World-class artists take the stage at Concert with Conversation series 2019–2020

This year’s free Concert with Conversation series sponsored by San Francisco Performances features Grammy Award-winning artists, musicians of critical acclaim, and raising stars who are quickly becoming legends in their genres. San Francisco Performances, celebrating their 40th anniversary season, is providing five unforgettable concerts for the CMC community. Each short concert is followed by a Q & A session where the audience can learn more about the music and lives of the performers.

 

Friday, October 25, 2019 from 6:00-7:00pm
Jason Vieaux, guitar

Grammy Award-winner Jason Vieaux, “among the elite of today’s classical guitarists” (Gramophone), is the guitarist that goes beyond the classical. His most recent solo album, Play, won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo. Jason Vieaux has performed as soloist with over 100 orchestras in the U.S. and abroad.

 

Friday, November 22, 2019 from 6:00-7:00pm
Los Angeles Guitar Quartet

The Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet is one of the most multifaceted groups in any genre. The LAGQ is comprised of four uniquely accomplished musicians bringing a new energy to the concert stage with programs ranging from Bluegrass to Bach. They consistently play to sold-out houses worldwide. Their inventive, critically acclaimed transcriptions of concert masterworks provide a fresh look at the music of the past, while their interpretations of works from the contemporary and world-music realms continually break new ground.

 

Friday, Friday, February 7, 2020 from 6:00-7:00pm
Dashon Burton, baritone

Praised for his rich tone and powerfully thrilling voice, bass-baritone Dashon Burton has proven himself to be a voice to be reckoned with, winning international competitions and performing with opera companies and orchestras across the country and in Europe. His talents make him equally at home performing Bach and Mozart to Stockhausen, as well as touring with the Grammy Award-winning contemporary vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth. Burton’s repertoire includes classical and sacred music as well as programming with deeper political meaning.

 

Friday, March 27, 2020 from 6:00-7:00pm
Alfredo Rodríguez, piano
Cuban pianist and composer Alfredo Rodríguez has become a globally recognized Grammy nominee with multiple critically acclaimed releases on Mack Avenue Records since being discovered and produced by the great Quincy Jones. Rodríguez is leading the way for the new wave of Cuban musicians, including past collaborators Ibeyi and Pedrito Martinez, and exposing the rich musical history of Cuba to a wider audience.

 

Friday, April 24, 2020 from 6:00-7:00pm
Nicholas Phan, tenor & Gabriel Kahane, piano

Described by the Boston Globe as “one of the world’s most remarkable singers,” American tenor Nicholas Phan is increasingly recognized as an artist of distinction. Praised for his keen intelligence, captivating stage presence and natural musicianship, he performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies.

Over the last decade, Gabriel Kahane has quietly established himself as a songwriter all his own, grafting a deep interest in storytelling to a keen sense of harmony and rhythm. His major label debut, The Ambassador, a study of Los Angeles seen through the lens of ten street addresses, was hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of the year’s very best albums”.

CNN: Study sings the praises of choir membership for lonely older adults

Aired March 2 and March 3 on CNN Staying Well
by Lauren Lee

CNN coverage of the CMC Older Adult Choir Program and the Community of Voices Study in collaboration with UCSF and the San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS). The story features interviews with CMC Older Adult Choir staff and singers about the benefits of singing in a community choir for older adults. The coverage focuses on key findings of the Community of Voices Study with lead author of the study Julene Johnson, PhD, associate dean for research and professor in the UCSF School of Nursing. The study was released in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences online Nov. 9, 2018.

Watch HERE.

Community Music Center to host “Trans and Singing: A Symposium for Voice Teachers and Singers” to encourage transgender voices to be strengthened and heard

Photo credit: FeinMentschFilms

 

 

 

 

Community Music Center to host “Trans and Singing: A Symposium for Voice Teachers and Singers” to encourage transgender voices to be strengthened and heard

Contact:
Anne C. Mitchell, Marketing Manager
415-647-6015 x175, amitchell@sfcmc.org

 

For Immediate Release
SAN FRANCISCO, January 23, 2019 – New voices and new ideas are creating a first-of-its-kind transgender vocal symposium. The free symposium is set to take place on Saturday, February 23 at Community Music Center (CMC) in San Francisco. “Trans and Singing” is a day of presentations and discussion on transgender singing for voice teachers and singers of all genders and is hosted by the CMC Voice Department, New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus, and funded by a CMC Partnership Grant.

This past fall, CMC, whose mission is musical access to all people regardless of income, launched New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus, a mixed voice tuition-free choral ensemble for self-identified transgender, intersex, and genderqueer (TIGQ) singers. “Community Music Center’s intention is to create a great choral ensemble and to provide a safe, creative space for transgender, intersex and genderqueer singers to make music, learn, and create community together,” said CMC Executive Director Julie Rulyak Steinberg upon the launch of the pilot program.

