I joined BCCO four years ago, after not having sung in a group for over forty years. I realized deep down that I wanted to sing and was fortunate to stumble upon BCCO. I appreciate becoming a part of this tribe of fine folks. Deb Golata has been instrumental in my singing journey. Since my first semester, Deb has been my voice teacher. It started as a simple inquiry as to whether I was an alto or soprano, and quickly became weekly lessons that have proved invaluable. How my singing voice has changed! And, in a spiritual way, it has been profound for me to be finding my authentic voice, and allowing creativity and expression to flow. Throughout this process, I have found Deb to be remarkably perceptive, attentive and helpful as a voice teacher, setting high standards during lessons, with ever-creative and effective techniques, always combined with humor and patience. Deb has a passion for vocal pedagogy, the art and science of how singing works. It fascinates her, and she finds it helps her students make progress. That passion infuses her teaching and her musical interest, and I have benefitted from her expertise in using this perspective in her teaching. Over time, she has also become a true friend. Loyal, caring, generous…and fun. Deb has had a long and varied association with BCCO. In previous years, she has been the accompanist for BCCO, has led sectionals, was a soloist, and has recorded many of the vocal rehearsal tapes. Her contribution and commitment to BCCO has made, and continues to make, a wonderful difference. She is currently part of the musical staff as the Vocal Coach and Guest Clinician, and she is the Director of the Berkeley Women’s Community Chorus. Deb’s professional life has been dedicated to music. She grew up in a musical family, singing with her mother and four sisters, and performing in choral concerts in her youth. After getting a bachelor’s degree in music, she toured with classical guitarist Jon Harris throughout the U.S. and Mexico. She loves the thrill of performing, and has performed in numerous operas, recitals and musicals. A master’s degree in choral conducting deepened her interest in sharing the joy of singing. Deb has been a member of several professional choral ensembles, including 15 years with the renowned Philharmonia Baroque Chorale. She has also been an accompanist, vocal coach, soloist and assistant conductor for a number of Bay Area choruses, one of which traveled to England and India. Deb has long been the Music Director and organist for Northbrae Community Church in Berkeley. She has taught music in elementary schools, and given voice and piano lessons to many private students over the years. Deb’s life is deeply and richly woven with music, but she also engages with the world in many other ways: she is an intellectual who loves to read, a feminist and social activist, an ardent animal lover, and a talented visual artist who loves to paint, and take photographs. Deb appreciates nature, especially the desert, and the fabulous night sky. She introduced me to Death Valley and Marta Becket’s Amargosa Opera House, which she holds dear to her heart. Deb is a special person, a dear friend, and an important person in the BCCO community!
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