Arts & Events

Press Release: Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra Performs All-Mozart Concerts

From Elaine Hooker
Friday November 30, 2012 - 01:09:00 PM

The Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra will perform three all-Mozart concerts in December under the direction of Music Director Ming Luke. The concerts are free and open to the public.

BCCO will perform the Great Mass in C minor, K. 427; Symphony No. 29 in A major, K. 201; and Ave Verum Corpus, K. 618. The concerts will be Sunday, Dec. 2, at 4:30 p.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1640 Addison St., Berkeley; Saturday, Dec. 15, at 8 p.m. at Hertz Hall on the UC Berkeley Campus; and Sunday, Dec. 16, at 4:30 p.m. at Hertz Hall. 

"From the sublime to the witty, the humorous to the dramatic, these three pieces were composed at major transitions in Mozart's life and showcase the full genius of Mozart,” Luke said. 

The Hertz Hall concerts will be BCCO’s first performances in a professional concert hall, with concert acoustics and seating for more than 650 concertgoers. 

“Cal’s Music Department has only recently begun offering Hertz Hall to community performance groups, and we are honored to have this opportunity. So many of us have attended concerts at Hertz, never dreaming that we would be on that stage,” said Karen Davison, BCCO board president. 

The concert will be dedicated to long-time former Music Director Arlene Sagan, who passed away July 5, 2012, after a long illness. 

“Arlene devoted many years of her life to inspiring hundreds of people to make wonderful music together, while building BCCO into the vibrant community resource it is today. Arlene generously shared her knowledge, creative energy, and joyful love of music with everyone who sang or played under her direction,” said Mary Rogier, BCCO board member. 

Soloists for the Great Mass will be Jennifer Paulino, soprano; Megan Berti, mezzo-soprano; J. Raymond Meyers, tenor; and Igor Vieira, baritone. 

BCCO is a non-auditioned community chorus of more than 220 singers that performs major classical works with orchestral accompaniment. Luke is the third director since BCCO’s founding in 1966. 

Some of Luke’s recent conducting engagements include the San Francisco Ballet, Opera San Jose, Sacramento Opera, Napa Regional Dance Company, Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, Napa Valley Symphony and the Bolshoi Orchestra. 

Luke is director and conductor of the Berkeley Symphony’s music education program. The Berkeley Symphony announced recently that it was honoring Luke for his work with its nationally recognized Music in the Schools program, which supplements music education for more than 4,000 students in all of Berkeley’s public elementary schools. 

Luke also is music director of the Napa Valley Youth Symphony and the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra. The two orchestras took top honors last year at the Los Angeles International Music Festival. 

BCCO’s assistant conductor, Derek Tam, performs in the Bay Area as a pianist and a harpsichordist in addition to acting as conductor for various organizations. 

For more information, call BCCO at 510-433-9599, or see