Author: Jan Clayton

Ring Out

Ring Out

We were ecstatic about the results of our two concert-program with Bay Bells, one of the nation’s longest-running community handbell ensembles. Each ensemble performed individually, and then joined together for a number of exciting works, such as “I Saw Three Ships” arranged by Mack Wilberg and the hauntingly beautiful “Winter Solstice Carol” by William Beckstrand. Also on the program were two premiere compositions by Jeremy Harris and Nicholas Roberto. And, as a special surprise, Director’s Cut quartet performed a delightful pre-concert set. Please click on the links to enjoy our videos of the concert.

Ring Out

Pre-Concert Treat: Directors’ Cut

Andrew Hathaway, Albee Mabeza, Cody Scott, Kevin Schoenfeld

Angels We Have Heard on High Traditional
The Secret of Christmas arr. Jim Clancy
That’s Christmas to Me Pentatonix
featuring Kristen Redaniel
Resounding Achord
Brightest and Best  arr. Shawn Kirchner
Joel Pattison, violin
Lux Aeterna Nicholas Roberto
(world premiere)
In Dulci Jubilo Matthew Culloton
Cody Scott & Albee Mabeza, soloists
The World for Christmas Anders Edenroth
Andrew Hathaway, conductor
Gabby Crolla & Kendra Symonds, soloists
A Child is Born arr. Jeremy Harris
(world premiere)
Caroling, Caroling arr. Michele Weir
Andrew Hathaway, conductor
Resounding Achord & Bay Bells
Gaudete arr. Thomas Juneau
Ringeltanze no. 3: Beautiful Star  arr. Libby Larsen
Kelli Ghanati, Michelle Dreyband, Nick Fortino, & Andrew Hathaway, quartet
I Saw Three Ships arr. Mack Wilberg
Molly Shaw & Jeremy Harris, piano four-hands
Bay Bells
The Stars in Bethlehem Skies  arr. William A. Gross
The Little Drummer Boy  arr. Valerie W. Stephenson
Beati Quorum Via  C.V. Stanford, arr. Lonnie J. Dorgan
Celtic Christmas Jig  arr. Linda R. Lamb
Twas in the Moon of Wintertime  arr. Matthew Prins
Fum, Fum, Fum  arr. Patricia A. Sanders
Andrew Hathaway & Albee Mabeza, percussion
Resounding Achord & Bay Bells
Rejoice and Be Merry  John Rutter
Winter Solstice Carol William Beckstrand
Ring Out, Ye Bells!  Marques L. A. Garrett, Samuel Carlton, & Dan Forrest
Andrew Hathaway, cajon
Peace, Peace  arr. Fred Bock
Talia Orsetti Ng, American Sign Language
Allan Hughes, recorder

Magnificat Organ Dedication

Magnificat Organ Dedication

Resounding Achord is honored to participate in St. Francis Episcopal Church’s dedication of its new virtual organ. This dedication comes at the end of a 6-month renovation of the sanctuary, and will be the debut performance in the newly-renovated space. The dedication will be a part of an Evensong service with music by Roland Martin.

Following the service, Resounding Achord will present a reprise of Kim Andre Arnesen’s “Magnificat,” which they performed in December 2017 in Palo Alto. Danielle Wells, soprano, and Michael Burroughs, organist, will also be featured.

Join us Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 5 pm at St. Francis Episcopal Church, 1205 Pine Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125

This event is free and does not require tickets.

Summer Conducting Lab Choir

Summer Conducting Lab Choir

Need a place to sing when your choir is off for the summer?
We have the perfect gig for you.

The Summer Conducting Lab gives conductors-in-training an opportunity to work with a choir in a rehearsal setting, gaining valuable podium time and real-time feedback. During the 2-hour sessions, 3-5 conductors work with the all-volunteer choir, made up of singers from all over the Silicon Valley. Dr. Jeffrey Benson and Kristina Nakagawa provide feedback to the conductors both during the session and afterward in private communication.

