Experience the joy, Older Adult Choirs concerts in December

If you want to bring a smile to your face and a spring to your step, check out the free Older Adult Choir concerts throughout San Francisco this December. These events feature the spirited singers from 10 of CMC’s Older Adult Choirs. The vast array of musical genres these choirs perform includes Latin, jazz, show tunes, gospel, oldies, and popular. Some of the choirs perform music in Spanish and Tagalog, as well. Don’t miss a chance to experience the joy of these choirs first-hand. It’s contagious!

Older Adult Choir December Concerts

CMC 30th Street Older Adult Choir – Holiday concert – Monday, 12/4 (10:15-11:15am), 30th Street Senior Center, 225 30th Street

CMC Western Addition Older Adult Choir – Holiday concert – Wednesday, 12/6 (10:15-11:00am); Western Addition Senior Center, 1390 ½ Turk Street

CMC Bayview Older Adult Choir – Holiday concert – Wednesday, 12/6 (2:30-3:30pm), Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center, 1753 Carroll Avenue

Coro CMC del Centro Latino de San Francisco – Holiday Concert – Thursday, 12/7 (1:45-2:30pm); Centro Latino de San Francisco, 1656 15th Street

CMC OMI Senior Center Choir – Holiday concert – Friday, 12/8 (12:45-1:30pm), OMI Senior Center, 65 Beverly Street

CMC IT Bookman Older Adult Choir – Holiday concert with invited guest choirs (CMC Bayview Older Adult Choir and CMC Western Addition Older Adult Choir) – Monday, 12/11 (11:45-12:30pm), IT Bookman Community Center, 446 Randolph Street

CMC Bernal Heights Older Adult Choir – Holiday concert – Monday, 12/11 (1:15-2:15pm), Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, 515 Cortland Avenue

CMC Older Adult Choir at Castro Senior Center – Holiday concert – Tuesday, 12/12 (1:15-2:15pm); Castro Senior Center, 110 Diamond Street

CMC Aquatic Park Older Adult Choir – Aquatic Park Center Holiday Concert – Thursday, 12/14 (1:00-2:30pm); Aquatic Park Center, 890 Beach Street

CMC Veterans Equity Center Older Adult Choir – Holiday concert – Monday, 12/18 (1:45-2:30pm); Veterans Equity Center, 1010 Mission Street (confirmed)

Student profile: Greg Kehret bass player for CMC’s Cuban Charanga Ensemble

If you are around CMC’s Mission Branch during lunchtime, chances are you’ve heard someone hammering out scales on double bass. Chances are it’s Greg Kehret. Greg is the bass player for CMC’s Cuban Charanga Ensemble. He often jumps on Bart from his downtown work office at Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, spending his precious lunch breaks practicing. Like many musicians, Greg heard about CMC through word of mouth. A guitar teacher he know mentioned former CMC faculty Chus Alonso and the Latin-Flamenco ensemble he directed.

“Chus put me on a path of diving into Afro-Cuban music…The skills Chus taught me really prepared me for playing in the Cuban Charanga Ensemble,” says Greg.

Greg has been with CMC Cuban Charanga Ensemble since it formed three years ago. One of the things he loves about the ensemble is the music. “The music is great, it compels you to dance!”

On Wednesday nights, he meets with other ensemble members and Director Tregar Otton to rehearse and fine tune the arrangements that Tregar creates for the group. The ensemble is a regular installment with performances at the Mission Arts and Performance Project every other month in CMC’s concert hall. These free events are vibrant and well-attended, with a dance lesson and two sets of music.

One of the other things that Greg enjoys about the ensemble is the “community spirit.”

“The ensemble practice on Wednesdays is the high point of many people’s weeks. Everyone is friendly and down to participate. There is a spirit there.” He adds, “Everyone bring the best they have to offer. It’s light and fresh and free of pressures of a gigging band.”

Keep your eyes on the CMC event calendar for the next Afro-Cuban Dance Party featuring CMC’s Cuban Charanga Ensemble!

