Arts & Events

New: Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra Concerts Feature “The Power of Music”

By Elaine Hooker
Tuesday November 19, 2013 - 02:27:00 PM

The Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra (BCCO) will present a program of “music about the power of music” in its fall concert series in November. Under the direction of BCCO Music Director Ming Luke, the chorus will perform Charles Gounod’s elegant Messe Solennelle (St. Cecilia Mass), a paean to the patron saint of music; Ralph Vaughan Williams’ ethereal Serenade to Music; and Franz Schubert’s poignant An die Musik in a new arrangement written especially for BCCO by composer Loretta Notareschi. 

The chorus will also perform the winning composition of BCCO’s most recent Young Composer Competition, Michael Schachter’s Oseh Shalom Bimromav, a setting of a well-known Hebrew prayer about granting peace to all people. 

BCCO will present three performances of the program: Saturday, Nov. 16, at 8:00 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 22, at 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 24, at 4:30 p.m. The concerts will be held at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1640 Addison St., Berkeley. All concerts are free and open to the public; donations are gratefully accepted. 

“Music about music has a rich tradition. And even today, music about the power of music remains a potent creative force,” said Luke. 

Professional soloists for BCCO’s fall concert series are Jennifer Paulino, soprano; Steven Ziegler, tenor; and Eric Howe, bass. Luke will accompany Howe in a performance of the original An die Musik, which was composed for solo voice and piano. 

This is an especially busy season for BCCO. In addition to its regular fall program, BCCO has been invited to perform the choral part of Mahler’s Symphony no. 2 (Resurrection Symphony) with the Stanford University Symphony Orchestra on Friday, Nov. 15, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 17, at 2:30 p.m. in the new, highly acclaimed Bing Auditorium on the Stanford campus. 


The Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra is a non-auditioned community chorus of more than 220 singers dedicated to performing major classical works with orchestral accompaniment, free to the public. Ming Luke is the third director to lead the chorus since BCCO’s founding in 1966. He also serves as Assistant Conductor of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, and directs and conducts the Berkeley Symphony’s music education program. Luke recently was appointed the first music director of the newly revived Symphony Napa Valley. In October, Luke conducted the San Francisco Ballet at Lincoln Center in New York City.