Archive for the 'Concert Chorus' Category

Fall 2012 session in full swing in preparation for holiday events and OYC Concert on December 15

Concert Chorus singers learning a new song

OYC’s singers are meeting every week at 14 sites.  Our K-5th grade Miracle Chorus, Middle School Choruses, and our middle and high school Concert Chorus singers rehearse in afterschool programs onsite at OYC, at specific schools in Oakland and Alameda and in community sites for homeschoolers and for students at schools not directly served with OYC’s enrichment classes.

You’ll hear the sweet sounds of the K-5th grade Miracle Chorus singers in Oakland at Chabot, Glenview, Hillcrest, Kaiser, RedwoodHeights, St. Martin de Porres, Think College Now and at our All-City community ensemble that meets onsite at OYC.

You can hear our singers from one end of Alameda to the other with programs at Franklin and NEA, as well as a daytime class for homeschooled children at Rhythmix Cultural Works and a wonderful community ensemble through a partnership with Alameda Recreation and Parks Department, which meets at the Veterans Memorial Building mid-island.  This chorus serves every K-5th grade student in Alameda regardless of the school they attend.

Artistic and Education Director, La Nell Martin, leads Concert Chorus rehearsal

OYC’s Artistic and Education Director, La Nell Martin, not only leads the onsite Concert Chorus at OYC’s home at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland, but also directs the middle school ensembles at Bret Harte and St. Martin de Porres in Oakland and Lincoln Middle School in Alameda.

While La Nell is teaching an advanced repertoire to our middle and high school singers this session in preparation for the many holiday gigs OYC has coming up, our K-5th grade Miracle Chorus instructors are rehearsing an eclectic rep of songs from around the world to our elementary school aged singers, which they will perform at various events in November and December.  Check out OYC’s Calendar of Events on our website for details.

While providing a stellar music education is at the core of OYC’s mission, all our singers get opportunities to showcase what they’re learning at events throughout the season, culminating in OYC’s annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 15 at 6pm at First Presbyterian Church of Oakland (Broadway at 27th St). This glorious holiday tradition features over 200 singers representing all of our programs, singing traditional and contemporary holiday music, as well as songs from around the world that will evoke the holiday spirit. Don’t miss it!  Tickets available now:


YLC Poised to Take OYC to Next Level

Hello! I am happy to recognize a group of young people who are great leaders and true assets to the Oakland Youth Chorus’ Concert Chorus.

Congratulations Caitlyn, Annika, Sierra, Soukeyna, Terrin and Danielle. They are the Oakland Youth Chorus’ Youth Leadership Council or “YLC”. This group will grow leaps and bounds as active leaders representing OYC’s Concert Chorus. Through the work effectively completed in their capable hands, they will take Concert Chorus to another level.

The Youth Leadership Council is a subset of the Oakland Youth Chorus’ Concert Chorus. YLC fosters leadership and essential life skills for the singers of Concert Chorus.

YLC was created to give the singers a sense of ownership concerning chorus activities. The council allows the singers an opportunity to gain skills in many areas of leadership, teaching skills in:
-Effective leadership
-Grant writing
-Planning a productive meeting/running the council meeting
-Creating events
-Strategic planning
-Assisting in chorus rehearsals
-Creating fundraising ideas
-Naming the concerts
-Providing a voice/liaison for the youth to OYC’s administration, and of the Bay Area
-Acting as proud representatives at performances

We at OYC not only care about our singers as musicians presently, we also care about their future: where they are going and who they are becoming in life. We want them to gain skills that will set them up to be successful and excel wherever they go in their educations and careers.

Success is our mindset! Let’s go Concert Chorus’ YLC!!!

D’Shawn Hunter
YLC Coordinator

Youth Leadership Council (L to R): D’Shawn Hunter, Caitlyn, Danielle, Terrin, Annika, Sierra, Soukeyna

OYC announces audition dates!


Begin your musical journey with the Oakland Youth Chorus by joining the award-winning Concert Chorus (ages 14-21) or Middle School Magic Chorus this fall.  Auditions for Concert Chorus will be held August 23-27 and September 7-10 with the first rehearsal on September 14.  There is a brief interview process to join Middle School Magic – no audition -you just need a desire to sing and the commitment to participate.  Middle School Magic’s first meeting is September 13.

