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Find your voice with Nova!

Nova is a citywide choir for 6-12 graders from any school ready to take on the challenge of advanced choral singing. Under the direction of Julie Haydon, Nova singers rehearse and perform concerts of fun, challenging, and inspiring songs from all around the world in multiple languages and styles.


You can watch some clips here. Nova is tuition-free, including opportunities to participate in team building events, perform in local choral festivals and to sing alongside our adult choirs. This year, we will adapt to COVID-19 restrictions through special video performance projects, online and small group rehearsals.

Enroll in Nova today by contacting Director Julie Haydon at julie@cantareconvivo.org or call/text 510-529-1770. Rehearsals are Tuesday afternoons, currently offered via online platforms


Nova singers who have not yet filled out an Enrollment Form should do so here.

Honor Choir


Honor Choir is a short-term singing program for 4-12 graders from any school, audition-free and tuition-free. Participants will participate in three online rehearsals in the fall and spring and participate in special recording projects to be featured in our Winter and Spring virtual concerts. 

Performance and Travel

Each year, Nova students perform alongside Cantare's adult choirs and a full professional orchestra, in addition to performing on their own throughout the community. Nova's travel has included:

  • Capital Choral Festival in Sacramento, CA, November 2019:

  • March 2019: Choirs of America Festival in San Francisco, CA: Participated in a world premiere with 200 singers from around the country

  • April 2018: Music in the Parks Festival, San Jose, CA: First Place AAA Mixed Voices Community Choirs

  • December 2016: Zoo Lights Festival, Oakland, CA

  • June 2014: Sing-A-Mile-High Festival, Denver, CO

  • April 2013: Music in the Parks Festival, San Jose, CA: First Place AAA Mixed Voices Community Choirs

  • January 2011: Performance for the Inauguration of the Mayor of Oakland

  • April 2008: Heritage Festival, Anaheim, CA: Gold Award

The Mentoring Program

100% of Nova graduates have completed high school with 98% enrolling in college & vocational programs. Many are first-generation college students.  Nova high school students can choose to be paired with mentors from the Cantare community who support them as they prepare for graduation and beyond. The Cantare Mentoring Program helps facilitate each student’s transition out of high school as empowered, inquisitive, and informed members of our community.  

"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."

– Nova Parent

Team Building


Nova students develop leadership and teamwork skills through special activities designed to build community and teach respect and appreciation for one another, on and off the stage. At our 2019 Team Building day, students in Nova created the following vision statement for our program:


Nova is a safe, supportive and welcoming space where students can express their passion for music. When we perform, people will see a group of professional, talented youth striving to create inspiring performances with their voices. In order for us to succeed, we need our families to be supportive and help us be on time. Our director will be encouraging and help us grow. Our leaders will be responsible role models who help us organize our group. We will all be respectful, passionate and committed to choir and our community.

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