“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.
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 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.
Performance and Travel
All of Cantare’s after-school choirs perform in concerts each season. The older choirs and an Honor Choir formed from select Music Stars singers also performs with Cantare’s adult choirs in their Holiday concert series. Additionally, Nova perform multiple times each semester throughout the Bay Area.
In 2018-19 Nova participated in the Choirs of America Festival in San Francisco and in Fall 2019, Nova will perform in the Capital Choral Festival in Sacramento.
In June 2014, Nova was selected to participate in the Sing-A-Mile-High Children's Choir Festival. Our students lived on a college campus with over 200 students from across the country, learning and performing under the direction of composers Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory.
The Mentoring Program
High school students in Nova may choose to participate in our mentoring program. Students are paired with Mentors from the Cantare community to support them as they prepare for graduation and beyond. Mentors assist students with researching college opportunities, college applications, and other steps. The Cantare Mentor Program helps facilitate each student’s transition out of high school as empowered, inquisitive, and informed members of our community.