Author: Jan Clayton

Deck the Hall

Deck the Hall

 

Join Resounding Achord as we Deck the Hall at St. Francis Episcopal Church with many of your Christmas favorites. The concert will feature some of our favorite holiday pieces from past concerts, including “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” Kirby Shaw’s jazzy “Carol of the Bells,” and the exquisite “Ave Maria” by Franz Biebl.

This is a concert for the whole family, complete with special seating in the front for children, and a festive sing-along for all ages.

Adults
$15 Presale
$20 At the Door
Collect Students
$10 Presale
$15 At the Door
High School Students & Younger
Always free!

Purchase Tickets

Take Me Home

Take Me Home

Join Resounding Achord for “Take Me Home,” a choral music program centered around home, shelter, and community. Highlights include two new arrangements written for the choir, the US premiere of Ariel Quintana’s “Furusato,” and heart-stirring folksongs from America, Africa, and Cuba.

All donations collected for this concert will benefit two organizations that support the homeless in Santa Clara County: Village House, an interfaith women’s shelter, and the Winter Faith Collaborative, a Santa Clara County movement of faith communities with a common aim to shelter their neighbors who live outdoors.

All are welcome! A free will offering will be collected a the door, or you may donate online when reserving your tickets. Advanced reservations are recommended.

October 28, 2018 3:00-4:30pm
Grace Baptist Church, 484 East San Fernando St., San José

Parking available on the street.

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Thank you for joining us in making a difference for those in need.

Touring the Baltics — June 2018

Touring the Baltics — June 2018

This summer, Resounding Achord (with members of Peninsula Cantare) had the pleasure of joining San José State University and West Valley College singers in the Baltics for an amazing tour of the region and to perform Mozart’s Requiem. We had a great time, and are rejuvenated as we start rehearsing for our 2018-2019 season. Here is a recap of this once in a lifetime tour and our performances.

The trip began in Helsinki, Finland, where we experienced the incredible Sibelius Monument. Born in Finland in 1865, he was most known for his symphonies and tone poems, however there were some great choral works scattered throughout his body of work as well. He died in 1957 and the monument was erected in 1967. The steel pipes in the monument actually sing excerpts from his works. It is surreal!


(Photo by Keith Byron) The Sibelius Monument, by Finnish sculptor Eila Hiltunen, is made of cluster of over 600 steel organ pipes which reach over 27 feet high in places.


(Photo by Dan Hillman) Singing from underneath the Sibelius Monument pipe structure. Amazing acoustics!

Then it was off to Estonia on a ferry. Once we arrived we got straight to rehearsing the Requiem with San José State and West Valley. We immediately knew the sound was glorious! In between rehearsing, we were able to squeeze in some sightseeing in the beautiful Medieval city of Tallinn, Estonia. And the three groups also gave a “spotlight concert” at St John’s church. Tallinn is the best preserved Medieval old town in Europe, and it is easy to see why! In addition, it is home to one of the oldest operating pharmacies in Europe, considered to have opened in the year 1415.


(Photo by David Smith) The three groups and conductors (left to right – Lou De La Rosa, Jeffrey Benson, and Kristina Nakagawa) receiving applause at the end of the concert at St. John’s church.

We witnessed the remnants of Soviet occupation, which was prominent throughout the Baltics and an important, yet tragic, part of their history. At the Song Festival grounds, we stood where the Singing Revolution began which eventually ended the Soviet occupation of the Baltics. In 1988, over 100,000 Estonians gathered under Soviet rule for a music festival that ended with the crowd spontaneously singing Estonian patriotic songs. This first act of peaceful protest started the Singing Revolution that ended in 1991 with the Baltic countries claiming their independence.


(Photo by Dan Hillman) Under the Estonian Song Festival Grounds singing shell.

We performed Mozart’s Requiem to a full house in the Estonia Concert Hall in the middle of Old Town Tallinn. The crowd was so pleased with the performance that they demanded 3 encores. All of the audiences we sang for began clapping so vigorously that when they began to synchronize their claps that meant they wanted an encore. This is not something we were familiar with in America, and we eventually had to call it a night, because we actually ran out of pieces to sing!


(Photo by Steven Moore) During the Mozart Requiem performance in the Estonia Concert Hall in Tallinn.

To fully immerse ourselves in the local culture, we had the privilege of visiting a children’s home beautifully situated in the heart of the Estonian countryside. We removed a fence from the property and had a great time in the process. After the hard work was done we did a musical exchange where the children sang for us and we sang for them.


(Photo by Michelle Dreyband) Getting rid of the fence buried in vegetation.


(Photo by Dan Hillman) A group photo after our in promptu concert.

After Tallinn, we made our way to Riga by way of the beautiful Baltic coast and stopped for a picnic in a bog along our route. Once in Riga we enjoyed the beautiful Art Nouveau architecture of the city and also saw how the old town rebuilt after bombings during the second World War. We were pleased to join our Latvian choir member, Mara, who sang with us for our concert in Riga.

