CMC Older Adult Choirs Conclude Their Season with Ten Free Concerts Across San Francisco

CMC’s 30th Street Chorus Performing at Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, May 2017.
Photo courtesy of YBG Festival/Photos by Bishoculars

Sonia Caltvedt
Marketing Director
415-647-6015 x75

SAN FRANCISCO (May 26, 2017) – Over three-hundred singers in Community Music Center’s Older Adult Choir Program are preparing for a series of ten concerts across the city between May 30 and June 15. The free performances, open to the public, will take place at San Francisco community and senior centers, with a special appearance of the 30th Street Chorus at the JCCSF’s Brain Fitness Forum on June 11.

The concerts will feature music that represents the many cultures of the choir members and their communities, including gospel, jazz, Latin American, show tunes, folk songs, oldies and Americana, among others.

CMC’s Older Choir Program brings the many personal, social, and quality of life benefits of making music to hundreds of seniors in the city each week. The program began five years ago when CMC began partnering with senior centers to provide music opportunities for older adults. It has grown to include twelve choirs as choirs have cycled out of the Community of Voices research study, a three way partnership between UCSF, Community Music Center and the Department of Aging and Adult Services. The choirs are active in neighborhoods throughout San Francisco, serving a diversity of communities.

The choir program is free for any older adult ages 55 and up, regardless of musical background or experience. The choirs provide a unique way for seniors to learn about singing, form new friendships, perform in community concerts, and improve their quality of life.

A complete list of the free concerts can be found below. A short video documentary about the Older Adult Choir Program and information about how to participate can be found here.

CMC Older Adult Choir Program Concert Schedule

CMC Richmond Senior Center Choir
Tuesday, May 30 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Richmond Senior Center, 6221 Geary Blvd.

CMC Western Addition Older Adult Choir
Wednesday, May 31 from 10:00 – 11:30 am
Western Addition Senior Center, 1390 ½ Turk St.

CMC Bayview Older Adult Choir
Wednesday, May 31 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center, 1753 Carroll Ave.

CMC Aquatic Park Older Adult Choir
Thursday, June 1 from 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Aquatic Park Center, 890 Beach St.

CMC OMI Senior Center Choir
Friday, June 2 from 12:30 – 1:30 pm
OMI Senior Center, 65 Beverly St.

CMC Solera Singers of Mission Neighborhood Center
Friday, June 9 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Mission Neighborhood Center, 362 Capp St.

CMC 30th Street Chorus of 30th Street Senior Center
JCC Brain Fitness Forum
Sunday, June 11 from 1:15 – 2:00 pm
Jewish Community Center of SF, 3200 California St.

CMC Bernal Heights Older Adult Choir
Monday, June 12 from 1 – 2:30 pm
Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, 515 Cortland Ave.

CMC Older Adult Choir at Castro Senior Center
Tuesday, June 13 from 1 – 2:30 pm
Castro Senior Center, 110 Diamond St.

Coro CMC del Centro Latino de San Francisco
Thursday, June 15 from 1:30 – 3:00 pm
Centro Latino de SF, 1656 15th St.

About Community Music Center
CMC is one of the oldest and largest community arts organizations on the West Coast making high quality music accessible to all people, regardless of financial means since 1921. During the last school year, more than 2,400 students studied music at CMC in a wide array of programs, classes, workshops, and community events. Thousands more attended free concerts, performances by acclaimed visiting artists, instrument “petting zoos,” and many other events. CMC offers lessons on over 30 instruments to its students, whose ages span nearly 100 years. Learn more about CMC at and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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CMC’s Sylvia Sherman recognized by SFUSD with Dreamcatcher Award

On May 4, the SFUSD Visual and Performing Arts Department recognized our Program Director Sylvia Sherman as a community arts partner with a Dreamcatcher Award. The award ceremony was held at the SFUSD Arts Festival Community Celebration at the Asian Art Museum, and featured exuberant live music and dance by SFUSD students.

