BCCO is powered by tremendous energy from a dedicated community — from multitudes of volunteers working behind the scenes to our loyal audience, from the Chamber singers who sing at local events to our orchestra members. Our extended community has grown with the recent creation of the new Women’s Community Chorus. Learn about the BCCO community here — including our unflagging sense of humor and favorite recipes.
My Grandmother and Mendelssohn - In 1897, my grandmother, Charlotte Demuth Williams, a seventeen-year-old young woman from a small town in Ohio, who had not begun her study of violin until she was twelve, was given the singular honor of playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto at the 50th anniversary celebration of the composer’s death.
‘One hand for the boat’—remembering Betty Pigford - Memories of Betty Pigford, longtime BCCO alto, board member, and force of nature.
Remembering Liz Raymer, a BCCO force of nature - Liz Raymer said: "I sing because it gives me incredible joy." For more than 20 years, singing with Liz Raymer brought many of us in the chorus joy.
Prokovief’s Romeo and Juliet — Performance Video - In January 2018, the Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra presented, for the first time, an all-Russian repertoire, under the direction of Ming Luke. In the first half of the program, the orchestra played a suite from Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet.
Waterways: Out-takes on the Alexander Nevsky Cantata - Prokofiev’s Nevsky cantata expresses in music and text the Russians’ attachment to its country’s rivers as well as its lakes as markers of history and cultural identity.
2016 European Tour – A Visiting Alto’s Perspective - Singing with BCCO's 2016 European Tour - A non-BCCO member has the great good fortune to join the chorus for the Verdi Requiem
Dvořák’s Piano - Soprano Nancy Brink reflects on visiting Dvořák's piano in Prague.
BCCO Finds a New Home - BCCO responds to the fire at First Congregational Church
Bill Beahrs, Bass — a community tribute - Please share your reflections, stories, photos about Bill Beahrs to create a community tribute to our long-time singing friend.
War Requiem soloists: an interview with Brian Thorsett, Carrie Hennessey, and Efraín Solís - Carrie Hennessey, Brian Thorsett, and Efraín Solís discuss singing the solos in Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, at BCCO's June 2016 performances.
At a Calvary near Ancre, by Wilfred Owen - Barbara Dilts, soprano, reads At a Calvary near Ancre, by Wilfred Owen.
Here’s to Life! — Berkeley Women’s Community Chorus Concert Video - Here's to Life is the spring 2016 concert of the Berkeley Women's Community Chorus under direction of Music Director Debra Golata
A Tribute to Mildred Kaplan - For singer and benefactor Mildred Kaplan, BCCO embodied the best of music and community.
Sonnet on Seeing A Piece Of Our Heavy Artillery Brought Into the Action, by Wilfred Owen - Roberta Spieckerman, tenor, reads "Sonnet on Seeing A Piece Of Our Heavy Artillery Brought Into the Action" by Wilfred Owen
Futility, by Wilfred Owen - Futility by Wilfred Owen Move him into the sun— Gently its touch awoke him once, At home, whispering of fields unsown. Always it awoke him, even in France, Until this morning and this snow. If anything might rouse him now The kind old sun will know. Think how it wakes the seeds— Woke, once, the […]
Britten x 3 - Aline Soules writes about singing a work more than once.
The Parable of the Old Man and the Young, by Wilfred Owen - Marco Falcioni, tenor, reads the Parable of the Old Man and the Young, by Wilfred Owen.
But I was Looking at the Permanent Stars, by Wilfred Owen - Aline Soules, soprano, reads "But I was Looking at the Permanent Stars" by Wilfred Owen
The Next War, by Wilfred Owen - Nadine Hendricks, alto, reads The Next War, by Wilfred Owen.
When BCCO performed Carmina Burana - It was the kind of magical event that can happen in a live performance and it’s the kind of magic that happens in our wonderful chorus.
Our Soloists for Britten’s War Requiem - About our soloists: Carrie Hennessey, Brian Thorsett, and Efraín Solis.
Singing for Jack - Singing my way through grief.
Vienna Masterclass with Manolo Cagnin - A most joyous morning, singing in Vienna
“The End” by Wilfred Owen - Eliot Jobe reads "The End," by Wilfred Owen
Anthem for Doomed Youth, by Wilfred Owen - Nancy Benson, tenor, reads "Anthem" for Doomed Youth, by Wilfred Owen
The Origins of the Berkeley Community Women’s Chorus - How the Women's Chorus came into Being
Singing the War Requiem: “on behalf of…” - Singing Britten’s War Requiem has me working harder than ever on my music. but also feeling more deeply about the power of music in transforming human experience.
