Who we are
"Inspiring people to live in harmony,
treating one another with dignity."
Cantare Con Vivo is a non-profit choral music organization located in the East Bay that encompasses two adult choirs, in-school music education, and after-school youth choirs. Founded in 1987, Cantare inspires people to live in harmony, treating one another with dignity. This drives our mission, rooted in choral singing that unleashes passion and draws us together across generational, cultural, geographical, and economic boundaries. Cantare remains committed to uncompromisingly high standards of musical excellence.
Today, Cantare's adult choirs are among the finest choral ensembles in the Bay Area, performing six to eight concert programs each season. Cantare's children's program provides music education and choral singing to 2,000 title 1 (underserved) Oakland youth. Cantare was the proud recipient of Chorus America's 2014 Education and Community Engagement Award.
Cantare celebrated 20 years of children's music programs in 2019.
In Fall 1987, Artistic Director David Morales founded Cantare Con Vivo (To Sing With Life), a non-profit, tax-exempt music organization. From its inception as a 24-voice choral ensemble, Cantare continues to provide choral music with an uncompromising commitment to musical excellence for both its singers and listeners. In 1989, Cantare expanded to 40 singers and remained as such for a decade until February 1999, when Cantare reorganized forming three distinct wings to its program: Cantare Chorale, Chamber Ensemble, and a Music Education and Outreach Program for elementary public school children in Oakland's urban center.
The Chorale consists of 100 auditioned singers performing four varied concert programs each season, two that are accompanied by full orchestra. They have performed a rich variety of choral/orchestral works and individual pieces accompanied by various instruments as well as a cappella selections. They have toured internationally three times, including a premier performance of Bloch's Avodath Hakodesh in Eastern Europe. The 24-voice Chamber Ensemble, Cantare's premier musical group, presents a rich array of the most challenging choral works including those hot off the press and from various countries. Both adult choirs routinely collaborate with a variety of musical organizations in the Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley, as well as in Europe when touring. Cantare’s adult choirs have performed over 140 different concert programs, representing over 1500 compositions, including numerous major choral/orchestral works.
Cantare Children’s Choirs of Oakland currently offers weekly music education to over 2,400 underserved Oakland children from kindergarten through high school. Beginning in 1999 with a choir of 30 students, we now partner with 5 public elementary schools across Oakland, offering in-school music education and performance opportunities in 73 classrooms each week, filling the gap created by city and state budgetary prioritization.
We also support five after-school choirs free-of-charge to all participants. Nova, one of our middle and high school choirs, draws youth from an additional 12 Oakland schools and regularly performs concerts throughout the East Bay. In 2014, Cantare’s Children’s Choirs was the 2014 recipient of Chorus America's Education and Community Engagement Award.