Adult Singing Groups & Choruses

Parent Q&A

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  • Hi, BPN community. 

    I'm looking for a place to sing in a group, large and small, for fun, mostly but would like a bit of a challenge from time to time. I’ve been singing with a group in the city; looking for something closer to home. 

    I would appreciate any suggestions and advice from the community. 

    You might check out East Bay Harmony - they meet on Monday evenings in Piedmont and sing fun songs. I think you can only join at the beginning of the season (which is now almost over) but they are a solid group of singers!

    Anything Goes Chorus ( is accepting new singers. The East Bay group is for singers with choral experience (there's a beginning group in SF). I've been with the chorus for about 8 years and it's a ton of fun. Music spans jazz, Broadway, and pop. We do one big concert in March (coming up!) and occasional works-in-progress concerts. Our spring session starts in April. We're particularly looking for baritones, but everybody's welcome. Contact director Ellen Robinson; info is on the AGC website.

  • Hello,

    I am looking for East Bay singling classes, groups or lessons for myself, a beginner.  I noticed that all the past BPN postings on similar topics are fairly dated.  I am interested in learning to sing because I noticed that singing makes me happy, lifts my mood and generally helps me feel more alive.  I know there are a lot of options out there for those who already have singing experience but wasn't sure where to look as a beginner.

    Thank you for your ideas and suggestions!

    Reach out to Fabio Silva with Better World Music school! He’s the best and his set up for online classes is amazing. Betterworldmusicschool dot com

    Berkeley Women's Community Chorus is a fabulous group of women. It's a non-audition chorus so we welcome everyone who wants to sing.  We learn basic technique and sing all kinds of music. We meet on Thursday nights at the Northbrae Church in North Berkeley. Debra Golata is the director. Contact her at dgolata [at] Here's the BWCC website: 

    Come join us!

    I really like the Living Room Choir. It's friendly, meets once a week on Saturday afternoon, and the songs are simple, with no music reading necessary. We sing short songs with harmony or rounds. You can find more info at website or email them at thelivingroomchoir [at] There's also a Facebook group for it.


    Our family members have long participated in Sing Thing with Sandi Morey.

    She teaches traditional songs to people of all ages.  (Kids should be able to sit still for an hour.)

    Material includes sea chanteys, uncomplicated songs in international languages, rounds.  I found that my singing voice improved a lot even though i just do it for fun.

    Sessions are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m = 8:30 p.m., starting the first week of October, at her house in Oakland, in the Dimond District, on Laguna Avenue near MacArthur Boulevard.  (510) 482-1833

    Hi, I highly recommend Molly Smart. She taught music (instrumental and voice) in independent schools for many years, and now teaches privately. She's warm, friendly, talented, and highly skilled at meeting a beginner where you are and encouraging you every step of the way. You can contact Molly directly at mollysmart AT gmail dot com.

  • Looking for a choir!

    Nov 3, 2021

    Singing is good for the soul! I'm looking to join a choir that meets regularly preferably in the east bay. Anyone know of a choir looking for a mezzo soprano?

    Anything Goes Chorus has been meeting steadily over Zoom since the start of the pandemic. My director is cautious about resuming in-person rehearsals, but reevaluated quarterly. We sing mostly jazz, Broadway, and pop, though the choices have been a bit simpler with us meeting over Zoom, including a selection of cool rounds and canons. 

    Website for the choir:

    Some of our covid projects:

  • Adult musicals choir

    Mar 8, 2019


    Does anyone know of a choir class where adults sing songs from musicals? I saw something like that at a organization that mostly has classes for youth in Berkeley, I think. I just can’t remember the name of the organization. 


    Berkeley Broadway Singers. Good group and lots of fun.

    Anything Goes Chorus ( performs a mix of Broadway, jazz, and pop. We have a concert coming up on March 23 (, if we aren't sold out by the time this is published) and our Spring season I think starts April 3. It's a super fun group of people.

    I would love to know this as well!

