2019 December

“20th Christmas with the New Choir”

Saturday: December 7, 2019 | 7:30pm
Church of the Valley (19001 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon)
Online Tickets: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4444229

Sunday: December 15, 2019 | 5:00pm
All Saints Episcopal Church (555 Waverley St., Palo Alto)
Online Tickets: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4444238

Online: $25 General | $18 Students/Seniors
At-the-Door: $30 General | $18 Students/Seniors


The New Choir is celebrating our 20th season and you’re invited to the party!

The festivities begin this holiday season with a look back at our favorite Christmas and winter pieces from past years: selections by Mendelssohn, Verdi, Berlioz, and Britten; light Winter tunes; and the centerpiece for our holiday feast – the Magnificat of Francesco Durante. We’ll also look forward to the future with the world premiere of Korean composer Paul Shin’s mesmerizing Snowy Night for Alto Flute and Chorus.

We’ll be joined at each performance by guest artists:

  • On 12/7, we’ll host the Honor Choir of Cantabella Children’s Choir.
  • On 12/15, we’ll be joined by Rodney Gehrke, Music Director and organist at All Saint’s Episcopal Church.

Come! Celebrate the season with uplifting music as we embark on our 20th season of music making!


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Cantabella Children’s Chorus, founded by Director Emeritus Bee Chow in 1992, serves more than 200 children in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Italian words “canta bella” translate to “sing beautifully”, which describes the founding vision of the organization. Cantabella’s focus is fostering choral artistry through the performance of quality repertoire from all genres, music literacy using the Kodály approach, and healthy vocal technique through mastery of classical and contemporary compositions in a variety of languages. Most of all, Cantabella’s singers learn to cherish the joy of singing together.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director, Eileen Chang, Cantabella has participated in prestigious festivals and competitions, such as: ACDA Regional Conference, World Choir Games in Cincinnati, Kathawmixw Choral Festival in Canada, Golden Gate International Choral Festival, PicFest, and Sing A Mile High.

In the summer of 2019, Cantabella Children’s Chorus was invited to the 2019 World Youth Choral Festival and Competition (WYCF) in the beautiful Jeju Island of South Korea. Cantabella won Gold medals for both Sacred and Secular Categories and proudly came back home with the Grand Prix.


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Rodney Gehrke has been Director of Music at All Saints’ since 2008. He is also Organist and Choir Director at San Francisco’s Temple Emanu-El, and former Organ Professor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He holds a musicology degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Rodney has performed and recorded with numerous early-music ensembles, including Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Voices of Music, and the Bach Cantata Collective. He also has toured and recorded with Chanticleer. He can be heard on the CD collections “Historic Organs of San Francisco” and “Historic Organs of Seattle.” He is a Past Dean of the San Francisco Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. In 1985, in observance of the 300th birthday of J.S. Bach, Mr. Gehrke played the complete organ works of Bach in twelve recitals. In 2011, he played a recital at the church most popularly associated with Bach, St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany. Later that year, he was the keynote presenter for the 100th anniversary of Seoul Theological University, Korea, where he played a recital, led an Episcopal liturgy, and offered two lectures and a day of masterclasses. In November 2015 he played two recital programs in Yokohama, Japan, on the large Fisk Organ in Minato Mirai Concert Hall. He returned to Germany in July 2016 to perform in the Cathedral of Meißen. In October 2018 he played a recital in Amsterdam’s largest church, Westerkerk. Rodney’s first teacher was his father, Hugo Gehrke. He also studied with Arno Schönstedt of the Westfalian Church Music Institute in Herford, Germany, David Dahl at Pacific Lutheran University, Lawrence Moe at the University of California, Berkeley, and Harald Vogel of the North German Organ Academy. Rodney performs occasionally with local community choirs as well as the San Francisco Symphony, and he appears frequently in recital in the Bay Area and beyond. Two of Rodney’s Bach performances — the Toccata in D Minor and “Wachet auf” from the Schübler Chorales — were recorded with multiple high-definition cameras and microphones at All Saints’ and can be seen on YouTube, along with numerous informal video recordings in Germany and Japan. In October, 2019, Rodney launched a series of weekly free organ recitals at All Saints’.


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Ordinary People, Extraordinary Music