2018-2019:  Elemental Forces

Sacred & Profane’s 41st Season

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music”  – Aldous Huxley


Join Sacred and Profane for our forty-first season of inspirational choral concerts in the Bay Area! In December, we sing sacred songs of elemental forces by Victoria, Grieg, Poulenc, Muhly, Dove, and more. In March, we will travel the rich American landscape with Amish folksongs, African American spirituals, and works from the Sacred Harp and Quaker traditions arranged by composers such as Moses Hogan, Stacey Gibbs, Alice Parker, Jocelyn Hagen, and Shawn Kirchner. In May, we shine light on the music of contemporary women composers Libby Larsen, Gabriela Lena Frank, Ysäya Barnwell, Karin Rehnqvist, and others. These three inspiring programs will be presented in Berkeley and San Francisco, with a third performance of March’s concert offered in Alameda, supported by a generous grant from the City of Alameda.


Heavenly SpheresSacred Songs of the Night Sky

Gaze into the stars with Sacred and Profane as we sing sacred works about the night sky. This ethereal program will feature works by Hildegard, Victoria, Lange-Müller, Grieg, Olsson, Kverno, and Poulenc. We will also sing exciting pieces by living composers, including Shawn Crouch’s The Light of the Common Day, Nico Muhly’s Bright Star Carol, and Jonathan Dove’s Seek Him That Maketh the Seven Stars. We are thrilled to be joined by the renowned organist Jonathan Dimmock for this moving holiday concert.



The American Landscape: Traditional Music and Art of the United States

Travel the highways and byways of this vast country as we delve into the diversity of our unique musical and artistic landscapes. Several local visual artists will add their perspectives to our music as we bring you selections from Folksong Mass by Japanese American composer Paul Chihara, arrangements of Amish folksongs by Mark Templeton, African American spirituals arranged by Moses Hogan and Stacey Gibbs, and traditional Quaker and American Harp songs arranged by Jocelyn Hagen, Alice Parker, and Shawn Kirchner. Our Alameda performance will be and interdisciplinary experience free to the public, featuring an exhibit on the theme of the American landscape with works by glass artist Kim Webster, textile artist George-Ann Bowers, painter Mi’Chelle Fredrick, mixed-media artists Åke and Leslie Grundits, and others, supported by a generous grant from the City of Alameda.


A Star of the First Magnitude: Contemporary Women Compsers

Women are writing exciting, expressive, and important music, and yet remain sorely underrepresented in traditional concert programming. Sacred and Profane is thrilled to bring you a concert of music written by women – all living and working composers except for the original feminist composer: 11th century abbess Hildegard von Bingen. Our concert will feature Quilt Songs, a collection of pieces inspired by quilts and composed by Alice Parker, Libby Larsen, Gabriela Lena Frank, Ysäye Barnwell, and Carol Barnett. We will also bring you works by the Swedish composer Tina Andersson; the Russian-English composer Alissa Firsova; the American composer Caroline Mallonée; and a setting of Edith Södergran’s feminist poem Triumf att finnas till by our much-championed Swedish composer, Karin Rehnqvist.