    While not exclusively, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley Choir sings lots of Broadway.  One of our sacred texts is the Book of Sondheim, and we happen to be producing Side by Side this spring. (We put on Cabaret last spring).  Rehearsals Thursdays at 7:30pm.

  • I'm looking to join a choir or chorus to sing once weekly and have not located the 'right' outlet yet.  Has anyone gone to the Women's Singing Circle at the Freight?   I wish it were not so late in the evening (8:30pm).   I'm open to suggestions for groups that are mixed or only women, as long as there's harmony.  However, I can't sight read so if there's an audition involved, I would not do well.   I have a good ear and can carry a tune easily.   I live in N. Berkeley and would like something in Berkeley or nearby.  Thanks in advance for your advice!   

    There is a relatively low-key choir that meets in Congregation Netivot Shalom on Monday nights from 7 to 9. No formal audition required, mixed 4- or 5-part harmony for the most part, and one concert a semester. The choir is affiliated with the Congregation, and the music selections usually have some Jewish theme, but you don't have to be Jewish to join. Most members can at least read music, a few can sight read, and some members can't read music.  Our program last semester was music banned by the Nazis, while this next semester will be a Hannukah-themed program. PM me if you're interested in joining.

    I joined the Diablo Women's chorale last spring and it was super fun. Lisa Forkish is our director and she is amazing. She has done a lot of work with acapella groups and has two current groups that win all their competitions (from Oakland School for the Arts). We are not an acapella group however we do a lot of harmonies. There are members from the Berkeley area you could probably carpool with. We practice on Monday nights at 7pm and August 14th is our first practice and tryouts. Message me if you have more questions.

    I sing in Anything Goes Chorus ( which meets at the First Congregational Church in Oakland (by Whole Foods) on Wednesday from 7:30 to 9:30. We start up again in September after our summer break.

    It does require an audition. You have to be able to read music but not necessarily to sight read (I know lots of people who can sight read a lot better than they give themselves credit for). It's a commitment; the director expects regular attendance and we have a big concert in March. We also do a couple performances a year at retirement homes and the like. It's more expensive than some of the other choirs (rates are on the website).

    I joined the Women's Singing Circle at the Freight three times. It's delightful. Tamsyn is a wonderful teacher and the singing is joyous and fun. And she manages to get us all singing in two, and three and four part harmonies. Give it a try. The sessions only last 6 weeks so low commitment!

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Looking for an Adult Community Chorus

May 2014

I would like to join an adult community chorus in the Oakland/Berkeley area. I want a fun group that sings a variety of music (pop; jazz; broadway; 40's etc). Thanks. dc

I know you'd enjoy the Oakland Anything Goes Chorus. We are a mixed chorus and sing all genres of music. We put on one big concert in late March and perform a few times during the year at assisted living facilities. We meet Wednesday nights at 7:30 at the First Congregational Church at 27th and Harrison. We currently have about 25 members. The chorus has been around for over 30 years and the director is Ellen Robinson, a local jazz singer and teacher. If you would like to try it out, we are having an Open Rehearsal on May 21st. I think you need to have some music reading skills and be able to hold your own when singing in four-part harmony. Ellen's going to give you a feel of what our rehearsals are like by teaching a few songs that will be new to everyone. If you'd like to learn more, you can go to Ellen's website ( and look under the heading teacher/director. Also, please feel free to email me and we can chat...Dee

There is a small chorus (about 15 people), Tangy Voce, that meets on Tuesdays, noon to 1:00 pm in the Tang Center on campus at UC Berkeley. We welcome all voices and skill levels but we do work on fairly challenging music of all sorts and we have an expert, skilled conductor and dynamite accompanist. We have fun. You could drop in see if it is a fit. We perform on campus and at senior residence facilities. You can contact Bunny Stevens at stanbun7573 [at] if you have questions or email me. Barbara

Casual singing group

Dec 2013

I love to sing! In my car. In my living room. In my shower. Have always loved it and wondered what it would be like to find a group of people that I could get together with semi-regularly to sing some fun songs with. I tend towards folky type stuff, but like a lot of different styles and am open to learning and hearing new things always. I live near Grand Lake in Oakland, so it would be great to find a group of people around these parts who get together and sing maybe once every other week or so. But I am also willing to travel. Thanks! rr

