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].

Mill Valley Philharmonic

Mill Valley Philharmonic is a community orchestra bringing free, live orchestral music to people in their own communities throughout Marin County and the Bay Area. MVP includes sixty talented and dedicated volunteer musicians playing strings, winds, brass, timpani and percussion. They present masterworks and world premieres, engaging both local composers and soloists in our programs.

Founded: 2000
Artistic Director: Laurie Cohen
Where to hear them: Marin and Bay Area

Mills College Dept of Music

The Music Dept offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The graduate program enjoys an international reputation in the field of contemporary music. The Center for Contemporary Music, formerly the Mills Tape Music Center, has been a preeminent center for electronic music since 1966.

Artistic Director: Fred Frith
Where to hear them: Music Department Concert Hall

Mills Muisc Now

Founded: The Music Program at Mills is noted for being at the forefront of experimental music study and composition. Well-known composer Luciano Berio was on the music faculty of Mills in 1962-1964, and in 1966 Pauline Oliveros became the first director of the Tape Music Center (later the Center for Contemporary Music),[21] where she composed her electronic works "Alien Bog" and "Beautiful Soop". Morton Subotnick, later a member of the faculty, received his master's degree from Mills, studying composition with Leon Kirchner and Darius Milhaud. Laurie Anderson, Dave Brubeck, Joanna Newsom, Phil Lesh, Noah Georgeson, and Steve Reich attended the program, as well as the famous synthesizer designer Don Buchla. Terry Riley taught at Mills starting in the early 1970s. Avant-garde jazz pioneer Anthony Braxton has taught at Mills on an intermittent basis since the 1970s. Lou Harrison, Pandit Pran Nath, Iannis Xenakis, Alvin Curran, Anthony Braxton, Gordon Mumma, Frederic Rzewski, Fred Frith, and many others have all taught music at Mills. Since 1966, the Center for Contemporary Music (CCM, formerly the San Francisco Tape Music Center) has emphasized experimental methods in contemporary music and its allied arts and sciences. CCM maintains a variety of electronic equipment, instruments and studios, provides instruction and technical assistance, and archives audio recordings. The Center also performs a wide variety of community services in the arts, including public concerts and lecture series, informational and technical assistance, and artist residencies. Maggi Payne and Chris Brown are presently co-directors of CCM. Payne is a composer, performer, interdisciplinary artist, and recording engineer. Brown is an instrument builder, a pianist, and a composer.
Artistic Director: Steed Cowart
Where to hear them: Mills College

Milpitas Community Concert Band

Founded: 1993
Artistic Director: Jeff Yaeger
Where to hear them: Milpitas Community Center

Mirage Ensemble

Vocal-instrumental works spanning the last three centuries.

Founded: 1996
Artistic Director: Karen Hall, Hadley McCarroll, Rob Bailis (Co-directors)
Where to hear them: In the Bay Area: Hillside Club Concert Series, Old First Concerts

Mission Chamber Orchestra

As a significant part of the vibrant cultural life of Silicon Valley, the Mission Chamber Orchestra has been proud to present performances combining new music, recognized masterpieces, and thrilling soloists.

Founded: 1996
Artistic Director: Emily Ray
Where to hear them: Le Petit Trianon, 72 N. 5th St., San Jose

Mission City Opera

Mission City Opera is dedicated to presenting professional performances of operatic works at affordable prices in intimate productions in English and original languages.

Founded: 1996
Artistic Director: Sharon Kaye
Where to hear them: The Mission City Center for the Performing Arts in Santa Clara

Mission College Symphony

Founded: 2006
Artistic Director: Joseph Ordaz
Where to hear them: Mission College; Santa Clara, CA

Mission Dolores Basilica

Artistic Director: Jerome Lenk

Mission Dolores Basilica Choir

The resident choir of Mission Dolores, the oldest building in San Francisco.

Founded: 1989
Artistic Director: Jerome Lenk
Where to hear them: Mission Dolores Basilica