Donn Harris, SFUSD’s Executive Director for Creativity and the Arts and Chair of the California Arts Council, presented Sylvia with her award, beginning with a quote from John Coltrane, “You can play a shoestring if you’re sincere.”

He went on to make sure the audience knew of CMC’s long history of providing music education to all: “CMC has always been a beacon in our minds, a special place with real roots in the Mission District and the kind of pure mission that we all want to be part of . . . .you know the arts are OK as long as places like CMC are thriving.”

CMC partners with SFUSD to bring mariachi music to SF public schools
In 2015, CMC began work with the SFUSD to provide teaching artists for the district’s mariachi program. Over the past two years, CMC faculty members Miguel Govea, Tregar Otton, and Martha Rodríguez-Salazar have taught at Buena Vista Horace Mann, Cesar Chavez Elementary, Fairmont Elementary and Mission High Schools as part of a San Francisco Unified School District-led initiative to teach mariachi music in their schools.

Mariachi programs are springing up across the U.S. as a way to bring music education to a wider group of students, engage families, honor students’ culture, and better address the needs of Spanish bilingual students. This culturally responsive program meets music education standards and follows a pedagogy just as traditional orchestra and band programs do.

About the Dreamcatcher Award:
Inspired by individually crafted Native American dreamcatchers, highly endowed and talismanic works of art believed to have the power to capture dreams and prevent negativity, the Visual and Performing Arts Department of the San Francisco Uni ed School District proudly presents Dreamcatcher Awards as part of the SFUSD Arts Festival to honor individuals who have inspired our educational community through the excellent work they have done to promote the vision and the promise of the SFUSD Arts Education Master Plan.

Dreamcatcher recipients come from various parts of the community, including arts teachers, school arts coordinators, principals, administrators and community arts partners. The Visual and Performing Arts Department is proud to recognize these arts education leaders with the annual Dreamcatcher Awards, which made their debut in 2007, along with the Master Plan, and have provided our community with a way to recognize and celebrate the excellent work provided by these exemplary and inspiring arts leaders.

More info:

Student leader Dephny Duan on her first arrangement: “How Far I’ll Go”

Interview by Katherine Mumm, student volunteer

Dephny Duan, a cellist from CMC’s Young Musicians Program, took it upon herself to bring some popular kid’s music into the YMP’s repertoire with her arrangement of the hit “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana. Dephny, with the support of YMP Director Alex Keitel, arranged the song for two violins, viola, cello and guitar. A YMP ensemble that included Dephny performed the arrangement at the Richmond Branch Library in March to the delight of children who attended the performance. The performance was followed by an instrument petting zoo and an information session presented by the YMP program.

Katherine: What inspired you to arrange a song from Moana? Was there anything in particular about the movie that stood out for you as inspiration for an arrangement?

Dephny: We (YMP leadership team) were planning out our repertoire for the Richmond Branch Library performance, and we wanted to incorporate a piece that younger children [could enjoy].  We thought that performing, “How Far I’ll Go,” would be perfect. The song was about freedom and and discovering oneself. Although the words weren’t sung during our performance, the power of the song was definitely felt while playing. The song starts out with a calm mood and grows with power and passion till the climatic end.

Katherine: What was most difficult and most exciting about the process of arranging a piece?

Dephny: One of the more difficult parts about arranging the piece was transposing the three voice parts into two violins, a viola part AND adding a guitar part. I have never played the guitar, but with some help from my cello teacher and flexibility of the guitar player, I was able to simply write in the chords….

By far, the most challenging part of arranging the piece, was learning how to use the program to arrange the piece. I’ve never arranged a piece before let alone write up music digitally. I learned that using apps like MuseScore definitely makes arranging and composing a lot easier and smoother.

The most exciting part was hearing how the piece sounded with real live instruments!

Katherine: How long have you played your instrument, and what has your experience been as a musician while growing up?

Dephny: I’ve been playing the cello for around four years now. I was first introduced to the piano at a young age. I discovered the cello in middle school.  I slowly drifted from the piano and fell in love with the deep and powerful voice of the cello.