We have had many years of fun with Sing Thing, Sandi Morey's casual singing group. It meets at her home in the Dimond district on Thursday evening 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. In the summer, a more expanded six-week version called Summer Sing which is limited to adults, features more challenging material, and goes for 1.5 - 2 hours. For the regular Sing Thing sessions (October - May), Sandi's mission is to teach traditional songs to children and adults. She trained with Pete Seeger and was part of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. We sing sea chanteys, regional U.S. folk songs, European songs, rounds, Hawaiian material, and sometimes exotica like Balkan, Brazilian, African, Japanese. Sandi has a beautiful voice and plays guitar, 'ukulele, and percussion. She charges $30 for individual adults, $30-$37 per month for families. Call her at 482-1833 to inquire. Amelia

For 15 years, I've been part of a wonderful casual singing group that sings folk songs, ballads, rounds, shanteys, all kinds of music, from all around the world. It's run by Sandi Morey (it's her business, so there's a fee, but it's very reasonable). She's been doing this for 39 years, and has many, many loyal participants. Adults on their own and families with kids are welcome. There is an Oakland location that meets weekly on Thursdays from October through May that's probably the closest one to you (it meets in Sandi's house), and a North Berkeley location that meets on Wednesdays. It's a wonderful activity--people really love this! You can look at Sandi's website,, and also give Sandi a call--she'll give you more information. She invites newcomers to a first session at no charge, so you can check it out. I hope you give it a try--it's really fun! enthusiastic

Are you on campus? There is a semi-casual singing group that meets every Tuesday from noon to 1:00 pm in the Tang Center (hallway behind the elevators). We have 10-15 singers of all levels and we sing classical, folk, pop, gospel, you name it, usually in 2 or 3-part harmony. We have a director, Bunny Stevens, and accompanist and even though we have a lot of fun & it is a great stress reliever, we work hard and put on several small performances each year. We welcome visitors or new members. Barbara

I don't know of a group to suggest to you but I do know that there is something called the Circle Sing on December 30th every year at a church near Lake Merrit. They sing around the clock for 24 hours, I think. My husband went last year and he LOVED it and is insisting that our family (and all of our friends, if he gets his way) attend this year. It may be a fun thing for you to do, and you'll probably get information about casual singing group opportunities if you ask around or look for flyers at the event. Google it for information...maybe we'll both be there this year! Former singer...current introvert

Chorus that sings classical music?

Jan 2013

Can anyone recommend a chorus that sings classical music in the area? allison

I sing in a nice chorus that does classical music -- it's called Bella Musica. It's my one evening out a week from the kids! I found Bella Musica in the fall after I applied to BCCO and found out that the soprano waiting list is really long. Our director now is named Richard Mix and I think he's really good. We rehearse Tuesday nights 7:30 to 10 at St. Clement's Church on Claremont in Berkeley. We started rehearsing two weeks ago for the spring season (the concert is April 28), but I'm sure you could still join -- we could still do with a few more singers in all voice parts. In the fall we sang Mozart, Brahms, Josquin... this spring we're doing Brahms' ''Zigeunerlieder,'' Sibelius' ''Rakastava,'' some Italian madrigals... great stuff, fairly challenging but really rewarding to sing. The website is or you can email info [at] for details. If this sounds like what you're looking for, I hope you'll get in touch! It's been really good for my mental health to be doing something creative and social one night a week. Soprano Mama

There are hundreds of bay area choruses to choose from. Check out the community chorus listings at choral singer

Adult singing groups in the Berkeley area?

Dec 2012

I was hoping to have the BPN community chime in (heehee) on the various adult singing groups out there. The last query was in 2002, and I know we have a rich musical pool in the East Bay. Could you please update and let us know the genre? anon

The Berkeley Broadway Singers is a really fun choral group. Our next season starts January 10th...we meet on Thursdays from 7:15-9:30 at Little church on the Corner in Albany.

