The heart of Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra are the sopranos, altos, tenors and basses who arrive each Monday night to rehearse and throw themselves into learning the season’s repertoire. BCCO singers represent a broad range of musical experience and training, but manage to create beautiful music together. Over 50 years, hundreds of people have raised their voices together.
Music in Troubled Times: Haydn’s Nelson Mass - The text and music of Haydn's Nelson Mass tell a complex story of the emotions experienced in wars and other troubled times.
Beautiful Postcard for the Brahms! - I love the photograph of the ripe wheat which is perfect because, for me, it is connected to the meaning of this special "human" Requiem.
A Painting inspired by The Spectre’s Bride - My granddaughter Emma Clarke has been coming to our concerts for the last 4 years. She has always been very creative and recently started carrying a small paint set with her.
Dvořák, The Spectre’s Bride: A Border Crossing - These spaces that cross over the boundaries of our usual life are often referred to as “liminal.” Often they represent the first phase of a process that may take us somewhere new and unexpected, then back to the place we started, with a difference.
The Spectre Groom is Everywhere - I’ve been asking myself why people in the nineteenth century would have gone to listen to a piece like The Spectre’s Bride. One answer to my question was that people wanted an exciting evening out with a few thrills and shivers, accompanied by Dvorak’s great music.
The Spectre’s Wedding Shirts, by Karel Jaromir Erben - The wedding shirt is both tangible and mysterious, and it carries metaphoric weight from start to finish. It also reflects the realities surrounding women’s roles in society and the attention to the fabric arts throughout history.
The Spectre’s Bride, X-Rated - Soprano Kitty Hughes explores the yearning for love and the race toward death that are knitted together through the maiden’s unfulfilled longings in Dvorak’s The Spectre’s Bride.
‘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.
The Long Chant of the Peregrinus - Peregrinus expectavi, Pedes meos in cymbalis: Prokofiev arranges these words, borrowed or not, and sets them to music to create something new and evocative.
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.
Dvořák’s Piano - Soprano Nancy Brink reflects on visiting Dvořák's piano in Prague.
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.
At a Calvary near Ancre, by Wilfred Owen - Barbara Dilts, soprano, reads At a Calvary near Ancre, by Wilfred Owen.
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.
Singing for Jack - Singing my way through grief.
“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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Dewey Livingston on Eugene Jones and the doves - Dewey Livingston tells of a magical music moment with Eugene Jones.
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
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.
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.
The Interloper - Interloper wanting to sing with us at St. Joe's
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
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