This free chorus not only strives to create musical spaces for the San Francisco Bay Area TIGQ community, but also to encourage voices that have been silenced or shamed to grow and be heard. Made up of singers from beginners to professionals, the chorus performs music from diverse traditions, builds strong connections, and lifts up the TIGQ community’s strength and struggle through great choral singing.

“As a transgender singer and conductor, I have experienced first-hand the barriers that TIGQ face to musical participation,” said Reuben Zellman, Director of the New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus, “Singers tend to be rigidly and often thoughtlessly sorted by sex. Yet TIGQ vocal stories are often more complex.”

The “Trans and Singing” symposium emerged out of similar needs as the NVBA TIGQ Chorus. The symposium seeks to educate CMC faculty, CMC students, and the Bay Area vocal community at large on TIGQ singing. The symposium re-examines the thinking and approaches on TIGQ singing in light of new information. The day-long symposium on transgender singing, will be followed by ten weeks of individual vocal instruction for NVBA choir members. The symposium features presentations, masterclasses, and demonstrations by experts in TIGQ vocal pedagogy and voice science, panel discussions with TIGQ performers, and an open rehearsal and community sing with NVBA TIGQ Chorus. Both the symposium and the NVBA vocal training will be offered as a service to the community, completely free of charge.  

“We feel TIGQ vocalism is an emerging field of study of great importance,” said Jonathan Smucker, CMC Voice Department Chair, “and are thrilled to bring it to light in the Bay Area. Through deepened understanding we hope to help create more safe spaces for TIGQ vocal expression, music making, and community building, bettering TIGQ people’s lives, and broadening musical perspectives in the field at large.”

Trans and Singing Symposium:
Trans and Singing: A Symposium for Voice Teachers and Singers
Hosted by Community Music Center Voice Department and New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus, and generously funded by Community Music Center and the Community Music Center Partnership Grant program

Saturday, February 23rd
Community Music Center
Concert Hall
544 Capp Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Trans and Singing is a a day of presentations and discussion on transgender singing for voice teachers and singers of all genders.

Registration and meet and greet- 2:30-3pm
Symposium- 3-9:30pm

Admission is free, registration required
http://tinyurl.com/trans-and-singing

New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus: https://sfcmc.org/new-voices-bay-area-tigq-chorus/

Photos:
New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus launch
Credit:Salma Salman

Video still NVBA at Trans Day of Remembrance 2018_1
Credit: FeinMentschFilms

Video still NVBA at Trans Day of Remembrance 2018_2
Credit: FeinMentschFilms

Video: New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus at Transgender Day of Remembrance 11/20/18
Credit: FeinMentschFilms

Available interviews:
Reuben Zellman, New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus Director
Jonathan Smucker, CMC Voice Department Chair
Julie Rulyak Steinberg, CMC Executive Director

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 awarded over $2 million in tuition assistance, serving more than 2,600 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 about CMC at www.sfcmc.org and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

###

Groundbreaking UCSF study finds community choirs reduce loneliness and increase interest in life for older adults

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Sylvia Sherman, Community Music Center, Program Director
415-647-6015 x172, Ssherman@sfcmc.org

Groundbreaking UCSF study finds community choirs reduce loneliness and increase interest in life for older adults

  • Community of Voices Trial is a collaboration of UCSF, Community Music Center (CMC), and the SF Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS)
  • UCSF, CMC, and DAAS release Community of Voices Study Choir Program Manual about how to create community choirs for older adults

San Francisco, CA (November 9, 2018)—Community Music Center (CMC) keeps older adults singing throughout neighborhoods in San Francisco, serving nearly 400 adults every year. These community choirs were first developed out of the five-year Community of Voices (COV) trial led by UC San Francisco (UCSF) and in collaboration with CMC and the San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS).

CMC began its work on the Community of Voices research study in 2012 that aimed to examine whether singing in a community choir is a cost-effective way to promote health and well-being among culturally diverse older adults. Community of Voices choirs were led by choir directors and accompanists from the Community Music Center. Music was culturally tailored for each choir, appropriate for older adults with various singing abilities, and challenging enough to facilitate growth and mastery over time.

The results of this study have just been released in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences study online Nov. 9, 2018. One important finding is that singing in a choir reduced loneliness and increased an interest in life.

“We hear from our older adult choir members all the time how singing in the choirs lifts their spirits, but it’s wonderful to get this confirmation from a research study about the impact of singing in a choir for older adults. We are grateful to UCSF and Julene Johnson for their work on this,” comments Julie Rulyak Steinberg, Executive Director, Community Music Center.