Call Director of Choral Programs, LaNell Martin, to set your appointment today by calling 510-287-9700 xt 102 or email her at

Some OYC classes resume next week

High School Concert Chorus, the Chamber Ensemble, and several elementary school programs resume next week.

Concert Chorus will return to its usual schedule, Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:30-6, starting Tuesday, January 5.

Chamber Ensemble will begin winter rehearsals Tuesday, January 5 as well.

The OYC Miracle Chorus at Chabot Elementary will continue its winter session Monday, January 4.  Both the All-City Miracle Chorus and the OYC Miracle Chorus at Kaiser Elementary begin their winter-spring sessions Tuesday, January 5.

Looking ahead, the Middle School Magic Chorus resumes Monday, January 11 and the OYC Miracle Chorus at Glenview resumes later in the month.

If you do not see your school or program here, please check with an on-site coordinator or call us at 510-287-9700 to get an update.

Tech Week Schedule for Winter Choral Concert

Monday 12/7:

No Rehearsals, not even for Middle School Magic

Tuesday 12/8:

Concert Chorus 4:30-6:30pm

Chamber Ensemble 6:30-7:30pm

All City Miracle Chorus normal time and location

Wednesday 12/9:

Middle School Magic 4:30-6:30

Tuesday and Wednesday rehearsals listed above take place at First Unitarian Church of Oakland as usual.

Thursday 12/10:

Chamber Ensemble 5:30-8:45

Combined Miracle Chorus 6-7:30pm

Middle School Magic 6-7:45

Concert Chorus 6-8:45pm

All Thursday rehearsals listed above take place at the concert venue, First Congregational Church of Oakland, 2501 Harrison Street @ 27th.

Saturday 12/12:

Concert begins at 7pm at First Congregational.

Call times for specific groups are listed below:

Chamber Ensemble: 5pm

Concert Chorus: 5:30pm

Miracles (Elementary aged) and Middle School: 6pm

A selection of snacks will be provided for the Miracles but all performers should have dinner before arriving.

Thanksgiving Week Rehearsals: Chamber Ensemble Only

Concert Chorus and Middle School Magic do not have rehearsal this week because of the Thanksgiving Holiday.

However, the Chamber Ensemble will have a special rehearsal Tuesday, November 24 from 4-6pm.

Rehearsals resume next week.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Oakland Youth Chorus praised for Bread and Roses-sponsored performance

Here is what someone wrote about Concert Chorus’s performance at a local emergency homeless shelter last month:

Fifteen teenagers from the East Bay came together to share their voices and smiles with the homeless folks at Crossroads. They opened with a harvest song from Senegal. This immediately got the audience’s attention. The diverse group of temporary residents looked around at each other nodding their heads in approval. They were even more impressed when a young man Tom sang lead on the powerful “Here’s Where I Stand” from Camp. The lyrics say:

Here in the Dark
I stand before you.
This is my chance to show you my heart.
This is the start, this is the start.

Here’s where I stand.
Here’s who I am.
Love me, but don’t tell me who I have to be.
Here’s who I am.
I’m what you see.

In this life we’ve come so far,
But we’re only who we are.
Courage of love
Will show us the way.
Unlock the power
To stand up and say

Here’s where I stand
Here’s who I am
I’ll be counting, counting on you
If you’re with me, we’ll make it through.

This set the tone for the rest of the chorus’s performance. Two young women led the group in a spirited field song complete with body movements and got the audiences to join in with call and response. The choir moved through spirituals, freedom songs and contemporary tunes with equal comfort. Some songs they were performing for the first time, which no one would have known, had they not confessed it.

LaNell Martin, the director, was understandably proud of this diverse group of kids who rehearse twice a week and have won awards in state wide choral competitions. She had them repeat her favorite song as an encore. It was a treat to hear her sing as well on the traditional African American “Yonder Come Day.” Again the lyrics had a special message for the homeless shelter audience.

Yonder come day.
Day is a-breakin’
Sun is a-rising
In my soul.

It reminded them that there is always a new day ahead with promise of a better life. These young people’s gift of song offered hope and inspiration that will continue long after the last note was heard.

by Carolyn Gauthier, Crossroads Host

Performance sponsored by Bread and Roses