Many Voices, One Art Festival warmups
Performers and audience warm up for the festival | Courtesy of SF Bach Choir

On March 2, SF Bach Choir will present a free day of workshops of varied music called the “Many Voices, One Art Choral Festival.”

The festival runs from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the San Francisco Calvary Presbyterian Church at 2515 Fillmore Street. Online advance registration is advised; “No experience or music reading necessary.”

SF Bach Choir launched its collaborative “Many Voices, One Art Choral Festival” in 2016, as an inclusive event free to the public.

SF Bach Choir Executive Director Mark DeSaulnier says the organization itself covers the festival expenses, “approximately $6,500 to run the day-long event and continues to fund the project in full to this day.”

Melanie DeMore at Many Voices, One Art Festival
Melanie DeMore demonstrates traditional Gullah stick pounding at SF Bach’s Many Voices One Art | Courtesy of SF Bach Choir

For the future, DeSaulnier says, “As the world continues to move beyond the challenges of the COVID era, SFBC looks forward to expanding MVOA with increased sessions and topics. This expansion will likely enrich the event’s offerings and provide even more opportunities for people to engage with the arts.”

New presentations for 2024 include “Barbershop Harmony: Exploring an American Vocal Art Form,” with Matthew Fellows; and “Voices from the Caucasus: An Introduction to Georgian Polyphony,” with Kristine Barrett, of Kitka Woman’s Vocal Ensemble.

Repeating from previous years: “Renaissance Dance” with Jennifer Meller; “Body Music” with Keith Terry; a vocal technique workshop with Julia Nielsen; “Old-Time Harmony Singing” with Evie Ladin; “Circlesong” with David Worm; and “Joyful Noise Gospel Workshop” with Rita Lackey.

Keith Terry at Many Voices, One Art
Body Music with Keith Terry | Courtesy of SF Bach Choir

SF Bach Choir Artistic Director Magen Solomon. who leads “The Rich World of Bach’s Chorales” workshop, says of the event:

“We believe that everyone can sing, and that everyone should have an opportunity to sing and to explore some of the many wonderful forms of vocal music that surround us. MVOA is designed to reduce barriers to participation in music-making and to create community among musicians of all levels and styles.

“We strive to offer an event that is welcoming, friendly, and safe for everyone as they challenge themselves to stretch while trying new styles, meeting new people, listening to new sounds — and making new sounds.”