Overall, the UCSF researchers found that older adults who sang in a choir for six months experienced significant improvements in loneliness and interest in life. “Our current health and social systems are not prepared to help support our rapidly increasing population of older adults,” said lead author Julene Johnson, PhD, associate dean for research and professor in the UCSF School of Nursing. “For instance, there’s a high percentage who experience loneliness and social isolation, and depression also is relatively high. There’s a need to develop novel approaches to help older adults stay engaged in the community and also stay connected.”

A potential novel approach is to engage them in the arts, as they can be offered in the community, are relatively low cost to deliver, are engaging, and can be culturally tailored. One option is community choirs, as about 32.5 million U.S. adults regularly sing in choirs.

“The choir has made a big change in my life. The experience was wonderful with Community of Voices program, and I wanted to continue singing after the study ended. The choir has helped me with my breathing, with getting me out of the house and meeting new people – things that would not have happened without the choir”, says Isabel Heredia, who sings with the CMC Solera Singers of the Mission Neighborhood Center and the CMC 30th Street choirs.

Along with findings about the community choirs reducing loneliness and increasing interest in life, no substantial group differences occurred in the cognitive or physical outcomes or for health care costs.

“We were a little surprised not to see improvements in cognitive and physical function, especially because the literature, although small, suggested there should be improvements,” Johnson said. “However, our study is one of the first randomized controlled trials of a choir intervention, whereas the others were cross-sectional or did not randomly assign the participants.”

“More research is needed on how choirs improve well-being and the potential long-term health impacts,” said Johnson, who served on a 25-person panel of the National Institutes of Health and John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on music and the brain, with results published in March 2018 in Neuron. The National Institutes of Health have just released three new requests for proposals to support research on music and health.

Each of the 12 choirs created during the five-year COV study continues to sing, having transitioned out of the study and into CMC’s Older Adult Choir Program. CMC older adult choirs are in partnership with San Francisco neighborhood senior centers, are tuition free, and open to people 55 and older.

The choirs in the CMC Older Adult Choir Program are:

Along with the release of the Community of Voices Study (COV) results, a Community of Voices Study Choir Program Manual about how to create a community choir for older adults was also released. This manual, developed by UCSF, CMC, and DAAS, provides information about the key components of the choir program, including how to select choir directors and accompanists, choosing repertoire, running a rehearsal, vocal and physical warm-ups, the role of performances, vocal considerations for older adults, and sustaining a choir program.

Information on the CMC Older Adult Choir Program:

https://sfcmc.org/adults/older-adult-choir-program/

Photos:
CMC 30th Street and Coro Solera Older Adult Choirs performance
Photo: Kelsey Ogden

CMC I.T. Bookman, Western Addition, Bayview Older Adult Choirs at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
Photo: Yerba Buena Gardens Festival/Alice Lin

CMC Aquatic Park Older Adult Choir at City Hall Lunch Concert
Photo: Eugenia Mann

Available interviews:
Julie Rulyak Steinberg, Executive Director, Community Music Center
Sylvia Sherman, Program Director, Community Music Center
María Cora, Older Adult Choir Coordinator, Community Music Center
Older Adult Choir members

Community of Voices Trial Funding: The study was supported by the National Institute of Aging (R01AG042526, P30AG15272) and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (UL1 TR000004) to UCSF. Anna Nápoles, PhD, MPH, of the National Institutes of Health, was partly supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Community of Voices article in Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences


Community of Voices Study Choir Program Manual


UCSF Press Release

About Community Music Center (CMC): CMC was founded in 1921, with the mission of making music accessible to all people, regardless of their financial status. CMC worked with Julene Johnson, principal investigator of the Community of Voices study, to develop and deliver the Community of Voices choir program. Each of the 12 choirs created for the study continues to sing, now as part of CMC’s Older Adult Choir Program which continues to grow. During 2017- 2018, CMC served over 2,700 students of all ages and levels and financial backgrounds and offered more than $2M in tuition assistance.

###

Community Music Center selected for Outside Lands Works inaugural grant program

Historic San Francisco music organization selected for Outside Lands Works inaugural grant program

 

Contact:
Anne C. Mitchell, Marketing Manager
415-647-6015 x75, amitchell@sfcmc.org

 

For Immediate Release
SAN FRANCISCO, August 3, 2018 – Community Music Center (CMC), the Mission District-based nonprofit that provides high quality music lessons, programs, and concerts at no or low cost is honored to announce that it has been selected as an inaugural grantee of the Outside Lands Works charitable fund. Outside Lands noted for being an exceptional curator of musical talent with its summer festival, has recently launched Outside Lands Works (OLW) charitable fund that “invests in the cultural vitality of the Bay Area through grants to regional music and arts education programs.”