Go to the website, for info on auditions. We especially need tenors. Trente Morant is our director (Ellen Hoffman was our former director for many years, recently retired from ''BBS''). We have a blast in this group, and if you love Broadway show tunes and love singing in 4-6 part harmony.....this is the group for you. June

There's a wonderful resource available online which lists most/all the choruses, choirs, and singing groups of all genres in the San Francisco Bay Area, with links to the websites of those groups that have them. It was last updated about a year ago. Compiled by Bill and Helene Whitson, it can be found at A Berkeley chorister

World Harmony Chorus is a wonderful adult chorus that meets every Tues night from 7-9 at the southeast end of Lake Merritt. The spring semester begins in mid-February. In the meantime, you can hear us perform at the Berkeley Farmer's Market on Saturday, Dec 8 from 12:00-1:00, check out our performances on YouTube, or come visit a class. You can get more information from our wonderful director's website, Terry

Dale Zola is the leader and also composes much of the music. We learn Solfege (the language of ''do ray me''). We learn vocal production, sing the songs in parts, and the music is beautiful. South Berkeley/ North Oakland. NOBE dandalezola [at] 510-655-1425 Rosalie

I am part of a quirky group of singers called The Oakland Soft Rock Choir. We sing a capella arrangements of soft rock hits of the 70s and 80s. Some of the artists we love are Fleetwood Mac, Chicago, Bryan Adams, Journey, and George Michael. We practice on Tuesday nights and perform at all kinds of places. Mostly, we just have fun. Feel free to contact me about coming to practice sometime. dawn

I enjoyed being a member of East Bay Harmony. Fun, low key, good music, fun director. I would have continued, but my schedule didn't allow for it. Loves to sing

I've sung with the Berkeley Broadway Singers and the Anything Goes Chorus. They both sing primarily Broadway tunes, with some jazz and pop tunes from different eras. BBS has recently gotten a new director, Trente Morant, who is fabulous. He's very high energy, lots of fun, and very talented. They have concerts twice a year (November and Aprilish), and their most recent one was the best I've heard them. There are about 75 singers in the group, and an audition is required.

AGC is directed by Ellen Robinson, who is also very talented. She is very supportive and expects a lot out of her group. They perform once a year in March. There are about 30 singers in the group, and an audition is required.

Both choirs require a fee, which is listed on their websites. AGC is significantly more expensive since it's smaller. I recommend both choirs! Happy Singer (Missing Choirs)

Hi, I have been taking singing/voice classes at the Jazz School in Berkeley. It is a great way to practice/learn and relax. Also a great way to meet people interested in singing. They have all kinds of classes, latinoamerican ones, classical jazz, and much more. Have fun Mariedda

I've been singing with the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra for a number of years now. It is an amazing chorus of almost 200 adults who sing orchestral choral masterworks (i.e., masses, requiems, stabat maters, by Bach, Mozart, Dvorak, Brahms, etc.). In fact, if you want to check us out, our winter concert series is underway, with two more (free) concerts of Mozart's Great Mass in C Minor on Dec 15 and 16 at Hertz Hall on the UC campus (see for more info; you can also hear us rehearsing the Gloria from the Great Mass in the video). The really amazing thing about the chorus is that it is non-audition. There is a lot of support and extra help for learning the music, you don't have to know how to sight-read, but it is definitely important that you be able to read music (notes, rhythms). The only down side to this recommendation for someone wanting to join the chorus is that there is a waiting list to get in. We're maxed out on size, and we recently got a new director with great talent and charisma, so it's hard to get into the choir, but worth trying. (If you have kids in BUSD, you might know our new director, Ming Luke, as he is also the conductor for Berkeley Symphony's Music in the Schools program, which works with all of the Berkeley Public elementary schools.) The other thing you might want to know is that though we have singers from their 20s and up, most of the crowd is older/senior. So, if you're looking to socialize with a young crowd, this might not be the chorus for you. If you're looking to sing, though, it's a great experience. We perform to standing-room-only crowds in our normal venue (St. Joseph the Worker Church), and it's a thrill to be part of something so accomplished. --Chelsea

I'd like to join a local Choir. Any ideas?