I have and will always love music for its never-ending game. Whether it’s a piece with challenging rhythms, tempo, or fingerings; the thrill of learning and perfecting a piece is the best feeling and has stuck with me all these years.

A Salute to the Joy of Making Music: Taste teaser!

CMC’s annual gala: A Salute to the Joy of Making Music is looking to be not only an entertaining evening of music and festivities, but also a celebration for the taste buds. The event at the Four Season Hotel in San Francisco features headliner Regina Carter, San Francisco Performances Founder and President-Emeritus Ruth A. Felt receiving CMC’s Community Impact Gertrude Field Award, and a three-course menu catered by the Four Seasons.

Not too long ago, the Four Season Hotel gave a first taste of the menu to CMC’s Development Director, Mary Ann Grossman and Development Coordinator, Elenka Refsell. In Elenka’s words the food is “all wonderful!” Mary Ann praised the soubise sauce on the sea bass. Both Elenka and Mary Ann had particularly beaming reviews of the blood orange mousse for its uniquely delicious flavor. The mousse tops a citrus-hazelnut torte.

See for yourself, and read the delicious details below.

Or better yet, taste for yourself!  Tickets are still available.

Salad Course:
Wild arugula, roasted golden beet, shaved radish, strawberry, hazelnut, red wine gastrique

Entrees (guests choose one):
Quinoa risotto, braised endive, arugula, white cheddar, apricot-pistachio relish
Sea bass, soubise, confit potatoes, grilled root vegetables, beurre rouge
Roasted chicken breast, celery root gratin, artichoke, maitake, walnut pesto

Dessert (desserts alternate at each seat so guests can share with table-mates):
Citrus-hazelnut torte, blood orange mousse, Grand Marnier, salted hazelnut toffee, mandarin sorbet
Coffee-mascarpone varrine, vanilla chiffon cake, Kahlúa crème, amoretti cookie

A Salute to the Joy of Making Music

Monday, May 8, 2017 at 6:30 pm
Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco
6:00PM: Exclusive VIP reception with Ruth A. Felt and Regina Carter
6:30PM: Reception, dinner, and performance
The event features a headliner performance by world renowned jazz violinist Regina Carter and pianist Xavier Davis.


Garrick Ohlsson shares insights and delights during CMC master class

Guest artists lend new perspectives at CMC
Over the years, CMC has invited world-renowned musicians to our school to offer our students their musical wisdom. Artists such as Latin percussionist John Santos, Indian percussionist Rohan Krishnamurthy, classical pianist Emanuel Ax, and ensembles such as the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble have brought free clinics to the CMC community.

On March 25, celebrated classical pianist Garrick Ohlsson gave a free master class at CMC.  He spent 30 minutes with each of the three young students selected to participate: Rebecca Portnoy and Daniel Shin, students of Juliet McComas, and Brenton Lai, a student of Lilia Zheltova.

An extraordinary pianist
Garrick Ohlsson began his piano studies at the age of 8, at the Westchester Conservatory of Music, and entered The Juilliard School in New York City at 13. Since his 1970 triumph at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, he has established himself worldwide as a musician of great lyrical interpretation and technical prowess. He is noted for his masterly performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire.

Insightful instruction
Throughout the master class in CMC’s Concert Hall, Ohlsson was personable, insightful, and instructive. He affirmed how each student played, and showed respect for the students as young musicians taking this journey through their music studies.

Ohlsson was very detailed in his feedback for the students. Here are just a few observations he shared:

Sonata in D, Hob.XVI:24 by Franz Joseph Haydn, performed by Rebecca Portnoy
He gave Rebecca tips for the articulation of fast runs, then worked on the legato areas in contrast. He asked her to almost overlap the notes in her pedal work. Other suggestions were to take more time at the fermata in order to build anticipation, and to add an element of humor.

Arabesque No. 1 by Claude Debussy, performed by Daniel Shin
He recommended that Daniel make his tone project more during softer moments so that the audience can appreciate them. He suggested that the pianist think about dynamics and their relationship to one another. He also made voicing suggestions within a chord.