Our concert in Riga was an exchange with the University of Latvia’s Dziesmuvara mixed choir. The concert ended in a joint performance of Dziedot Dzimu, Dziedot Augu from our Passages concert, roughly translated from Latvian to “I was born to sing and I will always sing.” A sentiment everyone can was able to get behind for our closing tour performance.


(Photo by Dan Hillman) The “Bay Singers” Concert in Riga at St. Peter’s Church.

After Riga we traveled to Vilnius for the conclusion of our tour. We visited the song festival grounds here as well, and we gave an impromptu performance for ourselves and the park-goers who were riding their scooters and bikes in the summer heat.


(Photo by Steven Moore) The Lithuanian Song Festival grounds under the dome.

Having the opportunity to travel abroad while doing something we all love is an incredible privilege. From the drinking songs during dinner to the sky-bar excursions taking in the sunsets at 11pm, we truly had an amazing time ”building community through song” across the globe.

For Love Benefit Concert

For Love Benefit Concert

 

Resounding Achord is proud to participate in the 8th Annual Benefit Concert supporting Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence (www.nextdoor.org).

Resounding Achord will be joining other Silicon Valley area choirs including the Orchard City Community Chorus, Rainbow Women’s Chorus, Westmont High Chamber Chorale, Serendipity Choir, Threshold Choir, and Veterans Choir.

March 2, 2018, 7:30pm
Campbell United Methodist Church
1675 Winchester Avenue, Campbell, CA

Tickets $20

Purchase tickets at the door or at : http://www.orchardcitychorus.org/contributions

Two Worlds Collide

Two Worlds Collide

By Colin Seymour, Tenor, Resounding Achord and Bear-a-Tones

My worlds will collide October 7 at our Resounding Achord’s A Musicale Fundraiser, as I’ve lured my fellow Bear-a-Tones over to St. Francis Episcopal Church to perform a couple of our songs. We’re an a cappella octet that sings American Songbook standards, Four Freshmen arrangements, barbershop, novelty songs, and more.

I won’t be the only one that night who will be revealing what he does musically outside Resounding Achord. I’ll bet more than half the singers in Resounding Achord (RA) consider RA to be their primary performance outlet – but not necessarily their only outlet. Many are in church choirs and others are or have been members of choirs we admire, or they play instruments in bands of various sizes. Some teach music. We even have a rock vocalist or two in our midst.

I was in a rock group myself from 1999 to 2002 and then joined the Bear-A-Tones in 2003. I’ve only recently shed my new-guy status. The Bear-a-Tones trace their roots to 1948, the year the UC Berkeley men’s octet was founded by the same fellow who founded our octet as a South Bay quartet in 1968. Two other Berkeley octet founders eventually contributed songs to the Bear-a-Tones family as the group morphed into an octet in the late 1980s. We admitted a bass who had not sung at Cal, and that later opened the door for me, despite my University of Missouri past, when I was right for a top-tenor position in 2003.

What a great fit. I came aboard already loving the Cal pep songs that also are part of our repertoire of 100 songs or so, and I was eager to sing jazzy arrangements of “Autumn Leaves” and “All the Things You Are” again after too many decades of not being available for such groups.

We meet each Monday at one another’s homes. The current number of Cal alums in the octet is five. Most of us have wives who are involved with the group socially. It’s sort of a gentlemen’s club, whereas RA feels more like graduate school, and frankly RA is more rigorous.

Although the Bear-a-Tones perform three to 10 times a year, including the UC octet reunion each March, and are eager to perform more, those weekly rehearsals are what sustain us. There’s lots of singing, yes, but it’s liberally mixed with quaffing and munching, and talking about our vacations and relatives, current events, and life’s challenges.

I’ll be in the Bear-a-Tones as long as the group and I both exist. Although I am a relatively new RA member, it adds a lot of dimensions to my musical life that would otherwise be missing. I’m lucky to be in these two groups.

Come see the Bear-a-Tones, several talented RA members, and a bunch of amazing high school students on Saturday at A Musicale Fundraiser and support RA’s outreach programs at the same time.

The Cost of Light

The Cost of Light

by Kristina Nakagawa, Artistic Director, Resounding Achord

I attended a stewardship dinner this past weekend for another organization that I am a part of, and I heard a fantastic story about a grandfather and his grand-daughters at Christmas. Here is a truncated version for you:

The grandfather asked the girls what they would like for their gift, and after much discussion they decided upon a globe, because they had been studying geography in school and they really enjoyed the globe in their classroom. So, grandpa went shopping, found a really nice globe, and had it wrapped all fancy for the holiday.When the girls opened the gift on Christmas morning, they were visibly underwhelmed. Later that day, the grandfather asked the girls what was wrong with the gift. They hesitantly told him that while the globe they got was very nice and they were grateful for it, the one at their school was much cooler. “It plugs into the wall and lights up and it’s just so amazing!”

