Sat., March 2, 2024
9:30am – 2:30pm

Join us for this beloved FREE festival of community choral workshops!

Calvary Presbyterian Church
2515 Fillmore Street (@Jackson)
San Francisco

Register FREE
Time Event Presenter
9:30 – 9:50 Welcome/Warmup Magen Solomon
10:00 – 11:00 Voices from the Caucasus: An Introduction to Georgian Polyphony Kristine Barrett (Kitka)
Renaissance Dance Jennifer Meller (Dance Through Time)
The Rich World of Bach’s Chorales Magen Solomon (SF Bach Choir)
11:15 – 12:15 Body Music Keith Terry (Crosspulse)
Old-Time Harmony Singing Workshop Evie Ladin (musician, choreographer, and square dance caller)
Breath Support: From Myths to Mastery Julia Nielsen (Co-Vo Community Vocalizing)
12:15 – 1:00 Lunch
1:00 – 2:00 Barbershop Harmony: Exploring an American Vocal Art Form Matthew Fellows (Fog City Singers)
Community CircleSinging David Worm (Bobby McFerrin and Motion)
Joyful Noise Gospel Workshop Rita Lackey (Community Music Center)
2:00 – 2:30 Closing Sing

10:00 – 11:00

Voices from the Caucasus: An Introduction to Georgian Polyphony

Designated as a masterpiece of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2001, this workshop introduces singers to the diverse vocal polyphonic traditions of Caucasus Georgia.

Kristine Barrett is musician and vocalist specializing in polyphonic traditions from Eastern Europe, Caucasus Georgia, the Balkans, and Scandinavia. She holds an MFA in Electronic Music Composition from Mills College (2006) and an MA in Folklore from UC Berkeley (2023). Barrett has directed several choirs and ensembles throughout the SF Bay Area and has likewise performed extensively throughout North America and internationally as both a soloist and with various ensembles. She is currently a performing member of the acclaimed Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble, where she also directs the San Francisco Kitka Community Choir.

10:00 – 11:00

The Cool Courtier (Renaissance Dance)

In this easeful and somatically guided dance class we will explore the fascinating idea of “Sprezzatura”. The concept was brought into popularity in Count Baldesar Castiglione’s 1528 The Book of the Courtier (Il Cortegiano) and is described as an air of nonchalance or “cool”. When mastered, sprezzatura can solidify your chances for success as a noble gentleperson in the Renaissance era. Let’s strut and sway our way through Renaissance dances that allow us to explore and express our hippest selves. Who’s cooler than you? Nobody, after you take this class.

Jennifer Meller is a musician and dancer, and enjoys exploring connections between the two disciplines. She works with early music ensembles in the Bay Area to create performances, reconstruct ancient operas, teach classes and organize workshops and events centered around early dance and music. She has taught master classes in historical dance at numerous schools and universities throughout California and works regularly in collaboration with the Educational Department of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale and with the San Francisco Early Music Society. She is Professor of Baroque Dance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and teaches Baroque Dance classes at ODC in San Francisco. Ms. Meller became Artistic Director of long-standing historical dance company Dance Through Time in 2019.

10:00 – 11:00

The Rich World of Bach’s Chorales

Bach has left us about 400 magnificent Chorales — everlasting fruits of his genius and creativity. In supplying gorgeous harmony to simple tunes Bach’s chorales have served as a textbook for composers for over 300 years, and have contributed melodic material, theological commentary, and structure to most of his choral works. We will sing some of Bach’s chorales to explore the What, How and Why of their beauty and power, immersing ourselves in their melodies, harmonies, texts, and dramatic function.

Artistic Director of the SF Bach Choir since 2014, Magen Solomon is active across the US and abroad as a clinician, teacher, and guest conductor of university and civic choral ensembles, and a specialist in Renaissance, Baroque and contemporary choral music. Now in her 29th season directing the SF Choral Artists, she also maintains a private voice and conducting studio.

Photo: Gudmundur Vigfusson

11:15 – 12:15

Body Music

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. It is a useful tool for musicians, dancers and movers of all kinds, actors, DJs and film editors – anyone interested in deepening their rhythmic skills.