Fantasy in D minor, K. 397 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, performed by Brenton Lai
He showed Brenton how to make the piece sound more operatic with dramatic dynamic changes. He also offered more ways to practice runs, emphasizing the importance of practicing each hand individually. This way, you can appreciate the role of what each hand has to do.

Said Juliet McComas, “As a faculty member, it is valuable to hear another perspective and opinion on our students’ playing. If you share an opinion with the guest artist, it may be put in another way that reaches the students.”

Lilia Zheltova agreed, and shared her experience as the teacher of one of the participants: “My heart was pounding while Brenton was playing. I think I was much more nervous listening to my student than I would have been if I had been playing for Garrick myself.”

McComas added, “Bravo to the CMC students who put themselves out there in front of Mr. Ohlsson and a rapt audience. All showed extraordinary composure and maturity. There was a lot of happiness all around: the kids knew they did well, and the parents were thrilled and proud.”

Ohlsson delighted the audience at the end with two Chopin Mazurkas and the Rachmaninoff Prelude in C sharp minor, brilliantly showcasing the dynamic range and tone quality of CMC’s new concert grand. We hope for the chance to host him on our stage again soon!

View photos from the March 2017 Master Class by Linda Nakasone

Community Music Center’s new Yamaha CFX concert grand has been donated by the estate of Donald Oestreicher and by Piedmont Piano Company, with additional gifts from Denny Abrams, Robert Dell, Lawrence Dillon, and Larry Russo.

Thanks to Autodesk designer and CMC volunteer, Paul Fortin!

The artist behind Field Day at CMC

Last June, CMC took part in Autodesk’s Month of Impact and hosted a dream team of communications, social media, and branding volunteers for a day. Among them was Paul Fortin, Art Director at Autodesk. Paul has been with Autodesk for 16 years and is experienced in visual brand identity, graphic design, and event design.

As the volunteer team worked on a communications and social media plan for Field Day at CMC, our first-ever Performathon dedicated to our founder Gertrude Field, Paul sketched out a design that would become the event’s logo:

All of our Field Day communications, including posters, postcards, and digital media featured the logo. CMC received countless compliments on this fun, colorful design, which we look forward to sharing for many more Field Days.


Time for a Do Re Mi facelift

Paul’s passion for helping CMC was evident not only in the top-notch design work he did for us, but his continued volunteer support. He was only an email away when we asked him to help us design a logo for our Do Re Mi newsletter redesign. Since CMC doesn’t have a dedicated in-house designer, having a such a skilled volunteer is a huge help. Paul provided us with yet another lively and musical logo:

A big thanks to Paul and every CMC volunteer

A big thanks to Paul Fortin for making us look good! He turned our ideas into reality with logos that we love, and will use for years to come.

We truly appreciate the many volunteers who contribute to Community Music Center. Find out how you can get involved at CMC through our volunteer program.

CMC chamber group to perform at San Francisco Civic Music Association concert

A CMC chamber ensemble, coached by Coordinator Rachel Condry, was chosen by audition to perform at the San Francisco Civic Music Association’s “An Afternoon of Chamber Music” on Saturday, April 22. The musicians are all between the ages of 12-14, and are the only group in the Civic Chamber Concert Series featuring performers under 18 years old. In addition to Rachel’s coaching, they received coaching from a string player from SFCMA in preparation for their performance.

Saturday, April 22 at 3:00pm
An Afternoon of Chamber Music
Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez in San Francisco
Free (donations accepted)
Facebook event page

Samantha Friedland, flute
Alessandra Richardson-Beatty, violin
Sophia Lazara, cello

On the program:
Joseph Haydn – Hob IV:6 – Trio Op. 100 No. 1 in D major
Lucie Vellere – String Quartet 3
Felix Mendelssohn – String Octet, Op. 20


Participation in this concert series is such an honor, that I visited the group’s rehearsal last week to ask them a few questions about their work together and their upcoming performance. I’ve pulled some of my favorite answers from the group in the short interview below.


What drew you to chamber music?

