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Considering Matthew Shepard
by Craig Hella Johnson
Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 7:30 pm - Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church
Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 4:00 pm - First Presbyterian Church of Oakland
Saturday, March 7, 2020 at 7:30 pm - Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley in Kensington
Matthew Shepard, the Wyoming teenager who became a national figure after he was beaten and left for dead for being gay in 1998, has inspired plays, documentaries and books. He is the subject of this newly written 95-minute extended work entitled Considering Matthew Shepard that explores his life, death and legacy. Composer Craig Hella Johnson, Director of Austin choir Conspirare and former Director of San Francisco’s own Chanticleer, features lyrics taken from Shepard’s writing well as dark passages about the group that picketed his funeral. “The piece actually became a whole lot more than just the story of the suffering,” Johnson said. “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." Watch an early performance of Considering Matthew Shepard here.
Mystery and Majesty
Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 7:30 pm - St. Perpetua Church in Lafayette
Sunday, March 29, 2020 at 4:00 pm - St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Oakland
The Chamber Ensemble will present Swiss composer Frank Martin’s exquisite “Mass for Double Choir. Without question, this is one of the most beautiful settings ever written, employing independence from its eight vocal lines offset with sections of lush double choir antiphonal writing. Also featured will be Ešenvalds’ “Only in Sleep,” “The Old Church” by Paulus, and other works by Anders Ohrwall, Randall Stroope and Billy Joel.
Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 7:30 pm - Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church
Cantare’s Spring Concert will feature both adult choirs along with Nova and our Children’s Honor Choir. Selections include Craig Hella Johnson’s setting of “My Crushed Angel” coupled with “My Funny Valentine”, Elaine Hagenberg’s “The Music of Stillness”, Shawn Kirchner’s “Sweet Rivers”, and Jake Runestad’s “And So I Go On”, composed in memory of Germán Aguilar, who directed Cantare’s Chorale in 2014. Selections by Elton John, Burt Bacharach, Carole King, African American spirituals and gospel, and some surprises round out the evening. Sign up here if you are interested joining the Chorale for this concert!
Cheek to Cheek
Saturday, June 6, 2020 at 7:30 pm - Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley in Kensington
Sunday, June 7, 2020 at 4:00 pm - Location TBD
The Chamber Ensemble closes the season with its annual concert of popular love songs from the last 125 years, featuring American standards from Gershwin, Porter, Berlin, Kern, Mercer, Carmichael, and Rodgers, along with songs from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and up to contemporary artists of today. With two concerts in play this season, there will be room for everyone to enjoy this traditionally sold-out performance.
She Walks in Beauty
Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 3:00 pm - St. Perpetua Church in Lafayette
The Chamber Ensemble begins the season with an eclectic set of pieces that include Palestrina’s “Sicut Cervus” followed by Jean Berger’s English rendition of the same Psalm 42. We will also perform 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 Kverno, Gabrieli and Aitken round out this engaging program.
Star of Wonder, Star of Night
Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 4:00 pm - First Presbyterian Church of Oakland
Monday, December 9, 2019 at 7:30 pm - Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church
Always a seasonal high point, 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, Howells, Glick, along with arrangements of “Silver Bells”, “Many Moods of Christmas, Suite 3”, “Home for the Holidays”, Oseh Shalom, and several others. All choirs will present Boito’s breathtaking “Final Psalmody” from his opera Mefistofele. The audience is invited to join the choirs and orchestra in singing!
Celebrate! David Morales
50 Years of Uniting Voices
Make plans now to join us in honoring Artistic Director and Founder, David Morales on Sunday, April 19 in Pleasant Hill. Enjoy a delicious array of catered savories, sweets and sips and of course musical entertainment! Click here to learn more.