GainOps is the Season's Presenting Sponsor

In compliance with the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, all remaining Cantare 2019-2020 season concerts and public events have been canceled. We will keep you abreast of our summer and fall plans as they develop.

Upcoming Concerts

Mystery and Majesty----CANCELED

Saturday, March 28,  at 7:30 pm - St. Perpetua Church in Lafayette

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 works by Anders Ohrwall, Randall Stroope and Billy Joel.


Sweet Rivers----CANCELED

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. 

Cheek to Cheek----CANCELED

Sunday, June 7, 2020 at 4:00 pm - St. Perpetua Church in Lafayette


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. 



Previous Concerts

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!

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 highlights of Chorale's performance here!

Celebrate! David Morales----CANCELED

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!