“When I first heard chamber music, I loved hearing the different parts. I noticed that you could hear the individual parts more than you can when you’re listening to an orchestra.”

“I really like hearing other instruments. I like soloing, but I like hearing other instruments and the sounds blending together.”

“I like how the parts all come together so that what we produce is much bigger than an individual sound.”


How long have you all been playing together?

“Rachel put our group together in January of 2017. This is only our second performance together!”

“Now I know what to practice after hearing a recording of the last concert (our first ever).”


Any thoughts on the Haydn piece you’ll perform?

“We meet on Friday afternoons, and we all get this song stuck in our heads for the entire weekend!”

The group also shared that they like the conversational nature of the music and think it is cool to be able to connect to feelings in music that is over 250 years old.


Any last words to share?

“We highly recommend coming to this concert!”

“We also recommend the chamber music program at CMC!”

To learn more about CMC’s Chamber Music Program, visit our website:
Chamber Music for Youth
Chamber Music for Adults

CMC Presents the Premiere of “7×7,” a New Work by Rohan Krishnamurthy

Solo percussion piece inspired by the diverse and changing soundscapes of San Francisco

Sonia Caltvedt
Marketing Director, Community Music Center
415-647-6015 x75

SAN FRANCISCO, April 4, 2017 – On Saturday, April 29, San Francisco Community Music Center will premiere new work by Indian percussionist, educator, and composer, Rohan Krishnamurthy in its Mission District Concert Hall. “7 x 7” is a rhythmic composition for solo mridangam and is one of the first socially-inspired, programmatic works for south Indian percussion. The piece will be followed by new, cross-genre ideas that Krishnamurthy has developed with Prasant Radhakrishnan (saxophone), Colin Hogan (piano), and Ryan Andrews (drums).

The April 29 performance follows a series of free Indian Rhythm and Hand Drumming Workshops at CMC (see below for event details). The workshops and performance are a collaboration between Community Music Center and Rohan Krishnamurthy and are generously supported by a San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant.

About “7×7”
“7×7,” scored for solo mridangam, is inspired by the diverse and changing soundscapes of San Francisco. The piece draws on Krishnamurthy’s field recordings of the city’s diverse natural environments and neighborhoods, and conversations with San Francisco-based artists. An array of sounds from nature, the built environment, and people are evoked in three continuous movements. The soloist is challenged to push the boundaries of traditional, mathematical repertoire, strict timing, and conventional aesthetics, and explore new, experimental capacities, in both composed and improvised parts. The piece is composed so future performances can feature other percussion instruments and performers of different skill levels.

“7×7” combines representational depictions of soundscapes with musical development. Listeners might be reminded of the wind, waves, rain, cable cars, BART, footsteps, or construction sites. The sounds and the energy of The Women’s March also inspired the composer. On its own, “7×7” presents a spectrum of rhythms and textures that at times sound familiar and unfamiliar. Delve deeper into the soundscapes and you may hear layers of symbolism reflecting an undercurrent of tension and the relentless change that shapes our diverse society.

Event Information:

April 29, 2017 at 8:00 pm
Acclaimed Indian Percussionist, Rohan Krishnamurthy in Concert
CMC Concert Hall: 544 Capp St., San Francisco, CA 94110
$15/$10 students and seniors

April 29, 2017 from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Indian Rhythm and Hand Drumming Workshop with Rohan Krishnamurthy
CMC Concert Hall: 544 Capp St., San Francisco, CA 94110

About Community Music Center
Founded in 1921, San Francisco’s Community Music Center (CMC) is one of the oldest and largest community arts organizations on the West Coast. CMC makes high quality music accessible to all people, regardless of financial means. Last year, CMC served more than 2,400 students of all ages, ethnicities and income levels with music lessons, classes and other programs. Thousands enjoyed performances at CMC and out in the community. Learn more at and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


Artist Bios

Rohan Krishnamurthy 
Acclaimed an “international mridangam performer” by USA Today and “pride of India” by India’s leading newspaper, The Times of India, Rohan Krishnamurthy is considered a musical ambassador. Having initially received mridangam training with Damodaran Srinivasan in the U.S., he continued advanced training from maestro, Guruvayur Dorai, in India. Rohan has performed hundreds of concerts internationally since the age of nine as a distinguished soloist and collaborator in diverse music and dance ensembles. His prodigious, cross-genre artistry draws from his formal study of Indian classical music, at once propagating the ancient tradition and expanding it in new artistic directions.

