Many Voices, One Art

This is the program of a past festival. Stay tuned for news of the 2019 event!

Many Voices, One Art

A Bay Area Choral Festival

Saturday, March 10, 2018
10:00 AM-4:00 PM

Calvary Presbyterian Church
2515 Fillmore St. (at Jackson), San Francisco

Now a beloved Bay Area tradition! Join the SF Bach Choir for an exciting day of singing, learning, and making friends. This year, we explore Bach’s St. John Passion, and will sample the rich diversity of choral music in the Bay Area, from Renaissance to Gospel, Baroque to Broadway, Roots to Russian!

All are welcome–no music reading or vocal training necessary. FREE! Register Now

Watch the response from previous attendees.

Read the San Francisco Classical Voice article about the 2017 Festival.



Time Event Leader
10:00-10:30 Opening Sing
10:45-11:45 Spirituals: Songs as Food Melanie DeMore
10:45-11:45 How To Sing In Tune Caleb Lewis
10:45-11:45 Canta Brasil Sandy Cressman
10:45-11:45 Bach’s St. John Passion: the Apotheosis of Baroque Church Music John Prescott
10:45-11:45 Body Music Keith Terry
12:00-1:00 Singing Gospel Terrance Kelly
12:00-1:00 Gregorian Chants and Memory William Mahrt
12:00-1:00 Sacred Harp (Shape Note) Singing Bay Area Sacred Harp
12:00-1:00 Georgian Polyphony Lily Storm
12:00-1:00 Pounding for Peace Melanie DeMore
1:00-1:50 Lunch
2:00-3:00 Bach’s St. John Passion: A Choral Sampler Magen Solomon
2:00-3:00 The Mathematics of Bach Maura Church
2:00-3:00 Sacred Harp (Shape Note) Singing Bay Area Sacred Harp
2:00-3:00 Georgian Polyphony Lily Storm
2:00-3:00 Canta Brasil Sandy Cressman
3:15-4:00 Closing Sing

Sacred Harp (Shape Note) Singing

Bay Area Sacred Harp
Come sing from The Sacred Harp, an American tunebook with strong roots in the early music of New England and the southern United States. Singing is a cappella, 4-part harmony–and fun!

Bay Area Sacred Harp is a local nonprofit that promotes and preserves Sacred Harp and shape note singing in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Mathematics of Bach

Maura Church, San Francisco Bach Choir, Patreon
Join data scientist and music nerd Maura Church for a workshop exploring the intersection of music and math. Looking at examples from Bach and others, this workshop will take a hands-on approach to exploring some of the mathematical concepts behind counterpoint, fugue, and temperament. All are welcome (even those who don’t like math!).

Maura Church is a numbers nerd with a passion for all kinds of art who lives and works in San Francisco. She’s currently exploring the intersection of arts and technology as the Head of Data Science at Patreon, a platform that makes it easy for creators to get paid.

Canta Brasil

Sandy Cressman
This workshop will explore Brazilian vocal music in the bossa nova and samba traditions. We will explore the roots of Brazilian popular music, including rhythmic grooves, phrasing, vocal percussion and Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation.

sandy-cressmanSandy Cressman is a San Francisco-based jazz vocalist who began her career recording and performing with the Vocal Jazz group “Pastiche”, before she focused on her passion for Brazilian jazz. Cressman’s passion for Brazilian music led her to form “Homenagem Brasileira” in 1998. She has toured the US, Europe and Brazil and has released three critically acclaimed CDs, “Homenagem Brasileira” and “Brasil-Sempre no Coração”, and in 2017, “Entre Amigos, collaborating with other Brazilian musicians and Brazilian Music specialists.

Cressman is an adjunct professor at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, California, Artist-in-Residence at the Nueva School in the San Francisco Bay Area, and she teaches at JazzCampWest, Stanford Jazz Workshop, Voice Conference Munich, and various workshops and Vocal Intensives in the US, Europe and Brazil.