What else is great about the Summer Conducting Lab?

No audition.
No practicing.
No cost.
No pressure.
No commitment.

Just show up, sing, and have fun.

Resounding Achord provides music for all participants. About 20 pieces are selected each year that represent different styles, musical eras, and difficulties. About 25-30% of the music changes each year so that there is sufficient variety for returning singers and conductors.  It is a perfect opportunity to practice your sight-reading skills.

Session Dates for 2021

We are currently holding the 2021 Summer Conducting Lab with a limited number of singers. If you are interested in joining us this summer, please send email to find out whether there are any openings and about the schedule.

What do the lab choir singers like best?

“I loved getting to learn more about the insides of conducting!”“Making great music.”

“I loved being a part of a group of extremely skilled musicians; both the singers and directors!”

“The feedback given by Dr. Benson and Kristina Nakagawa and their effect on the conductor/choir were eye- (and ear-) opening for me as a singer.”

For more information, or to register as a singer or student conductor:
Click Here

History of the Conducting Lab

We started the conducting lab in 2014 in conjunction with San Jose State University (SJSU) as part of their Three Summer Master’s Program in Music Education. The summer masters students are music educators, and many are conductors of community or school ensembles. The SJSU program offers advanced conducting instruction as part oftheir program; however, because their residency is held during the summer, there are no ensembles at SJSU for the students to conduct. Our lab provides a live conducting opportunity for the students.
Each year the program follows a basic framework:

  • There are 5-6 evening sessions — typically two evening
    sessions per week for a 3-week period.
  • Conductors sign up for one or more 20–40 minute conducting
    time slots and arrive prepared to conduct 1–3
  • The conductors can either be members of SJSU’s Three
    Summer Master’s Program, regular-term students at
    SJSU, or community members who are seeking an opportunity
    to sharpen their conducting skills.
  • There is no participation fee for conductors or singers,
    and all music is lent to the conductors and singers free
    of charge for the program.
  • We invite and welcome singers of any age and
    any level to be part of the choir. They don’t have
    to make a commitment to show up for all or even
    most of the sessions, and singers do not need to practice.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Benson and Kristina Nakagawa give instruction
    and written feedback to the conductors.
“The Summer Lab Choir partnership between SJSU and Resounding Achord provides a tremendous opportunity for our SJSU Summer Masters students to gain much-needed experience in front of a choir. Thank you to RA for the amazing leadership in our field.” — Dr. Jeffrey Benson, SJSU
Summer# Student
# Singers
Signed Up
Average #
Each Night

Cheers: Broadway’s Best

Cheers: Broadway’s Best

Resounding Achord is pleased to present another round of Cheers music after our successful concert two seasons ago. This time, we are “serving” you Broadway favorites from Gershwin to Spamalot. “Consider Yourself” invited — jazz hands optional!

Cheers: Broadway’s Best

Kristina Nakagawa, conductor, Resounding Achord
Molly Shaw, collaborative pianist

And All That Jazz arr. Kirby Shaw
You’ve Got a Friend arr. Mac Huff
Andrea Bolivar, solo
Consider Yourself arr. Tom Gentry
Andrew Hathaway, conductor
Soft Place to Land Sara Bareilles
Alissa Yang, solo
I Got Rhythm arr. Jay Althouse
Medley from Once arr. Lisa DeSpain
Christina O’Guinn & Sarah Scullion, solos
Hernando’s Hideaway arr. Greg Gilpin
Jan Clayton, solo
Drink With Me Claude-Michel Schonberg, Herbert Kretzmer, & Alan Boubil
Michelle Dreyband, Brian Kroneman, Andrew Hathaway, & Keith Byron, solos
Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat arr. Mark Brymer
Austin Lim, solo
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life arr. Mac Huff
Jeremy Harris, Jo Taubert, Alison Brand, Katherine Doar, solos
I’ll Cover You arr. Mac Huff
Kyla Blili, Alison Brand, Jo Taubert, Andrea White, Jerry Hernandez, & Ramona Pimentel, small group
Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News arr. Larry Shackley
Mernie Hillman & Ramona Pimentel, solos
Where Everybody Knows Your Name arr. Chris Ng