Rohan has shared the stage with the leading artists of Indian classical music, including M. Balamuralikrishna, T.N. Krishnan, T.N. Seshagopalan, Chitravina N. Ravikiran, S. Shashank, T. M. Krishna, and Ranjani and Gayatri. Having intensely studied many styles of music, he has also spearheaded new cross-musical collaborations with eminent symphony orchestras, jazz ensembles, and musicians including Grammy Award-winners Glen Velez and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Anoushka Shankar, Jamey Haddad, and Ayano Ninomiya. He premiered Rohan, a concerto for South Indian percussion and Western percussion ensemble written for him by composer and percussionist, Payton Macdonald. The concerto was premiered on both coasts at The Juilliard School in New York City and San Francisco Conservatory of Music in San Francisco.

An acclaimed educator, Rohan has presented Indian percussion institutes and summer camps, clinics, workshops, and master classes, and academic courses at world-renowned institutions, including the Eastman School of Music, Harvard University, Berklee College of Music, University of Madras (India), A.R. Rehman’s K.M. Conservatory of Music (India), Society for Ethnomusicology, Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Interlochen Arts Academy, and National Institute of Design (India). He teaches in the Music Department at Ohlone College and directs the award-winning RohanRhythm Percussion Studio, both in-person and online, which has attracted dozens of students of all ages from around the globe. Rohan is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including USA Today “All-College Academic Second Team,” “Young Artist of India” by Bharat Kalachar (India), Thomas Siwe Scholarship from the Percussive Arts Society, and “Prodigy in Performing Arts” by the Indo-American Center in New York City.

An innovator, Rohan designed and patented a new drumhead tuning system. His work resulted in a publication in the premier music journal, Percussive Notes, and was supported by the Eastman School of Music’s Institute for Music Leadership. Rohan conducted acoustical research on his new design and has been regularly invited to present his work at the Acoustical Society of America’s international conferences. His design is now available worldwide. Committed to community service and outreach, Rohan has conducted and organized concerts and workshops for almost two decades at prominent centers, including the San Francisco Community Music Center, Oakland Roots International Academy, Chinmaya Mission, The Banyan (India), Sankara Nethralaya, Sankara Eye Foundation, and the Indo-American Cultural
Center and Temple.

Rohan’s multifaceted accomplishments as a performer, composer, educator, researcher, and entrepreneur earned him a one-on-one meeting and performance for the President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam, at the presidential office and estate in New Delhi. Based in San Francisco, Rohan earned a Ph.D. in musicology from the Eastman School of Music as a Provost Fellow, where he founded and directed a popular Indian percussion ensemble and summer institutes. He is excited to partner with the San Francisco Community Music Center on the new Hand Drumming and Indian Rhythm institutes for the Bay Area community. Learn more at

Ryan Andrews is a composer, producer, sound designer and performer based in Los Angeles. His work has been featured in the marketing campaigns of major blockbuster movies and video games such as Geostorm, Independence Day: Resurgence, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Furious 7 and the Call Of Duty series. A versatile performer, Ryan has worked internationally with stars across genres, including pop star Aloe Blacc, Iranian icon Dariush, jazz legend Fred Hersch and country phenom Frankie Ballard.

Born in Chicago and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Ryan and Rohan Krishnamurthy first collaborated in high school, culminating in several performances and the recording of the album Layopasana 2: Rhythmic Exploration. Ryan then received his Bachelor’s degree in jazz performance and Spanish from Western Michigan University and his Master’s in the prestigious Studio Jazz Writing program at the University of Miami, during which time he was mentored in composition by Lyle Mays of the Pat Metheny Group. While a student, Ryan was the recipient of eleven Downbeat Student Awards for his composition, performance, and production, and in 2012 was awarded the ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award. Ryan currently maintains a schedule balancing composition, performance and managing production at the boutique trailer music library Pitch Hammer Music, based in Los Angeles and Iceland.

