Ragazzi Boys Chorus (credit: Curtis Finger/cb-pr.com)
Chorus and choir members raise their voices throughout in the Bay Area, meeting up weekly in community centers, churches, colleges and clubs. The San Francisco Bay Area Chorus Directory lists as many as 500. So, whether it’s Bach or barbershop that catches your fancy and whether it’s to applaud the efforts or join in the fun, here are some of the best choirs in and around the Peninsula.
178- A Clinton St.
Redwood City, CA 94062
This group has recorded CDs, excelled in competitions, traveled the world and performed with Bay Area symphonies and operas in major concert halls. The 170 members of Ragazzi is comprised of boys from ages seven to 18 with members representing 86 schools. Performances are regularly scheduled in Belmont, Pacifica, Portola Valley, San Carlos, San Francisco, Palo Alto and in San Mateo, where a branch of Ragazzi is headquartered. Join the mailing list to find out about performances and auditions for this local treasure, now established for 26 years.
1443 Howard Ave.
Burlingame, CA 94010
Comprised of talented girls from ages seven to 18 who love to sing, rehearsals are held weekly for area-wide concerts. It’s a family affair, with parents contributing weekly volunteer time and tuition made available for those requiring assistance. With a concert schedule taking the acclaimed 240-strong chorus from AT&T Park to Stanford University to Davies Symphony Hall, the chorus has toured as far as New York City, Washington, D.C., the United Kingdom and Italy in recent years.
16006 McDOnald Way
Burlingame, CA 94010
If you’ve got a hankering for harmonious barbershop quartets, multiply your fun listening to a dozen or more of these Burlingame-based gentlemen performing a cappella. They’ll sing for your organization, deliver a tune for your sweetheart or meet up to audition local men who like to sing. Here’s a mouthful: The Golden Chordsmen are members of the San Mateo County Chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, Inc., regularly competing in Barbershop Harmony Society national and international events since 1976. This group is spreading good cheer at churches, Hillsdale Mall, local parties and events, and entertaining at local hospitals.
Related: Best Vocal Groups On The Peninsula
20900 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Cupertino, CA 95014
For 20 years, boys and girls have blended Eastern and Western tradition in song, performing in some of the world’s finest venues including St. Peter’s in Vatican City, Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and Beijing Concert Hall. With a sister group based in Taiwan, the choristers are invited to open houses and can be auditioned from first grade and up progressing through levels in four chapters rehearsing in Cupertino, San Jose, Fremont and Foster City. One click on the website delivers its remarkably refreshing, clear tones for your appreciation.
P.O. Box 5464
San Mateo, CA 94402
With an ambitious concert schedule at churches and high school and college auditoriums in and around San Mateo, Masterworks Chorale celebrates its 50th year of bringing superior choral music to local audiences. Many concerts are in conjunction with San Francisco and Bay Area symphonies and orchestras, frequently with international soloists. Everyone is encouraged to audition, and while the music is challenging, choral directors work with singers to improve their skills. The repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary for this highly acclaimed choral ensemble with seven European tours under its belt, led by Dr. Bryan Baker.
Laurie JM Farr is a freelance writer covering all things in her adopted San Francisco. A dedicated urbanite, she’s a transplanted New Yorker by way of a couple of decades in London as a hotel sales and marketing manager. Follow her work on @ReferencePlease, USA Today, Yahoo! and on Examiner.com.