gain an understanding and appreciation for their differences while being responsible to one another in achieving their best effort. Students develop self-esteem, discipline, self-efficacy, respect for teamwork, and healthy social behavior—all essential tools for living successful and productive lives. Students participate in our choirs at no charge.
Watch a recent Nova & Honor Choir performance here!
Cantare’s after-school Music Stars choirs offer third, fourth and fifth grade students an exciting array of musical opportunities. Directed by members of Cantare's acclaimed Teaching Artist staff, students rehearse weekly, learning fundamentals of choral singing and music theory. They learn to perform diverse songs in a variety of musical styles in unison and two-part singing. Singers also participate in field trips to live musical performances and special events. Passionate Music Stars members can additionally sing in the Honor Choir, which performs with Cantare’s advanced youth and adult ensembles in seasonal concerts. All Music Stars programs perform together at Cantare's annual Spring Concert. Currently, we offer Music Stars programs at Lincoln Elementary, Melrose Leadership Academy, and Vincent Academy.
Rehearsal times vary by school site.
If you are interested in having a Cantare music program at your school, go here.
Cantare’s unique Nova ensemble brings together students from schools across Oakland to learn and perform advanced choral repertoire. Nova offers graduates from our Music Stars choirs, and any middle- and high-school students interested in pursuing their love of singing, the opportunity to perform in a stimulating choral environment. Under the direction of Julie Haydon, Nova focuses on building essential choral skills, and students learn to use their singing voice to make a difference.This group performs fun, challenging, and inspiring songs from all around the world in multiple languages and styles. Nova welcomes all students in grades 6-12, but a short voice placement is required for all singers to be placed in the appropriate voice part. This fall, we are partnering with Allen Temple Baptist Church in East Oakland to provide a special choir program for 6-12 graders,
Nova Rehearses Tuesday, 4-6pm
2619 Broadway, Oakland (at 27th)
Contact Julie to schedule an audition
Our Choir Directors
Our Teaching Artists are all incredible musicians with wide-ranging experience as teachers and performing musicians. They are committed to high-quality music education and choral music performance.
Katerine Carmona Arbelaez is the director of the after-school choir at Melrose Leadership Academy (La Estrellas Musicales de Melrose), a Spanish-language immersion school. This choir is known engaging performances with choreography and body percussion of engaging repertoire from Latin America and around the world.
Rhonda Crane is the director of the Vincent Academy Glee Club. Rhonda brings unmatchable energy and enthusiasm to each rehearsal and the Glee Club performs music in diverse styles.
Conway Tan conducts the Music Stars choirs at Lincoln Elementary. Thanks to Conway's enthusiasm for singing and talent for bringing out the best in every student, this group performs a variety of repertoire with a high level of musicianship.
Julie Haydon is the founding director of the Nova youth choir. Julie served with Cantare Con Vivo as Director of Children’s and Youth Choirs from 2003 to 2015 and returned in 2017. Julie loves empowering young people to use their singing voices to make a difference in the world. Nova performs music in a variety of styles, specializing in multicultural repertoire.