Inspired by that generation of great US jazz tap dancers he was accompanying in the 1970’s, drummer Keith Terry stood up from behind his drums and dove head-on into Body Music (a term he coined) in 1978. He regularly travels the world, performing and teaching in a wide range of settings from villages in Bali to New York City’s Lincoln Center. Keith is a Guggenheim Fellow and the founding artistic director of both the Oakland, California based arts organization, Crosspulse, since 1979; and the International Body Music Festival (IBMF) – launched by Crosspulse in 2008 to explore the language of Body Music from culture to culture. The IBMF’s full festivals and MiniFests have been produced in the US, Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia, France, Canada, Italy, Greece and Ghana. Keith has produced more than a dozen recordings, dvds, and books for Crosspulse Media. The 2024 IBMF (our first full festival since the pandemic) will take place in Athens, Greece, November 4-10.  Keith has produced more than a dozen recordings, dvds, and books for Crosspulse Media. For more information, visit

11:15 – 12:15

Old Time Harmony Singing

Using Carter Family-style harmonies as a jumping off place, we will enjoy three part harmonies from the Appalachian tradition. Finding harmony lines that sometimes weave around the melody, sometimes cross or create unisons, students will develop a better ability to hear and find parts, as well as learn what gives these harmonies their particular old-time country sound, and power.

Banjo player, singer, songwriter, percussive-dancer, choreographer and square-dance caller, Evie Ladin grew up steeped in traditional folk music/dance. Her performances, recordings and teaching have been heard from A Prairie Home Companion to Lincoln Center, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass to Celtic Connections, from Brazil to Bali.

11:15 – 12:15

Breath Support: From Myths to Mastery

During this session, you’ll learn common myths about breath support (you’re guaranteed to have heard at least a few of these!)—and the kernel of truth that each contains. You’ll also learn many vocal exercises that will help you build mastery in this crucial technical skill.

Dr. Julia Nielsen has been one of the Bay Area’s most sought-after vocal pedagogues since founding her private voice studio in 1999, and was recently named the 2024 Teacher of the Year by the National Association of Teachers of Singing (Cal-Western Region.) Her students are currently performing leading roles with major opera companies, soloing with symphonies, and raising their voices in elite professional choruses, including the Metropolitan Opera, the San Francisco Opera, and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. Dr. Nielsen also leads hundreds of singers around the world each week in online vocal workouts through her organization, Community Vocalizing (Co-Vo)

1:00 – 2:00

Barbershop Harmony: Exploring an American Vocal Art Form

Led by a veteran of Barbershop Harmony, Matthew Fellows will explore the origins of this uniquely American style of music, and how it captures the attention of its listeners. From its history, to the basics of its structure, to the physics of sound, we will explore how the Barbershop style can enhance all aspects of vocal music. You’ll hear these harmonies in action by a stellar quartet from San Francisco’s Fog City Singers, and most importantly, be singing the style yourself by the end of the session!

Matthew Fellows started singing barbershop in 1999 and has sung at the competitive international level in both quartets and choruses. He is currently part of the musical leadership of San Francisco’s Fog City Singers, and serves as a contest judge within the Barbershop Harmony Society. When not singing barbershop, he works his “day job” as a primary care physician. Just as medicine is also an art, he has a passion for marrying the science and artistry of barbershop singing.

1:00 – 2:00

Community CircleSinging

We sing to uplift our world. We gather in a circle – this most powerful, ancient form of community, to share our humanity, heal our hearts, and create collective resilience. CircleSinging invites us into the purity of the present moment.

Vocalist and instrumentalist David Worm‘s musical career has taken him all over the
globe. Since 1987 he has been touring and sharing the magic of improv CircleSinging with Bobby McFerrin, as a founding member of vocal bands Voicestra, Hard Choral WeBe3, SoVoSo , Gimme 5, and the new group Motion. He has shared the stage with many other notable artists including YoYo Ma, Kenny Loggins, Pat Matheny, the late Chick Corea, Snarky Puppy, and Meredith Monk to name a few. David has also composed vocal scores for dance and film, including Robert Moses Kin, Alvin Ailey, ODC, Axis Dance, and Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Project. He currently works with Voices in a New World, a Bay Area based Performing Co-Op. David teaches CircleSinging Facilitation in Oakland, California and Beyond.

1:00 – 2:00

Joyful Noise Gospel Workshop

Come and learn why Gospel music is so uplifting! Sing a long, clap along and rejoice in this revitalizing musical experience. See you there!!!

Rita Lackey is a musician, vocalist and teacher. She began her musical career as pianist and director of a church choir. Her Degree is in Music and she has headlined at Yoshi’s in Oakland. Currently, Rita teaches at Community Music Center, and performs in the San Francisco Bay Area.