Laura Wainer, the Director of Outside Lands Works, visited Community Music Center’s main branch in the Mission District and CMC’s Richmond District Branch in June 2018 to get to know this music organization whose roots stretch back nearly one hundred years of providing musical access to Bay Area residents.

After visiting CMC’s campuses and learning more about CMC’s programs which serve more than 2600 students annually, Outside Lands Works informed CMC that it had been selected for the inaugural grant cycle.

“OLW was developed to support local music and arts programs and we’re so excited to partner with CMC to provide ongoing opportunities for locals, young and old, to explore and share their talents. The CMC Richmond District campus is key to the OSL festival because of its proximity to Golden Gate Park and the commitment we share to inspire music and empower our community,” said OLW Director Laura Wainer.

Commenting on the grant award notification CMC Executive Director had this to say,“We are so pleased to be a grantee of Outside Lands Works. The Outside Lands festival brings significant awareness to music in the Bay Area. This is an incredible opportunity for CMC to become more visible to festival fans. OLW support is an important contribution to the arts landscape of the Bay Area.”

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 awarded over $2 million in tuition assistance, serving more than 2,600 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 about CMC at www.sfcmc.org and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Outside Lands Works (OLW) is a charitable fund that invests in the cultural vitality of the Bay Area through grants to regional music and arts education programs. We believe that music and the arts are essential to a healthy, thriving society and ensuring that the next generation and residents of underserved communities have equal access to music and the arts is especially critical. We hope to help bridge the gap left by declining arts funding through sustained investments in the many diverse creative neighborhoods and communities that make up the inimitable Bay Area.

KTVU Fox 2-July 10, 2018-Mayoral inauguration coverage featuring the CNotes

KTVU Fox 2-July 10, 2018-Mayoral inauguration coverage featuring the CNotes

The CNotes, CMC students and children of CMC faculty Maestro and Nola Curtis, were filmed at Community Music Center on July 10, 2018 the night before San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s historic inauguration. The CNotes joined Mayor Breed on the stage at the inauguration singing a medley “Lift Every Voice” and the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

Community Music Center launches New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus a community chorus for people self-identified as transgender, intersex, and genderqueer

Community Music Center launches New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus a community chorus for people self-identified as transgender, intersex, and genderqueer

Free community chorus for Bay Area transgender, intersex, and genderqueer
community now a reality in the Bay Area

Contact:
Anne C. Mitchell, Marketing Manager
415-647-6015 x75, amitchell@sfcmc.org

For Immediate Release
SAN FRANCISCO, July 17, 2018 – When Reuben Zellman, musical director and educator decided to make his dream of starting a community chorus for the transgender, intersex, and genderqueer community a reality, he thought of Community Music Center.

“When I was looking for a Bay Area music organization whose mission was musical access for all people, I naturally thought of CMC.” Zellman commented. “As a transgender singer and conductor, I have experienced first-hand the barriers that TIGQ face to musical participation. Singers tend to be rigidly and often thoughtlessly sorted by sex. Yet TIGQ vocal stories are often more complex.”

When Zellman approached CMC Program Director Sylvia Sherman two years ago to explore the possibility of starting the chorus, she was taken with the idea.

“Musical access is the core of CMC programs. When Reuben brought us the idea we immediately understood the need. Funding, as will any new program, was the hurdle to getting the chorus going,” said Sherman.

Over the course of two years, CMC worked to secure funding for the chorus pilot. Through the generous support of the individual donors and Ambassador James C. Hormel, the New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus was born.

New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus as a pilot program of Community Music Center, launches on Sunday, September 16. The chorus will meet weekly, with Zellman as the Director. Registration for the chorus opens August 7. The entire range of the TIGQ community is invited to participate—all gender expressions and any stage of a physical transition or non-transition. The chorus is for all levels of singers.

“Community Music Center’s intention is to create a great choral ensemble and to provide a safe, creative space for transgender, intersex and genderqueer singers to make music, learn, and create community together,” said CMC Executive Director Julie Rulyak Steinberg about the launch of the pilot program.

Link to chorus: https://sfcmc.org/new-voices-bay-area-tigq-chorus/

Photo: New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus

Available interviews:
Reuben Zellman, New Voices Bay Area:TIGQ Chorus Director
Sylvia Sherman, CMC Program Director
Julie Rulyak Steinberg, Executive Director

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 awarded over $2 million in tuition assistance, serving more than 2,600 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 about CMC at www.sfcmc.org and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.