Colin Hogan was born in San Francisco, CA. He was a member of the world-renowned Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble while also studying with the Jazzschool’s founder, Susan Muscarella. He then attended Cal State East Bay (Hayward) where he earned a BA in piano performance.

Colin has performed on five continents and has performed with many legendary jazz musicians including James Moody, Peter Erskine, Bob Brookmeyer, Roy Ayers, and Maria Schneider. In 2004 he performed with electric bass revolutionary Larry Graham of Sly and the Family Stone at the California Music Awards. Colin is currently involved in many projects including The Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy, Dynamic, The Jazz Mafia, Trio Zincalo and The Hogan Brothers with brothers Steve and Julian. He has worked as a music educator at SFJAZZ, Longfellow Middle School, and The Community School of the East Bay, and is currently an instructor at Cal State East Bay and the California Jazz Conservatory.

Prasant Radhakrishnan is a versatile saxophonist steeped in both South Indian Classical (Carnatic) and jazz disciplines. The unique vocal texture of his sound on saxophone, noted for its expressive complexity and rhythmic ingenuity, reflects Prasant’s continued study of tradition, constant innovation, and vast concert experience over the past fifteen years. The foremost disciple of Carnatic saxophone pioneer, Kadri Gopalnath, Prasant’s collaborations with Rohan date back almost two decades when they met at music festivals and subsequently performed across the country and India. In parallel with his development as a Carnatic artist, Radhakrishnan immersed himself in American jazz, playing in the all-star bands in high school and going on to study jazz at the University of Southern California (2000-2004). After Prasant’s move to the Bay Area in 2005, he founded VidyA. VidyA has emerged with a soulful, penetrating sound that pushes the labels of “fusion” or “world music” by merging the virtuosity of jazz with the melodic and rhythmic nuance of Carnatic music. Named among the top jazz acts by the San Francisco Chronicle, VidyA’s style has been heralded as “..madly percussive and sparkling with…a saxophone that switches idioms from second to second, and a warm, quickly picked string bass. The result combines jazz’s sweet dreaminess with the Indian form’s insistent rhythmic and tonal changes…” (San Francisco Weekly).

Radhakrishnan has established himself as an exciting Bay Area artist known for blurring musical boundaries while steeped in traditional roots. His six year relationship with the San Francisco art space, Red Poppy Art House, has resulted in two artist residencies in 2007 and 2010 and groundbreaking musical collaborations such as Nefasha Ayer: The Space of In Between (with Ethiopian vocalist Meklit Hadero, guitarist and painter Todd Brown, jazz artists Marcus Shelby, Howard Wiley and poet Michael Warr among others) and Teobi’s Dream (a multi disciplinary project with Todd Brown at the de Young Museum). He has received grants from National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Sparkplug Foundation and SF Friends of Chamber Music for his
original work.

CMC’s 14th Annual Faculty Keyboard Marathon: Night Music

By Suzanne Korey

Last year the theme of our very successful Keyboard Marathon was Water Music, and one may wonder if all that beautiful music – from the Tempest Sonata to the Rains of Oregon – helped bring us all the rain, hail, and snow that we’ve received this year!

Our theme this year is Night Music, possibly a quieter, yet equally beautiful offering of music for our audience. We have a wide range of performers playing solo pieces, duets, and even a two piano, eight hands performance that will cap off the concert. The selections of music ranges from classical to jazz to original compositions.

The Keyboard Marathon is a beloved CMC institution, now in its 14th year. It is one of the few opportunities we have to gather members of the piano faculty and listen to the richness of the music, the diversity of taste and styles, and the quality of performance. It is a special afternoon that brings friends and family together in the CMC auditorium for music and celebration.

