2019-2020 Season

Sacred & Profane’s 42nd Season


Music of Sleep and Repose

Our December 2019 concert will feature sacred and secular music from all eras on the theme of rest and repose, as the winter months are often a time for reflection and personal restoration. In our ongoing effort to promote gender equality in concert programming, our concert will feature music by four women. We will begin the concert with a Medieval Carol, followed by works of the English Renaissance madrigalist John Wilbye and Romantic German composer Max Reger. We will celebrate the holiday season with several Christmas lullabies by composers such as the English composer Herbert Howells, the Polish composer Henryk Górecki, the American composer Abbie Betinis, and the Swedish composer Tina Andersson. Other Scandinavian works will include Gunnar Eriksson’s Norwegian Lullaby and Jocelyn Hagen’s arrangement of the dark Icelandic lullaby Sof∂u unga ástin mín. We are excited to sing the Russian-American composer and pianist Lera Auerbach’s Lullaby, composed with a unique modal musical voice. We will also perform Sean Crouch’s Lullaby, a setting of a poem about an Afghan father soothing his son to sleep during wartime, Eric Whitacre’s Sleep My Child (originally composed for the Bay Area ensemble Chanticleer), and we are excited to present the world premiere of Jack Curtis Dubowsky’s Sleep.

December 7, 2019 at 8pm | St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Berkeley

December 8, 2019 at 4pm | St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco



Music for Chorus and Strings

Our exciting March 2020 concerts will feature music for choir and string orchestra, in collaboration with the Bay Area-based Circadian String Quartet, along with ten other local string players. Our ambitious program will include local composer David Conte’s September Sun, composed in memory of the people who died in the September 11th attacks, as well as the popular American composer Eric Whitacre’s Three Hebrew Love Songs for choir and string quartet. We are thrilled to present the US premiere of Karin Rehnqvist’s exuberant Day is here for choir, soloists, and strings. Recently premiered in Stockholm, Sweden, Day is here is the companion piece to Songs from the North, a four-movement setting of poetry from the Arctic commissioned by Sacred and Profane for our fortieth-anniversary concert in May 2018.

March 13, 2020 at 8pm | St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Berkeley

March 14, 2020 at 8pm | St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco


Local Composers

In May 2020 we will celebrate our own vibrant Bay Area, featuring music by both well-known and up-and-coming local composers. We are thrilled to present Kirke Mechem’s Winging Wildly, a three-movement setting of poems about birds for chamber choir by the Bay Area’s best-known composer of choral music. Mr. Mechem, who considers Winging Wildly to be his best work for choir, will be 94 years old at the time of our performance, and we are eager to celebrate this important composer’s music. Our concert will also include selections from Mark Winges’ Missa Diapente, a lovely mystical work for chamber choir. We are excited to sing several works about the Bay Area, including David Conte’s “Due West,” the third in his Whitman Triptych cycle written for local ensemble Cappella SF, Michael Kaulkin’s Roll the Tide, a setting of Bay Area poet Elisabeth Eliassen’s poem about the sea, and Gabriela Lena Frank’s San Joaquin, a setting of San Francisco Renaissance poet Bill Everson’s text about Yosemite. Other works include San Francisco Conservatory of Music composer Joseph Stillwell’s lovely O nata lux and Oakland-based Sanford Dole’s joyful Dance Steps. We are particularly excited to present the world premiere of our assistant conductor Edna Yeh’s three-movement cycle on the subject of beauty.

May 16, 2020 at 8pm | St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco

May 17, 2020 at 4pm | St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Berkeley