Grandfather decided to remedy the situation the next day, braving the after-Christmas crowds and going to multiple stores to find the globe of their dreams. He found one that fit the bill, once again had it expertly wrapped, and delivered it to his grand-daughters. They opened it, and immediately took him into their parents’ walk-in-closet, which had an electrical outlet, and could be made dark enough to really enjoy the globe.

So, what did the grandfather learn that day? A lighted world costs more.

If you want a world that is dark, unhappy, lonely, unwelcoming, and prejudiced, all it takes is neglect. A world of light, happiness, family, acceptance, and love costs more. That doesn’t necessarily mean money, but it does take care.

Resounding Achord’s outreach program for High School Honor Choir Scholarships is the perfect example of this. We are trying to spread light throughout our community by supporting students who wouldn’t normally be able to afford the enlightening experience of singing with an Honor Choir. I hope you will support us by attending our Musicale Fundraiser this Saturday, October 7, at 8 PM. Tickets are still available!

If you are unable to attend this fun event, please consider making a direct tax-deductible donation to help us support these deserving students.

Supporting the Decision Makers of the Future

Supporting the Decision Makers of the Future

By Kristina Nakagawa, Artistic Director, Resounding Achord 

An article (Trained Musicians Make Better Decisions” by Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard) was sent to me by a Resounding Achord alum, and it couldn’t be more perfect for this week. Here at Resounding Achord Productions, we are gearing up for our first-ever fundraiser on October 7. All funds raised from this variety-show-style evening will go directly to our high school regional and all-state honor choir scholarship outreach programs. The event will include performances from past scholarship recipients, along with current singers and friends of Resounding Achord. For more information, visit us here: A Musicale Fundraiser.

Many parents and teachers are well aware of the benefits of music training for children. This study from a team at the University of Texas-Austin suggests that families might consider holding off on music training until later in childhood, due to the development process of the brain’s prefrontal cortex. The study also theorizes that “The music classes offered during many children’s elementary and high-school education in America may result in improved decision-making ability as an adult.”

Personally, I believe that children and students of all ages should be exposed to and experience music firsthand. They should play in music, they should listen to music, they should live in music. As a parent, I resonate with the suggestion to not start more technical or “serious” musical training until the child is ready, or even until they ask for it! Anyone who was ever forced to practice their musical skills when they were young would likely tell you the same. However, these same people will also tell you the regret they feel that they didn’t continue with their music practice. Perhaps by waiting for instruction until age 8 or later, we can keep and preserve the joy of music throughout our lives?

The good news: many of the students in our musical outreach programs are just starting their journeys as musicians. I can only hope that by supporting them through our scholarship outreach program that we are helping to create the most advanced critical thinkers and problem solvers of the future. We are surely going to need their help.

Regional Honor Choir Audition Preparation Workshop

Want to walk into your audition with confidence?

This three-hour workshop is for high school singers who would like extra help with preparing for the regional honor choir auditions, which are held at the end of September.

Lessons will include:

  • How to present yourself at the audition. What do I wear? What do I say? What do I need to bring?
  • Tips and tricks for sight-reading.
  • Tips and tricks for tonal memory.
  • Preparation and performance of your solo piece.

Kristina Nakagawa leads this afternoon workshop. All students will take home materials that will support further audition preparation at home.

Date: Saturday, September 9th, 2017  1:00-4:00 pm
Location: St. Francis Episcopal Church, 1205 Pine Avenue, San Jose, CA

Student Participant $10 Purchase Tickets

Individual Donations

Donate to become a member of the Director’s Circle Today!



We have worked diligently to keep our expenditures extremely low.  However, we still have immediate funding needs, including:

  • Our Outreach Programs — Honor Choir Scholarships and our Summer Conducting Lab program
  • Venue Costs for Concerts and other Events
  • Concert Programs and Marketing Materials
  • Concert Guest Artists
  • Accompanist Fees
  • Salary for only one paid staff member

Membership Benefits

All donors receive acknowledgement in our concert programs, priority concert seating, and an invitation to donor events

Level Amount Gifted Benefits of Giving
Partner $5,000+ Private small-group concert of your choosing and four RAP Concert* tickets for life
Benefactor $2,500 – $4,999 Four RAP Concert* season tickets
Visionary $1,000 – $2,499 Two RAP Concert* season tickets
Patron $500 – $999 Four RAP Concert* single-concert tickets
Supporter $100 – $499 Two RAP Concert* single-concert tickets
Friend $50 – $99 Priority concert seating

* RAP Concert — Any concert produced by Resounding Achord Productions; typically two concerts per season

Download our Director’s Circle Brochure