A landmark moment: CMC students perform alongside the SF Symphony

February 17, 2023

A landmark moment

The performances of Gabriel Kahane’s emergency shelter intake form on February 2nd and 3rd were a milestone in the more than 100-year relationship between the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and CMC. It was the first time that CMC students have performed alongside the San Francisco Symphony in a regular season concert. The experience was profound and memorable for the CMC students, faculty, and staff.

As Annie Hochenauer from New Voices Area TIGQ Chorus said: “Singing with the San Francisco Symphony in unity and harmony with CMC colleagues and other local musicians was a wonderful, magical experience for me. During one rehearsal break leading up to the performances, Gabriel told us emergency shelter intake form was based on an ‘ethics of love,’ and I think you could hear that resonating in our collective voices.”

The SFS staff who partnered with CMC on this project have shared glowing reviews about the experience.

Laura Bergmann, Associate Director Advocacy & Community Engagement, had this to say: “The San Francisco Symphony was thrilled to expand on our longstanding partnership with Community Music Center on our recent performances. From the faculty and staff to the students, CMC is overflowing with kind, talented people committed to collaboration, curiosity and building community through music, and all of those values were on full display during the rehearsals and performances for this work. Bringing together a chorus of voices representative of our city, which included the Tenderloin-based Skywatchers Ensemble, had a profound impact. We are so grateful to everyone at CMC for their participation and more broadly for their overarching work here in San Francisco.”

A lasting partnership

SFS and CMC have been community partners for more than a century with the founding of SFS in 1911 and CMC in 1921. During this time, both organizations have developed in tandem, dedicated to lifelong enjoyment and access to great music coupled with a commitment to music education.

The bonds between SFS and CMC are supported through the service of Ron Gallman, SFS Director of Education and Youth Orchestra, on CMC’s Board of Directors since 1997. As Gallman shared: “Having a Symphony staff member on CMC’s board reaffirms our mutual bond and sense of purpose, and allows for synergies and opportunities in service to local schools and communities.” Gallman attended emergency shelter intake form and found the concerts ‘deeply moving’ and was “…so proud of CMC for participating in this important musical partnership.”

CMC faculty member Martha Rodríguez-Salazar has also been instrumental in connecting CMC to SFS through the years. For 16 years, Rodríguez-Salazar has been the art curator and musical advisor of the annual Symphony celebration of Día de los Muertos. She has included CMC programs in these celebrations on multiple occasions, including a recent appearance of MDYMP and the SFUSD Mariachi Program in the SFS Fiesta Día de los Muertos fundraising event. In emergency shelter intake form, she recruited CMC singers for a community chorus from the Older Adult Choirs, New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus, Anything Goes Chorus, Coro de Cámara, voice students, faculty, and staff. Rodríguez-Salazar also directed the community chorus, which included the Skywatchers ensemble, in preparation for the performances of emergency shelter intake form.

Rodríguez-Salazar shared: “Throughout the whole process, I felt deeply humbled by everyone’s willingness to become one voice and work together. It was very impactful for me to see all of the singers on stage performing with the San Francisco Symphony and see their names printed in their concert season program alongside international performers!

CMC thanks the San Francisco Symphony for their generosity in providing a welcoming and supportive environment for our students, faculty, and staff before and during the unforgettable experience of performing emergency shelter intake form.

To read more about emergency shelter intake form, Anh Lê (a member of the CMC Older Adult Choir Program and participant in emergency shelter intake form) wrote an article. Read it by following this link.


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Edwin Outwater conducts the SF Symphony, Conrad Tao, Gabriel Kahane, Alicia Hall Moran, Kristen Toedtman, Holcombe Waller, Community Music Center Choir, and Skywatchers Ensemble in a performance of emergency shelter intake form at Davies Symphony Hall on Thursday, February 2, 2023. Photo credit: Kristen Loken.