Spirituals: Songs as Food

Melanie DeMore
Come feed your soul and raise your spirits with traditional African American Spirituals.

Pounding for Peace

Melanie DeMore
Create a foot stomping, hand-clapping, rhythmic community through Gulluh stick pounding. We’ll form a living, breathing drum.

Singing Gospel

Terrance Kelly
Come make a joyful noise and sing some traditional Gospel songs. We’re going to have a good time!

Terrance has garnered extensive credentials in both gospel and jazz music. His operatic range and jubilant emotion make him a popular soloist as well as an accomplished director, composer, and arranger. His credits include choral arrangements on albums by Linda Ronstadt and the Kronos Quartet and gospel arrangements of popular music for TV and video soundtracks.

How To Sing In Tune

Caleb Lewis, St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Church, San Francisco Bach Choir
Singing in tune is a skill, not a talent. We will discuss what those skills are and how to develop them.

Caleb Lewis is choir director at St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Church in Berkeley. He is also the assistant conductor of the San Francisco Bach Choir and a chorister with San Francisco Choral Artists. He is currently in the final stages of his Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University.

Gregorian Chants and Memory

William Mahrt, Stanford University
Gregorian chants as products of oral transmission, of learning by memory. Simple melodies will be sung to see how oral transmission shaped their composition.

Associate professor of medieval and Renaissance music, Stanford; director, Stanford Early Music Singers (Renaissance music) and St. Ann Choir (liturgical choir singing Gregorian chant and polyphony). President, Church Music Association of America and editor of its journal Sacred Music. Author, The Musical Shape of the Liturgy, 2012; workshops, chant, polyphony.

Bach’s St. John Passion: The Apotheosis of Baroque Church Music

John Prescott
We will discuss the many strands of Bach’s musical world which are represented in this monumental work. This will be a lively lecture/discussion interspersed with recorded examples.

John Prescott holds a doctorate in musicology from UC Berkeley. He teaches for the Osher LifeLong Learning Institutes and lectures for the San Francisco Early Music Society. He is also a pre-concert lecturer for the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and has given pre-concert lectures for the San Francisco Bach Choir.

Bach’s St. John Passion: A Choral Sampler

Magen Solomon, San Francisco Bach Choir, San Francisco Choral Artists, UC-Berkeley
A singing introduction to one of Bach’s greatest works, we will explore the different moods, textures, and colors of his choral writing. By learning short portions, we will directly experiencing Bach’s genius and style.

Artistic Director of the SF Bach Choir since 2014, Dr. Solomon is active across the US and abroad as a clinician, teacher, and guest conductor of university and civic choral ensembles. In her 23rd season directing the SF Choral Artists, she also conducts at UC Berkeley, and maintains a private voice and conducting studio.

Georgian Polyphony

Lily Storm
Georgian folk music is known for its ancient tradition of braided polyphony, in which three vocal lines of no particular complexity or musicality in isolation are intertwined with each other to create stunning and satisfying visions of harmony, movement, and space. We will focus on 2 or 3 traditional pieces which most exemplify this principle.

Body Music

Keith Terry, Crosspulse, International Body Music Festival
Using the oldest instrument on the planet — the human body — we clap, slap, snap, step and vocalize our way through some very fun and funky, original and traditional rhythmic music. BODY MUSIC is an effective way of internalizing rhythmic work, which enhances the development of time, timing, phrasing, listening skills, independence, coordination and ensemble awareness.

Keith Terry is a percussionist / rhythm dancer / educator / body musician specializing in rhythmic work with an international and cultural perspective. He presents workshops and master classes in traditional and contemporary styles of Body Music; rhythmic skill building; lecture-demonstrations that explore rhythmic systems around the world; and performances.

Saturday, March 10, 2018
Calvary Presbyterian Church
2515 Fillmore St. (at Jackson)
San Francisco