Bay Area Music Groups

The Bay Area is home to literally hundreds of classical music organizations, from community choruses to world-renowned orchestras, opera companies and chamber ensembles. This listing provides all the vital statistics for Bay Area music groups, as well as a summary of what they do best. Search by type of organization or alphabetically. Note to classical music groups: If your organization is not listed here or there is an error in your listing, please email [email protected].

O'Brien Center of the Arts

dance studio, ballet and contemporary ensembles

Founded: 2012
Artistic Director: Martha O'Brien
Where to hear them: Sonoma County


Oakhella is an organization that seeks to preserve the cultural fabric of the city while welcoming newcomers into the community. Officially launched in April of 2016 as a micro music festival, Oakhella has grown into a community organization made up of young professionals who recognize the need to create spaces that encompass the broader culture of Oakland. Well known for its multigenerational appeal, Oakhella and its sister org, Bottom’s Up Community Garden, have produced events that cater to people of all walks of life.

Founded: 2016
Artistic Director: Fresh Daily

Oakland Asian Cultural Center


The Oakland Asian Cultural Center (OACC) was founded in 1984 by a coalition of volunteers who recognized the need for a strong artistic and cultural force in the Chinatown area.  Since opening its own facility in 1996 in the heart of Oakland’s Chinatown district, the OACC has presented countless high quality cultural programs including performances, workshops, festivals, school tours, classes, and exhibitions.



OACC builds vibrant communities through Asian and Pacific Islander arts and cultural programs that foster intergenerational and cross-cultural dialogue and understanding, collaboration, and social justice.



OACC is a thriving first class community arts organization in Oakland and the Bay Area that promotes cross-cultural understanding for present and future generations.  Local artists and their cultural art forms are promoted through a variety of programming and community collaborations.  OACC envisions vibrant, healthy, and just communities where diverse Asian and Pacific Islander identities and heritage are affirmed and celebrated through cross-cultural interchange, intergenerational dialogue, and educational programming.

Oakland Ballet Company

For over 45 years, Oakland Ballet Company has maintained its commitment to inspiring the East Bay community and beyond by keeping the tradition of ballet exciting, vibrant, and accessible, especially through the presentation of works of the Diaghilev repertoire and modern masterpieces. Oakland Ballet was founded in 1965 by Ronn Guidi, an Oakland native and student of Raoul Pausé, himself a former student of Ballets Russes dancer and choreographer Adolf Bolm. In 2010, the Oakland Ballet Company celebrated the arrival of internationally acclaimed choreographer and director Graham Lustig as Artistic Director. Lustig’s career as a dancer, artistic director and choreographer parallels Oakland Ballet’s tradition of presenting historically vibrant work while championing new choreography.

Founded: 1965
Artistic Director: Graham Lustig
Where to hear them: Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts

Oakland Bay Area Community Chorus

Artistic Director: William (Bill) Bell

Oakland City Chorus

As member of the Oakland City Chorus, our website is, we sing a variety of choral masterpieces and world music.

Founded: 2004
Artistic Director: John Reager
Where to hear them: Laney College and other venues

Oakland City Chorus

Oakland City Chorus provides opportunity for members of our community to sing a rich mixture of choral masterpieces and world music with no dues or membership fees except enrollment in a 1- unit class at Laney College (Music 125, 128, 146, or 225). Dedicated to promoting choral excellence in the greater Oakland area, OCC is an outgrowth of the Laney College Choir, founded in 2004. Visit the JOIN page for more information. We perform a wide variety of repertoire including Classical Music, World Music, and Spirituals. We have sung in Farsi, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Latin, Mandarin, Spanish, Xhosa, and others. Recent concerts have featured major works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Britten, Fauré, Hensel, Ives, Mendelssohn, Poulenc, Ramirez, Schubert, and Vivaldi and others. Please visit the Concerts page for current information.

Founded: 2004
Artistic Director: John Reager

Oakland Civic Orchestra

Founded: 1992
Artistic Director: Martha Stoddard
Where to hear them: Lake Merritt United Methodist Church, 1330 Lakeshore Avenue, Oakland

Oakland Community Orchestra

Founded: 1963
Artistic Director: Gil Gleason
Where to hear them: The Leona Lodge, Oakland (rehearsals Friday 9:30 am to 12 pm)

Oakland Freedom Jazz Society

Founded: 2013
Artistic Director: Fernando Carpenter
Where to hear them:

Oakland Jazz Choir

The Oakland Jazz Choir, a unique, dynamic, multi-cultural ensemble, is dedicated to the education, preservation and perpetuation of vocal jazz, and is committed to bringing together professional and community members alike.

Founded: 1990
Artistic Director: Ben Flint
Where to hear them: Everywhere