Welcoming Aron and David to CMC staff!

Meet Aron Kidane, CMC Senior Accountant

Aron started at the beginning of October and has been getting up to speed on the many systems that keep CMC running!

What do you think of CMC so far?

I’m still learning. I am enjoying the people I work with. It’s a very cooperative atmosphere. I am impressed by CMC’s mission and like seeing the students and hearing the music. I am still new here, but I think CMC is an amazing organization.

What’s your background?

I was born Asmara, Eritrea but lived in South Africa for college. I did a masters in financial management in Pretoria, South Africa and came to the United States in 2005. I’ve been an accountant for 10 years, seven of those years for nonprofits. I worked for ConnectEd an organization in Berkeley that helps young underprivileged high school student with college and career readiness. I worked with an organization in San Rafael that provides direct services to people with disabilities. I prefer working for nonprofits, because I love the different missions. I like working with people who are passionate and visionary about helping people and I’m impressed at how people work hard to help people in the community and state.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I consider myself a sports junky! I love playing soccer. I’m into all kinds of sports. I love watching Arsenal Football Club from England. I like local teams; the Warriors and Raiders.  I like traveling and have traveled to different countries.

Are you a music lover?

I love music of all types. A couple favorite artists are John Meyer and “The Boss.”
I always wanted to play the guitar. I’ll need a very patient teacher!



Introducing David Dezern, CMC Associate Registrar Mission Branch

David’s first day was October 24. He has been learning all about the registration processes and systems, as Winter Quarter approaches.

How have your first couple of weeks been? What do you think of CMC?

I don’t like to judge a book by its cover, but I have a good feeling so far! People seem nice and upbeat, as you would expect from a place that has music as the focus. It’s hard to be anything but happy when you’ve got a song in your head.

I hear that you come to CMC with a background in administration at other educational institutions. Tell me about some of the other work you’ve done.

I worked for many years at a progressive seminary called Starr King School for the Ministry. First as the Executive Assistant to the Dean of the Faculty and then as Director of Faculty Services. It was similar to CMC in the sense that it was very student-centered, and intentional about wanting to form “whole” people, with the arts as a major component of that.

I worked in a lot of different areas while I was there, which gave me a good overview of how a school works from different angles and perspectives. I built calendars, procedure manuals and course catalogs. I worked with faculty schedules and contracts and everyday office duties. I helped register students and was always looking for new ways to streamline the process to make it easier and more understandable. I taught classes and assisted with faculty hiring and training around pedagogies. I co-chaired the school’s accreditation committee and worked on their comprehensive strategic plan.

There was always a new program or event that they were trying to establish, so I got to see how those got built from scratch, from just an idea through to implementation, and then hopefully folding it into the regular routine and procedures so that it would be institutionalized and administered into the future. I learned that calling something a “special project” was a good way to get an idea started, but if you wanted it to last you had to incorporate it into the regular order — not leave it hanging as separate thing.

What do you like about this kind of work?

I think music and the arts are very important for both personal well-being and for society as a whole. Just imagine how much better we’d be if world leaders spent more time getting in touch with beauty and the arts!

I find that my administrative skills are the best way that I’m able to support that goal. My mind has always been attuned to thinking about systems, structures, holistic processes. I’m still learning my way around, but my hope would be to help the registrar’s office work as efficiently and painlessly as possible, so that our students and faculty could focus on the music.

Any other interests or hobbies you’d care to share? Have you studied music?

I also love watching movies. Blockbusters are ok, but it’s usually the smaller independent and foreign films that I find most interesting. I like things that give me a different perspective and challenge the norms.

I started playing the tuba in sixth grade, and continued for eleven years until I graduated from college. I was very active in the concert and marching bands. It kept me out of trouble (most of the time!), and marching around with a sousaphone strapped on me was good exercise. It also allowed me to travel since the bands would go on concert tours and performances. My high school marching band won the state marching championship one year. We were in several different bowl game parades, and I got to visit Ireland when my college band visited there.