Community Vocal and Choral Music Workshops

Family Sing 2022 with Valérie Sainte-Agathe

Valérie talks about bringing the Martiniquan tradition of Chante Noel to our family and yours!

Join us for our second annual FAMILY SING holiday sing-along with the world-renowned San Francisco Girls Chorus!

SFGC Artistic Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe will lead the in-person and online choirs in holiday favorites and new-to-us music that will warm our hearts during the holiday season. Invite your family and friends to attend at the Kanbar Center for the Performing Arts in San Francisco, or sing together online. This is a great way to connect with loved ones who live far away! Invite family and friends from wherever they are to join via Zoom and let the joy of singing together kick off the holiday season. 

Attend online or in-person at Kanbar Center
44 Page Street, San Francisco

IN PERSON: Adults $25, youth ages 10-18 $12.50
IN-PERSON FAMILY PACKAGE: Bring the whole family for $50

Chamber Music Jazz and Beyond - Non-Classical Music Vocal and Choral Music Workshops

The magic of singing together

Anyone who has sung in a vocal group or a chorus knows the feeling: something is just special when we sing together. There’s a marvelous sense of reaching out, of connecting with other voices to make a sound that is more than just our single notes, a sound that merges and grows, with multiple melodies blending into a harmonious whole. Whether it’s a circle of friends singing folk music in our living room or professional singers in a concert ensemble, it’s that elemental joining of voices that, for me, brings emotion to the fore.

We’re so in luck to have Dashon Burton back with us on October 16 to lead a master class on ensemble singing. Dashon is an acclaimed soloist who is equally practiced in singing with others: He is part of Roomful of Teeth and Kaleidoscope, two of the top vocal groups working today!

I can’t wait to get Dashon’s perspective on the singing of two groups in our master class: the Drew School Singers who will sing the luminous 16th century madrigal O Occhi Manza Mia by Orlando di Lasso, and the women’s choir Conspiracy of Venus who will sing A Place Called Home by rock goddess PJ Harvey.

I caught up with Conspiracy of Venus founder and leader Joyce McBride to chat about the group and about her musical path writing and arranging choral music. Music is so much about connecting, about blending our minds and sounds into one. It’s what we aspire to in life as well as in music, don’t you think?

Enjoy the interview and then join us for Dashon Burton’s vocal chamber music master class workshop on October 16!

Community Composers Jazz and Beyond - Non-Classical Music Vocal and Choral Music Workshops

Juneteeth Choral Celebration

Don’t miss our second annual JUNETEENTH choral celebration, led once again by the wonderful Candace Y. Johnson. If you attended her Spirituals workshop last year, you’ll remember what a joyous occasion it was to sing Moses Hogan’s arrangement of Deep River on the first Juneteenth federal holiday. This June 19, Candace will lead us in singing a new work by Roland Carter, the esteemed choral composer and conductor whose arrangement of Lift Every Voice and Sing has become the iconic version of the Black national anthem.

Carter’s new work Make Some Noise, Get in Trouble honors the great civil rights leader John Lewis who admonished us to get in “good trouble, necessary trouble.” The piece draws its text from Congressman Lewis’s speeches.

It’s a first for AMN: we’re very excited to be part of a commissioning project to perform a new work. And in this case, it’s a project that’s totally aligned with AMN’s values of community participation, amateur music-making, and honoring our diverse American musical heritage. This exciting project was coordinated by the national choral advocacy organization Chorus America.

In a recent conversation over Zoom, Candace and Roland met with AMN founder Lolly Lewis to discuss the piece and the upcoming workshop. Candace noted that she heard a particularly fluid, almost river-like character in one of the sections of the music. Roland noted that yes, in fact he referenced the Spiritual Wade in the Water in that section. “I always like to quote a Spiritual if I can. One that has meaning, not just any Spiritual, but it has to reflect the text and it becomes an important part of what I do,” he explained. “Doing art songs – and I call my solo Spirituals art songs because I like the play of the piano with the voice – is all about the interpretation of the words.”

Listen to Candace and Roland’s discussion about the music and how to interpret the details of this new piece that incorporates traditional choral singing with elements of gospel and even hip-hop! And then join us on June 19 to lift our voices in a Juneteenth celebration of America.

Make Some Noise, Get in Trouble!

AMN mentors Vocal and Choral Music Workshops

Meet voice mentor Dashon Burton

Who doesn’t want advice from a GRAMMY® winner! We know we all do, and we’re so thrilled to have the stellar artist Dashon Burton joining in a musical conversation with two local professional singers who will offer their talents in styles that are new to them. We hope that an exploration of new genres will spark a vibrant conversation that we can all learn from.

Dashon won in the Best Classical Solo Vocal Album category, featured as a soloist on the album The Prison, the premiere recording of Ethel Smyth’s (1858–1944) last major work.

In 2013 and 2015 Dashon was nominated as part of the ensemble Roomful of Teeth for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance, winning in 2013 for the album Roomful of Teeth.

Leandra Ramm and Chung-Wai Soong are San Francisco-based professional singers who are channeling their inner amateur to explore music in new styles. They will bring their talents and love of learning to AMN’s master class and conversation with Dashon Burton on February 7, 2022. We look forward to a lively and energizing session together!

AMN founder Lolly Lewis chats with Leandra and Chung-Wai in this preview video.

A video message from Dashon: “What I do as a classical singer.”

Listen to Dashon in performance!

Community Vocal and Choral Music Workshops

Family Sing!

Singing: the best way to celebrate the holidays. And what could be better than singing with friends and family? Singing is the most joyous way to ring out the old year and look forward to the new, to gather with loved ones and share our deepest humanity through song. 

This year, we can sing together again, and using what we’ve learned over the past year, Amateur Music Network has devised a way to sing with friends and family near – and far — using a hybrid model that allows participation either in-person or on Zoom! We’re partnering with San Francisco Girls Chorus to present Family Sing: A Holiday Choral Sing-Along at the Kanbar Performing Arts Center (44 Page Street in San Francisco) and online on December 22, 2021 at 5:30 p.m.

This warm and welcoming choral experience, led by SFGC’s dynamic Artistic Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe, will feature some of your favorite holiday music, and even a couple of new carols to learn. The event is perfect for adults and for children ages 12 and up.

If you have little ones in tow, bring them along, too! SFGC will host a fun sing-along event just for kids ages 5-11, while the adults enjoy an hour of choral singing.

What about the rest of the family? Maybe grandparents or other dear ones don’t live nearby or can’t attend in person. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered: you can join us online via Zoom and we’ll all sing together. All will hear our hearty chorus and feel the connection that only music can create, even across great distances.

So, get the shopping done, get the presents wrapped, and join in with loved ones near and far, to lift your voice in celebration of the holidays.

Family Sing!