Many Voices, One Art

Saturday, March 7, 2020
10am – 4pm

Now in its 5th year, MVOA is a unique musical event eagerly anticipated by singers from around the Bay Area and beyond.

Experience the dazzling variety of our local choral offerings in a range of free workshops. Every year offers something new and different!

The SF Bach Choir hosts this exciting FREE day of singing, learning, making friends, and finding community through music.
All are welcome–no music reading or vocal training necessary.

Saturday, March 7, 2020 10am – 4pm
Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore Street (at Jackson), San Francisco
Box lunches available for for pre-order by Friday, Feburary 28 ($15)

FREE Registration


Time Event Presenter
9:30 – 10:30 Registration
10:00 – 10:30 Opening Sing
10:45 – 11:45 Community Sing Melanie DeMore
The Human Voice Caleb Lewis
The Alexander Technique: Breathe and Sing with Ease and Poise! Josephine Gray
Exploring the Brahms Requiem Bob Worth
Japanese Traditional Folksongs Ruriko Miura
12:00 – 1:00 Brahms Sing Magen Solomon
Crash Course in Balkan Singing Janet Kutulas
The Good Ol’ Days – Fun with American Popular Music Beth Wilmurt
Bedside Singing as Service Melanie DeMore
The Mathematics of Bach Maura Church
1:00 – 1:50 Lunch
2:00 – 3:00 Beyond the Bowties: How Barbershop Can Unlock Your Best Choral Sound Chris Lewis
Fog City Singers
Sacred Harp (Shape Note Singing) Leigh Cooper
Bay Area Sacred Harp
Baroque Dance and Gesture for Singers Jennifer Meller
SF Renaissance & Baroque Dancers
Singing Gregorian Chant William Mahrt
Stanford University
The Mathematics of Bach Maura Church
3:15 – 4:00 Closing Sing


Maura Church
The Mathematics of Bach

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!).

Leigh Cooper
Bay Area Sacred Harp

Sacred Harp is full-voice, a cappella, 4-part harmony singing using shape note musical notation. This singing tradition is all about participation, so come ready to sing!

Bay Area Sacred Harp is a local nonprofit that promotes Sacred Harp and shape note singing in the San Francisco Bay Area. We sing somewhere in the Bay at least twice a week! Learn more at

Melanie DeMore
Community Sing
Bedside Singing as Service

Melanie DeMore is a renowned singer-songwriter, choral conductor, and vocal activist who believes in the transformative power of voices raised in song. A founding member of Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, she has conducted the Oakland Youth Chorus, Bay Area Women’s Chorus, and is a Teaching Artist for Cal Performances, and active member of the Threshold Choir movement. She has led vocal workshops for professional and community choirs, and in schools, prisons, and other organizations across the world.

Josephine Gray
The Alexander Technique: Breathe and Sing with Ease and Poise!

How to apply Alexander Technique Principles to enhance your choral singing, make breathing easier, and find ways of standing and sitting with better coordination and poise.

Josephine started studying the Alexander Technique in 1983 in San Francisco. After certifying in 1998,she resumed her professional career as an orchestral violinist, overcoming R.S.I. She studied singing and sang jazz. Josephine has taught at A.C.T., the Opera Academy of California, Chevron and U.S.F. from 2010-2018.

Janet Kutulas, Kitka
Crash Course in Balkan Singing

Learn why it’s so satisfying to sing traditional Balkan folksongs. Is it the acrobatic ornaments, the dissonant harmonies, the odd-metered rhythms… or the incredible freedom to sing proudly in your outdoor voice!

Beginning her career as a flutist, Janet Kutulas graduated from the SF Conservatory of music in 1987, and has performed as a member in groups such as the California Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic, and as a founding member of Earplay. She has been a vocalist and director of Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble since 1988, and Director of the Kitka Community Chorus Zele since 2013.

Caleb Lewis
The Human Voice

Your choir director talks about posture, breath, jaw position, tongue tension, etc, all the time…but how much does all this really matter? We’ll take a close look at the basics of the human voice and how to use it most effectively.

Conductor and baritone Caleb Lewis is Lecturer in Music and Director of Choirs at UC Davis. He brings a unique perspective to the human voice, being comfortable in a variety of styles and genres. Caleb enjoys singing in concert performances both as soloist and chorister throughout Northern California.

