Next month will be a busy one for the San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC), which will see them appearing at two different venues. The “main event,” so to speak, will be the appearance of the full complement of 350 singers that will include the students in the SFGC School, all conducted by Music Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe. The program, entitled An American Christmas, will be presented on the stage of Davies Symphony Hall as part of the month-long series of holiday-themed concerts presented there every December. This year all those singers will be joined by a special guest artist, soprano Deborah Voigt.
The entire program will be organized around the efforts of American composers and arrangers. It will feature three seasonal hymns by the Colonial composer William Billings, “Shepherd’s Carol,” “Judaea,” and “Bethlehem,” and three selections by Peter Schikele’s alter ego, P. D. Q. Bach, “Little Town,” “Good King Kong,” and “Throw the Yule,” all suffused with the Christmas spirit in more ways than one. The program will also include John Jacob Niles’ “I Wonder as I Wander,” which he wrote in 1933 based on a fragment he collected as part of his folklore research, as well as the more recent “Seven Joys of Christmas” by contemporary composer Kirke Mechem. There will also be popular song selections, such as “Winter Wonderland” and “The Christmas Song.” The audience will also be invited to join the ensemble for sing-along carols.
The performance of An American Christmas will take place in Davies Symphony Hall at 201 Van Ness Avenue, with the main entrance and Box Office on the south side of Grove Street, halfway between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. It will begin at 8 p.m. on Monday, December 7. Tickets are available for prices between $30 and $60. Tickets may be purchased online through a City Box Office event page. They may also be purchased by phone at 415-392-4400 or by visiting City Box Office in person at 180 Redwood Street, Suite 100. Business hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The following week the members of SFGC will, themselves, appear as guest artists at the second subscription concert to be offered by the New Century Chamber Orchestra (NCCO). SFGC will again sing a medley of carols, as well as Niles’ “I Wonder as I Wander.” They will also sing Baldassare Galuppi’s “Dixit Dominus” and Charles Gounod’s “O Divine Redeemer” with NCCO. The program also feature clarinetist and klezmer specialist David Krakauer, who will provide “equal time for Hanukkah” with four selections (three of which are his own arrangements) performed with NCCO. NCCO will also perform selected chorales by Johann Sebastian Bach, one in an arrangement by Clarice Assad.
The San Francisco performance of Holiday Lights will take place in Herbst Theater at 401 Van Ness Avenue, on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. It will begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 19. Tickets are available for prices between $29 and $61. Tickets may be purchased online through a City Box Office event page. They may also be purchased by phone at 415-392-4400 or by visiting City Box Office in person at 180 Redwood Street, Suite 100. Business hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
As usual, there will also be an open rehearsal, which the general public in invited to attend. This will take place at the Kanbar Performing Arts Center (which is also the home of the San Francisco Girls Chorus). It will begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, December 16. All tickets are $15. They are available for purchase through a separate City Box Office event page.