2019 For Love Benefit Concert

2019 For Love Benefit Concert


Resounding Achord is proud to participate in the 9th Annual Benefit Concert supporting Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence, an incredibly worthy organization serving women in crisis in Santa Clara County. They make it it possible for women to escape abusive situations and can support their full journey from crisis to stability.

Resounding Achord will be joining other Silicon Valley area choirs including the Orchard City Community Chorus, Rainbow Women’s Chorus, Serendipity Choir, and Opera San Jose Military Veterans Choir.

March 1, 2019, 7:30pm

Campbell United Methodist Church
1675 Winchester Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008

Tickets $20

Purchase tickets at the door or online at Orchard City Community Chorus.

Deck the Hall

Deck the Hall

In December 2018, Resounding Achord performed many of your Christmas favorites in Deck the Hall at St. Francis Episcopal Church. The concert featured 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.

Deck the Hall

Here We Come A-Caroling arr. Brant Adams
Somerset Wassail arr. Richard Feliciano
The First Noel arr. Dan Forrest
Andrew Hathaway, conductor & Galt Johnson, piano
Two Carols from Set 1 Alfred Burt
I. Caroling, Caroling
II. We’ll Dress the House
Still, Still, Still arr. Norman Luboff
Greg Melton, soloist & Molly Shaw, piano
Carol of the Bells arr. Kirby Shaw
Jingle Bells James Pierpont
Deck the Hall in 7/8 arr. James McKelvey
Christina O’Guinn, soloist
In the Bleak Midwinter arr. Roger Emerson
Michelle Dreyband, soloist
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy arr. Jeff Funk
Cody Scott, conductor
Sing Along
Molly Shaw, piano
I. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
II. Joy to the World
III. Silent Night
A Long-Distance Christmas arr. Chris Ng
Ave Maria Franz Biebl
Andrew Hathaway, Cody Scott, Jennifer Barnett, soloists
Winter Wonderland arr. Frank Martinez
Andrea Bolivar & Cody Scott, soloists

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.

Take Me Home

Unclouded Day arr. Shawn Kirchner
No. 1 from Heavenly Home: Three American Songs
Beati Omnes Ivo Antognini
The Roof Andrea Ramsey
Molly Shaw, piano, & Joel Pattinson, violin
We Are Ysaye M. Barnwell
The Road Home Stephen Paulus
Kelli Ghanati, soloist
Son de Camaguey Cuban Folk Song, arr. Stephen Hatfield
Andrew Hathaway, Brian Kroneman, Benjamin Kuhn Reardon, & Kevin Schieberl, percussion
Sisi ni moja (We are one) Jacob Narverud
Molly Shaw, piano; Brian Kroneman & Benjamin Kuhn Reardon, tenors
Furusato Teiichi Okano & Tatsuyuki Takano, arr. Ariel Quintana
US Premiere Performance
Homeless Paul Simon & Joseph Shabalala, arr. Kristina Nakagawa
Christina O’Guinn, Jerry-Michael Hernandez, & Keith Byron, soloists
Homeward Bound Marta Keen & Gustav Holst, arr. McKay Crockett
Galt Johnson, Andrea Bolivar, soloists; Brian Kroneman, Benjamin Kuhn Reardon, & Cody Scott, tenor trio
Take Me Home Phil Collins, arr. Galt Johnson
Jerry-Michael Hernandez & Jo Taubert, soloists
Andrew Hathaway, percussion
Angel Band arr. Shawn Kirchner
No. 2 from Heavenly Home: Three American Songs

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 (

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 :

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.