Chris Lewis
Beyond the Bowties: How Barbershop Can Unlock Your Best Choral Sound

Barbershop is often seen as an antiquated musical style not suited for serious musicians. SF’s Fog City Singers have worked for 4 years to challenge this perception. In this workshop, Fog City’s leadership will teach you how to unlock your voice, engage your ears, and achieve an ensemble sound that you never thought possible—no matter your stylistic pursuit.

Chris Lewis is the founding director of the Fog City Singers, a 40-voice TTBB ensemble in SF revolutionizing how barbershop is performed and appreciated. A software engineer by day, he has sung with Clerestory, Volti, barbershop quartets, theater productions, and more, striving foremost to build bridges between disparate musical traditions.

William Mahrt
Singing Gregorian Chant

Singing a variety of Gregorian chants: antiphons, psalms, hymns, Kyries, etc. Singing by imitation and learning to read simple notation

William Mahrt teaches Medieval and Renaissance music and directs the Stanford Early Music Singers and the St. Ann Choir in Palo Alto. He is president of the Church Music Association, and he edits its journal Sacred Music. His Musical Shape of the Liturgy teaches about chant and polyphony.

Jennifer Meller

Jennifer Meller
Baroque Dance and Gesture for Singers

French King Louis XIV was a lover of dance and with the help of his dancing masters, codified a style of dance that we now call Baroque Dance. In 18th century Europe music and dance were closely intertwined. Titles like minuet, bourée and allemande were used to describe both the music form and type of dance step. In this fun and easy dance class we will learn to move with the music of the Baroque dance forms using the steps described in 18th century dancing manuals. Experiencing the dances in our bodies enhances our experience of playing not only baroque music but music in general. It also gives us a new window through which to view European history – through the way the body moves. This is a multi-level, low impact class suitable for beginners and experienced dancers of all ages.

Jennifer Meller is a musician and dancer, and enjoys exploring connections between the two disciplines. She is the founder and Artistic Director of San Francisco Renaissance & Baroque Dancers and Director of Creative Development for the New York Baroque Dance Company. 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. Ms. Meller has taught master classes at UC Davis, UC Berkeley, St. Mary’s College, Dominican University, College of the Pacific, and at the San Francisco Early Music Society’s Music Discovery Workshop.

Ruriko Miura
Japanese Traditional Folk Songs

Through singing, hand games and movement this workshop will Introduce you to Japanese traditional folk songs. We’ll also cover a brief history of music and music education in Japan.

Ruriko Miura received a B.A. and M.A in Music Education at Tokyo Gakugei University. She taught music at a private girls’ school in Tokyo and in 2000, she relocated to San Francisco. Twenty years later, she leads three choirs: Chorale May, Ensemble Shiki and San Francisco Forest Choir. She is also an active member of San Francisco Symphony Chorus. She has been teaching music at Clarendon Elementary School since 2017.

Magen Solomon
Brahms Sing

SF Bach Choir Artistic Director Magen Solomon has been active in early music as a conductor, singer, scholar, and editor for over three decades. She has been Artistic Director of the San Francisco Choral Artists since 1995; together they have premiered nearly 300 choral works, performed at major choral conferences, released three CDs, and they have twice won the Chorus America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. She has served as Artistic Director of the Oakland Symphony Chorus and the Stockton Chorale, and has taught and conducted at the University of Southern California, UC Berkeley, Santa Clara University, and Smith and Mount Holyoke colleges.

Beth Wilmurt
The Good Ol’ Days – Fun with American Popular Music

We will get playful, enjoying the harmonies and melodies of American pop music from the 1950’s to the 1980’s.

Beth Wilmurt directs the Children’s Chorus and several Older Adult Choirs for San Francisco Community Music Center. She has been teaching singing, acting and movement in the Bay Area for the past twenty years as well as working as an actor, singer, and theater director. She loves singing in groups!

Robert Worth
Exploring the Brahms Requiem

Brahms’ justly beloved Ein deutsches Requiem has been moving players, singers and listeners for 150 years. In this workshop, we’ll climb into the piece (and its antecedents) to try to figure out what makes it such a powerful and transformative force in the world.

Robert Worth is the founding music director of Sonoma Bach. In 2010, he retired from Sonoma State University, where he taught choral and early music (and many other subjects) for 29 years. He was deeply involved in the development of SSU’s Green Music Center, serving as consultant to the architects on such issues as acoustics, choral performance facilities and the Brombaugh pipe organ.