Voices of Musica Sacra Launches “Music Mentors” Program
Choral music participation and appreciation is a vital part of our heritage as Americans. Children in generations past had opportunities to learn and participate in vocal music through the public schools, once the source of “free” music lessons for all. However, as public school music budgets continue to be cut, these opportunities slip away. Our children grow up unacquainted with significant historical works such as The Battle Hymn of the Republic and are culturally impoverished as the result. First generation American students in particular lack familiarity with this country’s musical history, a deficit not made up for by the development of their own musical abilities through choral music instruction. With no traditional choral music exposure, these students do not pursue participation or attend performances offered by local groups such as Voices of Musica Sacra. This is a disturbing trend which Voices of Musica Sacra seeks to change through the implementation of its Music Mentors program. Voices of Musica Sacra is reaching out to students in local high schools, offering a chance to participate in classical instrumental and choral music through the personal experience of the concert venue. Through mentoring by Voices of Musica Sacra, we hope to inspire students to continue their musical lives beyond the high school level.
“Centenary Tribute to Jehan Alain” -- October 22 & 23, 2011
As part of Voices of Musica Sacra‘s mission to collaborate and provide opportunities for young musicians, our Jehan Alain concerts included a string ensemble of high school musicians from the Oakland Youth Orchestra (where our music director, John Kendall Bailey is Associate Conductor). They performed chamber music works, and joined with our chorus to present the Messe Modale en Septuor (Modal Mass Septet). These talented young musicians were a vital part of the performance and added immensely to the overall scope of the concert.
“French Bon-Bons” -- May 5 & 6, 2012
Voices of Musica Sacra’s spring program of French music by Debussy, Ravel, Françaix, Villette, and others, featured choral students from College Park High School in Pleasant Hill. Our Music Director worked closely with the students, and presented several in-class workshops prior to the performance in May, at which the CPHS choir performed one selection on their own, and joined with Voices of Musica Sacra to sing another piece.