March 2012

I am interested in joining a Choir in the east bay, ideally not too far from El Cerrito. Does anyone know of such a choir? Thanks! wanting to sing...

Try the adult pop vocal ensemble at Musically Minded Academy in Oakland with instructor Pollyanna Bush. The next session is starting on Thursdays 6:30-8 pm and adults can join any time with pro-rated tuition. Also, you may try one class at a drop-in rate to check it out or just come and watch for free., 510 601 5700, admin [at] Anna Orias, Musically Minded Academy

I recommend East Bay Harmony. They meet weekly near Lake Merritt. Nice folks in a low key atmosphere. From their website: East Bay Harmony is an a cappella chorus of women and men that offers an opportunity to all to experience the joy of singing in harmony with others, learn and improve musical skills, and promote music in a warm, welcoming community. With no auditions required, EBH embraces popular music as a source of enjoyment and connection that can be shared by all, regardless of background or musical experience. Our members have varied levels of vocal experience, ranging from professionals to complete beginners. We come from all over the Bay Area, from San Francisco to Marin, Richmond, Emeryville, Oakland, Berkeley, San Leandro, Lafayette and Moraga, and further. Our emphasis is on improving our musical skills and fostering fellowship through song. In addition, we perform at senior citizens' homes, schools, Bay Area events, and our annual spring Friends and Family concert. Our repertoire includes doo-wop, pop, folk, and R tunes, jazz, Broadway standards, and the occasional madrigal. We have also sung Bulgarian, South African, and Spanish songs. Anon

Hi, If you're open to a group that simply sings as a circle, versus performing, I lead a women's singing circle at The Freight & Salvage on Thursday nights from 8:00-10:30 pm. Our next 6-week session starts on May 3rd & I would love to have you join us! There is a blog link on The Freight page that gives you a sense of the material we sing. Best, Tamsen Fynn tamsenfynn [at]

I've been a member of both of the following choirs at different times: and The former is better if you have more extensive experience and can sight read, the latter is a very friendly choir that specializes in sacred music. Another to consider if you have more experience is I have heard great things about the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir as well: Happy singing! Jeanne

I belong to a really fun and unique choir called the Oakland Soft Rock Choir. We don't do religious music or traditional choral music. We do a cappella soft rock hits of the 70's-80's-90's. Think Journey, Chicago, Richard Marx, Bryan Adams. Our rehearsals are on Tuesday nights. We perform at various functions, parties, art openings, and restaurants/clubs with related theme nights. Sometimes, we even decide to perform in interesting non- traditional places where there are people who may like us! Audiences love us! Our members come from all walks of life and our current age range is from 27 to 44 years old. I joined a year ago and look forward to Tuesday nights-it's a lot of fun! I have become a much better singer, and I get to hang out with some very talented folks. Singers of all levels are welcome to check out a rehearsal to see if they like it. Men are especially encouraged, as we recently had 2 of our male members move away. If you want to know more, send me an email. Tenille Diamond dawnm

There are many wonderful choruses and choirs in the East Bay! So much depends, however, on what kind of music you like to sing (classical? jazz? ethnic music? pop? gospel? show tunes?) and how well-trained a musician you are (can you stay on pitch? read music?) To help sort it all out, there's a website which lists nearly all the choruses, choirs and singing groups in the Bay Area--everything from very selective professional groups requiring auditions and a background of years of musical training, to informal sing-for-fun groups where everyone's welcome, even those who have never sung a note in their lives! Links to the websites and contact information are included. Check it out: Good luck! I hope you find a group that you thoroughly enjoy! A Berkeley chorister

I don't know what kind of music you like, but check out the Anything Goes Chorus, directed by Ellen Robinson. We just had our concert last weekend, and it was a blast! We sing Broadway tunes, jazz standards, pop, Latin, and -- well, anything goes! Ellen is a fabulous director and an amazing singer. Her contact info is on her website, and I believe she's still currently auditioning folks for the upcoming season, starting in a couple weeks. Katie

Group singing-a class for adults?