Collaborating with the San Francisco Girls Chorus - Why a girl's chorus instead of the traditional boy's choir for Britten's Requiem? Here are some thoughts.
Here’s to Life: the Berkeley Women’s Community Chorus, Spring 2016 Concert - The Berkeley Women’s Community Chorus, an affiliate of BCCO under the musical direction of Debra Golata, performed its spring concert, Here's to Life, on Sunday, April 24.
My first semester and the origin of “Tenor Power!” - My first semester and the origin of "Tenor Power!"
Applause in Prague - I turned the corner during a June 24 walk through the center of Prague and immediately saw a large poster pasted on a city wall: Berkeley Community Chorus will perform Dvorak’s Requiem at the Rudolfinum that evening.
West Side Tritone - West Side Tritone was composed at lunch, exemplifying the spirit of Un-Talent, and performed by altos (and one soprano) at 2016 Un-Talent Show.
Singing the Carmina Burana in Merced, CA - As long as notes stay on the page they are nothing but inarticulate marks. The composer needs us to make his music a real tangible thing; and each time a piece is sung it is a new composition
Vance George: musical workout at the All-Day - Vance George once again challenged us to be our very best.
Lachry-Most-Ads: memories of ad campaigns past - The Rogier Songbook includes many useful selections, such as this one, written to encourage ads in spring 2015.
BCCO Volunteers put the “C” in Community - From setting up rehearsal chairs to coordinating all-day rehearsals, 82% or 183 of our 223 chorus members volunteer to keep BCCO running.
BCCO in Europe, June 2013 - I joined BCCO in the fall of 2013, right after the summer tour to Europe. Recently I was made aware of the efforts of Tenor Rhishi Limaye, who at the time of the tour, had created a blog titled “BCCO in Europe: Singing Mozart and Dvorak in their lands’. So to stir up some excitement […]
Chamber Chorus sings “Acapella” with Oakland Ballet - the Chamber Chorus in a brief demo of the small ensemble's power, as it gets ready for a unique collaboration with the Oakland Ballet, an evening of dance programmed to acapella singing
Beauty in Prague: a farewell to Marilyn - A special photo of Marilyn in Prague, from the 2013 tour.
Learning to sing in motion on BART - Rehearsing my music on BART
Musical Magic working with BCCO - There have been many magical music moments in working with BCCO but these two stand out for me: St. John Passion in the Berkeley Community Theater and Dvorak's Requiem in Prague.
Beautiful Nails - A photo quiz.
StoryCorps: Veronika with Nancy Sue - Veronika talks about the influence of early visits with her Polish grandparents, and how music became a constant part of her life.
The Power of Singing in Community - Soprano Becky Tracy talks about the power of singing in BCCO's choral community.
BCCO as a Life Resource - Berkeley Community Chorus creates a powerful network of concern that extends far beyond the cooperation developed as we blend together to create beautiful music.
Everyone has a little Untalent! - History of the Untalent Show, a special feature of BCCO retreats
John Fattaruso’s Extensive Collection of Early BCCO Concerts - What John Fattaruso started is the foundation for a permanent and ongoing collection of BCCO materials to be preserved for current and future generations at The Hargrove Library at UC Berkeley.
Lucy Henderson on figuring out your voice part - Lucy, who sang with Eugene Jones and now sings in the Women's Chorus, discusses the challenge of deciding which voice part to sing in BCCO.
Rita Dichtel on starting with BCCO - Rita talks about her first BCCO experiences with Eugene Jones.
Wish BCCO a Happy Birthday! - An online guest book for our 50th anniversary concerts! Wish BCCO a happy 50th birthday, and share your thoughts and memories about singing, the chorus, and the concert.
Dewey Livingston on Eugene Jones and the doves - Dewey Livingston tells of a magical music moment with Eugene Jones.
Jeff Mertens on Singing with the Trees - BCCO trombone player Jeff Mertens tells of a magical moment with former music director Eugene Jones.
Who designed BCCO’s 50th Anniversary logo…? - Love that logo...!
Serenade for Derek - Chorus manager Gabriele Crane created this video for Derek's "graduation" from the conductor mentoring program.
Coincidence on a rainy day - What can happen when you volunteer
A Long Time Ago in Berkeley - Once upon a time, I sang Messiah with Eugene Jones.
Ceremony and Musical Traditions - Every year, just after Thanksgiving, I pull out my recording of Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, make a cup of tea, and sit down to listen.
The Unexpected… - Hearing the solo melody sung in the youthful but refreshingly plaintive way during the first two concerts was captivating.
Is She That Conductor? - Is Arlene Sagan the same conductor who transported me that December of 1981?
In love with Lenny - Youthful ardor
Women’s Chorus: complete fall program - Video of the complete program for the BWCC fall 2015 program, Glory of the Dance.
