NACUSA is a non-profit organization founded in 1933 by Henry Hadley, originally as the National Association of Composers and Conductors. It is one of the oldest organizations devoted to the promotion and performance of new music. The San Francisco Bay Area Nacusa Chapter was started by Nancy Bloomer Deussen and John Webber more than twenty years ago, and has evolved into an active organization with a current membership of forty five composers. It produces four to six concerts a year in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Founded in January 2008 by Dr. Bryan Baker, Serenade is a chamber choir of 26 singers selected by audition primarily among members of Masterworks Chorale. The singers are committed members of the chamber choir, devoting many hours to rehearsal and performance with Serenade. Its varied repertoire, which partially overlaps that of Masterworks Chorale, ranges from classical to contemporary, spirituals and popular pieces.
Serenade has performed in beautiful venues throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, such as the St. Regis San Francisco, Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Half Moon Bay, Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, and private homes in Woodside, Hillsborough, and surrounding communities. Created as an outreach ensemble of Masterworks Chorale Serenade provides an opportunity for chamber music performances at events and private parties.
The Masterworks Chorale is critically recognized as one of Northern California’s finest choral ensembles. Founded in 1964 by Artistic Director Emeritus Galen Marshall, the Chorale performs masterworks of sacred and secular choral literature from the Baroque period to today. Richard Garrin was Music Director from 1997-2002. Dr. Bryan Baker has been Artistic Director of the Chorale since the Fall of 2002.
Each season, the Chorale performs 3 to 4 pairs of concerts featuring instrumental ensembles comprised of the Bay Area’s leading professional musicians. In addition, Masterworks is joined by professional vocal soloists whose credits include appearances with leading symphony orchestras and opera companies throughout North America and Europe.
Among the Chorale’s guest appearances are performances with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, San Jose Symphony, the Festival of Masses, and the Cabrillo Festival. Internationally, Masterworks has received critical acclaim during seven European tours, a tour of the People’s Republic of China, a performance at Avery Fisher Hall and their 1989 debut at Carnegie Hall, featuring Verdi’s Requiem.