The Keyboard Marathon takes place on Sunday, April 23 at 3:00 pm in the CMC recital hall, at 544 Capp Street in San Francisco. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors, with tickets available at the door. A champagne reception follows the performance – we are fortunate to have a courtyard and often beautiful weather, that allows us to take the reception outside and celebrate the day.

This year’s performers are faculty members Lauren Cony, John Kyrk, Juliet McComas, Jennifer Peringer, Lilia Zheltova, Paul Dab, Erik Ian Walker, Betty Wong, Shirley Wong Frentzel, Jacqueline Chew, Allison Lovejoy, Christian Bonvin, Joe Willcockson, Paula Dreyer, and guest artists Grace Huenemann, Esther Chan and Annie Nalezny. Suzanne Korey, CMC piano student of Lauren Cony, is producing the performance.

Community Music Center’s new Yamaha CFX concert grand has been donated by the estate of Donald Oestreicher and by Piedmont Piano Company, with additional gifts from Denny Abrams, Robert Dell, Lawrence Dillon, and Larry Russo.

CMC Selects Yamaha CFX Piano to Offer Students, Audiences and Artists an Exemplary Experience

SAN FRANCISCO (January 16, 2017) — Founded in 1921, Community Music Center (CMC) makes quality music education accessible to all in the San Francisco Bay Area through classes, tuition free programs and public performances with renowned musicians. They recently acquired a Yamaha CFX Concert Collection Grand Piano for their Mission District concert hall stage, and Canadian virtuoso pianist Marc-André Hamelin presented a “Concert with Conversation” on the instrument in late October through CMC’s partnership with San Francisco Performances.

A search committee comprised of members of the CMC piano faculty, board and staff conducted a thoughtful selection process and considered several pianos before unanimously selecting the superlative nine-foot Yamaha CFX piano.

“We determined this piano was the best option available to accommodate and support the varied requirements and musical interests of our students, faculty and professional pianists,” says Christopher Borg, executive director of CMC. “In short, we’re thrilled and are very happy with our choice.”

The Yamaha CFX concert grand piano possesses a wide palette of tonal colors and the most expressive and subtle nuances which allow it to project over the sound of a symphony orchestra. This skillfully handcrafted instrument is the crowning glory of the Yamaha line of pianos, representing the culmination of numerous refinements in performance and appearance designed to achieve the highest standards of excellence.

The CFX will be used for public concerts in Community Music Center’s 130-seat concert hall and as the centerpiece of a new recording studio. The award-winning Venezuelan pianist and Yamaha Artist, Edward Simon, lives in the Bay Area and is a member of the SFJAZZ Collective. He prefers this CFX for regional concert appearances and recorded his most recent two CDs on it as well. Simon anticipates using it for recording sessions in the new CMC studio once the facility is completed.

The official unveiling ceremony of the Yamaha CFX was held on November 20 during CMC’s annual Field Day celebration honoring their founder, Gertrude Field. Field established the school to be “a provider of music that is not art for art’s sake, but art for life’s sake.” Field Day featured music for everyone with free performances, workshops and lessons at CMC’s Mission District Branch, and the school’s inaugural “Performathon” from noon to 5 p.m. Highlights included performances on the Yamaha CFX with the CMC Field Day Orchestra and CMC Field Day Choir.

“At the time the piano arrived, we knocked on the studio door of a 12-year old student who was having a lesson and invited him to be the first member of our community to play on this beautiful instrument. After hearing him play just a few measures, we felt confident in our decision that we had chosen the right piano, for the way it sounds and grand presence were engaging the full attention, excitement and musical sensitivity of the student,” Borg adds.

Over the past quarter century, all pianos acquired by CMC have been new Yamaha instruments from Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland. CMC has purchased several Yamaha P-22 and U1 upright pianos and a number of digital keyboards for their practice rooms, as well as a Yamaha C2 grand piano. Acquisition of the CFX and a number of other Yamaha pianos was made possible by a generous gift from Piedmont Piano Company’s former CFO, Don Oestreicher, who included the CMC in his will.

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