Why We Sing in a Chorus - Why Singing in a Chorus is so much more than just singing...
Interrupted by Romance… - As Eugene Jones directed from the stage below, his rich solo baritone voice would embrace the hall.
Carole’s Singing History - I moved to the Bay Area in 1966 and a co-worker introduced me to a musical group directed by a man with the most beautiful bass voice. I have had the privilege of singing under the direction of all three conductors.
The Homeless among us - This piece discusses visits by the homeless to our rehearsals
Glory of the Dance—Berkeley Women’s Community Chorus performance - Berkeley Women's Community Chorus presented their fall concert on Sunday, Glory of the Dance. And enjoy a video of the processional, Hine Mah Tov.
My amazing BCCO journey from observer to apprentice conductor - Janelle relates her journey from singer to apprentice conductor.
The Right Place - A new member finds that he has come to the right place.
Ceremony of Carols: photo report on the community sing - What a wonderful event and such beautiful music! It was the first time I’d sung or heard the Ceremony of Carols. The San Francisco Girls Chorus was also spectacular, singing Britten’s setting of the Psalm. I’ve posted some of the photos that Patti and I took in a slide show. If you have more, add […]
The Interloper - Interloper wanting to sing with us at St. Joe's
A Tribute to Gene Jones - Gene Jones: the spirit of BCCO
Kickoff Picnic for BCCO’s 50th Anniversary Year! - BCCO's 50th Anniversary Kickoff Picnic brought chorus members together for food and music under the redwoods. The event honored the late Connie Reyes, alto.
BCCO at People’s Park - Longtime bass player Mardi Mertens tells what happened in 1969 when BCCO tried to play in People's Park.
BCCO Board Meetings — a sketch - A sketch of BCCO Board meetings by tenor Pam Miller
Berkeley City Council honors BCCO - BCCO was honored by the Berkeley City Council on October 27, 2015 — and responded by leading all in the chambers in Finlandia.
How I Backed into BCCO - Alto Karen Davison talks about her journey to BCCO, and how she found herself so involved with the chorus.
Lisa leads BCCO in a warmup - I have great admiration for our new apprentice conductor, Lisa Nelbach. Her debut in the warm up this year gave us all a good dose of her warmth and humor, even with the pressure of a couple hundred sets of eyes on her. What courage to step up to this new endeavor! In my more […]
Singing in our BCCO concerts - A few words about the experience of singing together in our concerts
Why are you smiling? - smiling
Heart and Dove T-Shirts for the England Tour - BCCO soprano Mary Borders describes the creation of heart and dove t-shirts for a chorus tour of England.
The Rogier Songbook - An incomplete history on the origins of The Rogier Songbook.
Welcoming Ming to BCCO - Song lyrics to the tune of If I Were a Bell to welcome Ming to BCCO
Reflections on Deb Golata - Reflections on Deb Golata's musical accomplishments and rich association with BCCO and BWCC by her voice student and friend, Arianna Comyns
Chichester Psalms and the Lady with the Big Hat - The tale of the lady with the big hat who joined us to sing the Chichester Psalms, but sang with us only once.
Christian Fritze, BCCO Board President Extraordinaire - By dint of his musical education, experiences and finely honed abilities in numerous other areas, Christian Fritze is well positioned to continue the traditions and practices of BCCO’s excellent leadership and rich fifty-year history.
Arlene Sagan as Richard Nixon - Arlene stops the choir in the middle of a Bach fugue.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack… - Betty Pigford and Jim Demlet were waving at the camera, sporting gloves in the stands on a cool evening.
Ode to Joe - Ode to Joe , with lyrics by Mary Rogier, celebrates the special relationship between Maestro Joe Liebling and the Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra.
Bill Hocker, BCCO Photographer - Bill Hocker began taking photos of BCCO in the spring of 2011. He was originally attracted to the space and architecture of St. Joseph the Worker Church, but once he started photographing the chorus he was hooked.
BCCO sets record for concert set up - When we performed at St. Joseph the Worker Church, setting up for concerts was a marathon. BCCO volunteers (and friends and family) did it all.
my partner in crime and music - audience members we remember: my older brother and I were tight, for better or worse. We fought, we played, we confided and we sang.
Hearts and Doves: Evolution of a Symbol - The heart and dove symbol links today’s singers and orchestra members with the hundreds of others who have been part of BCCO over the past five decades.
A Tribute to Dana Kemp - Dana Kemp is a trumpet player who was a member of the Berkeley Community Chorus Orchestra for many years, frequently featured as a soloist.
Tenor Surprise - Tenor Alex Boyer bids the BCCO adieu, after he surprised the chorus.