Stories about our music staff and associates:
Julia Morris, Assistant Conductor- Julia Morris is our always smiling, energetic new assistant conductor, who joined our Conductor Mentoring Program in fall of 2018.
Learning Dvorak’s Stabat Mater- Some reflections on my first encounter with the Stabat Matar with BCCO this semester.
On Dvorák and the Stabat Mater- Reflections on learning Dvorak's Stabat Mater, and how it relates to other Dvorak symphonic choral works.
Jason Sherbundy, Portrait of our Accompanist- A portrait of our accompanist, Jason Sherbundy
Three Years of BCCO: reflections from Eric Choate- Eric Choate reflects on three years as Assistant Conductor for BCCO, as he begins his final season with the chorus.
Community, brain science, and the power of music- Some reflections on the ways music benefits us and brings us together in challenging times.
Two Requiems — singing in the new year with Cherubini and Mozart- Reflections on our two works for this week's concert: Mozart's Requiem and Cherubini's Requiem in C minor.
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.
Preparing to conduct Britten’s War Requiem- Performances are just a week away; some reflections on conducting Britten’s masterwork.
Our Soloists for Britten’s War Requiem- About our soloists: Carrie Hennessey, Brian Thorsett, and Efraín Solis.
The Power of Music in our Human Experience- As we’ve talked about, Britten’s War Requiem is difficult music, and not just because of the notes, but also the subject.
Singing Collin’s Praise- As BCCO members we have witnessed Collin’s extraordinary accompanist abilities. Recently, a small group of us enjoyed a wonderful concert at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music showcasing his talents as a composer and conductor. All the music he created, using texts of Pablo Neruda, e.e.cummings, Emily Dickinson and Christina Rossetti, was beautiful and showed […]
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.
Farewell to Collin, an extraordinary musician- A farewell to Collin Whitfied, our extraordinary accompanist, as he heads off to the next phase of his life.
Libera Me, my favorite part of Britten’s War Requiem- Reflections on the Libera Me, the final movement, which we have been rehearsing very hard in the past couple of weeks.
Arlene Sagan on teaching Tritones- Benjamin Britten's War Requiem is not the first piece that has challenged us with tritones!
The Voice Jury- A tale from my student days.
The Power of a Musical Ensemble- Realizing the power of a musical ensemble during a tour, while at Westminster Choir College, led me to want to explore being a conductor.
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.
Gratitude (I think I shall praise you)- THANK YOU for such an incredible premiere performance experience!
Why the War Requiem is an important work for me- Thoughts on the War Requiem as we begin rehearsing this fantastic work.
Sketch of Eric Choate- Providing a fuller sense of Eric than we can get from his rehearsal presence alone
Accompanist Extraordinaire: Collin Whitfield- When Collin Whitfield was seven, his Dad’s friend needed to get rid of a beat-up, 90-year-old upright piano, chipped ivory keys and all.
Conducting Symphonic Choral Masterworks: how do you keep track of everything?- One of the chorus members asked me how I keep track of everything when I'm conducting symphonic choral masterworks. Here's the basics!
Eugene Jones: our first music director- Gene Jones founded the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra in 1966. Gene loved Handel's Messiah, and the group's first concerts were December performances of this oratorio.
My amazing BCCO journey from observer to apprentice conductor- Janelle relates her journey from singer to apprentice conductor.
My philosophy of choral singing- A bit about my philosophy of choral singing, on what it means to sing as a chorus, in community
Bach, Honey Crisp Apples and Eric Choate- A music lesson from Eric Choate derived from a history of an apple
Eugene Jones Honored- On Saturday, October 17, 2015, Eugene Jones was awarded a Heritage Keeper Award by the Friends of Negro Spirituals.
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
Arlene the Piano Teacher- Arlene, who embodied a Mary Poppins personality but was dressed in sagging pants and an oversized, rumpled shirt, would draw my daughter away to the musical world of Beethoven and Mozart.
Joseph Liebling- While Joe Liebling has never, with the exception of the year he was guest conductor, held a formal post with BCCO, he has had a profound influence on our music-making for many years.
Commission Update – Photo- Photo of handwritten score
Meet Kurt Erickson & his New Work, I Think I Shall Praise It- Introducing composer Kurt Erickson's new commissioned piece for BCCO's 50th Anniverary: I Think I Shall Praise It
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.
Aspire to the Stars: the Gifts of Arlene Sagan- Arlene always encouraged us to "aspire to the stars," the inspiration for this video's title.
Young Composer Competition- A video about BCCO's Spring 2013 Young Composer Competition, in which composers age 40 and under to submit a short piece for chorus and orchestra.
Arlene’s House- Arlene Sagan is rightly praised for her true musical brilliance, knowledge, and insight. Yet I’ve admired how she shares her sheer delight in music and encourages people who are just now entering the world of sublime musical works which she inhabits full time.