March 2011

I'm looking to take singing lessons in a group setting. I'm more interested in singing solo or with a small group than singing with a choir. I think I'd have more fun learning with a group than taking private lessons. I'm a decent singer now, but would love to really learn what I can do to sing better. I haven't had any formal training. Can anyone recommend where I might find a small group or lessons? Thanks! Ready to sing...

Try Ellen Robinson ( She runs several larger chorus groups (one in SF and one in Oakland, about 20 people each) but also has several smaller groups, with varying levels of experience/expertise. She also does private voice lessons, so you could do a combination. She is an incredibly skilled voice coach, and fun to work with. Good luck. happy singing

Check out the Jazz School in Berkeley. They have lots of group classes including beginning singing. Also sometimes Albany, Contra Costa adult school will have singing classes for groups. The Jazz School is great though...I'd check there first. Have fun. anon singer

I enthusiastically recommend Michele Voilleque's group classes for adults. Michele is warm, fun, encouraging, not to mention being a great teacher and singer. Her website is, and she's on Facebook, too. Whatever you do, sing well and have fun! pwh

The Freight & Salvage offers a women's singing circle on Thursday nights from 8:30-10:00 pm. I am currently leading this circle, and I also lead a circle on Saturday afternoons. Best, Tamsen

Singing group for tenor husband

Oct 2010

My husband loves to sing and harmonize but is too distracted to look for a small group to sing with e.g. a cappella or barbershop quartet. Does anyone know of a group who might need a tenor? lm

If you are anywhere near campus during the day, there is a wonderful small chorus that meets every Tuesday from noon to 1:00 pm at the Tang Center and performs several times a year on or around campus. We would love to have another tenor join up. Drop by the hallway behind the elevators at noon on Tuesday or email stanbun [at] (That's Bunny Stevens, our illustrious conductor). Barbara

Not a small group, but the Berkeley Broadway Singers is always looking for good tenors. We are a 70 or so person REALLY FUN chorus that sings...Broadway show tunes. Our director is Ellen Hoffman, and you can come check us out at our next concerts, the weekend bfore Thanksgiving...all the info is on the BBS website, The next season starts in January. I imagine auditions will be in Dec. You can contact me if you want more info, if you can't find it on the website. june

Are you kidding? Every singing group wants tenors! I recommend Berkeley Broadway Singers, which meets weekly in (you guessed it) Berkeley and performs several free concerts a year, in late fall and spring. Contact David Gill at dgill8848 [at] to get more information on the next round of auditions. Lots of fun and really nice people. anon

Funny you should ask about a singing group - I just learned that Ro Sham Bo is looking for a tenor! You can learn more from their Craig's List ad: or their web site: I hope it's a good fit! Talia

Looking for a smallish choir to sing with

June 2003

I'm looking for a smallish choir or group to sing with. I''m particularly interested in Jewish music, but not exclusively. I've heard of Ellen Hoffmans Broadway Singers...does anyone have any info on how to get involved in her group? I can read music and sight sing quite well. I'd prefer a group with some music skill. I've been in Bella Musica before and really loved that. Right now I think i want something smaller. I'm currently in ''Women Singing Rounds'', which is really fun, but not quite what I'm looking for ultimately. I love my synagogue choir and would like to try something else in addition to that. Any info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks. PS I live in the East Bay (Richmond. Convenience and time is important so I am not able to travel too far to not the far reaches of Oakland or SF or beyond. June

I am a member of the Berkelely Broadway Singers. We are a 75-member chorus, directed by the talented, creative and funny Ellen Hoffman. We sing mostly Broadway tunes, plus jazz, blues, Latin and other popular music. We do free concerts and have had audiences of over 300 people. Our concerts are a lot of fun for singers and audiences; besides audience sing-alongs, there's always something unexpected, like tap dancing or jitterbugging. We are looking for experienced choral singers, especially tenors, basses and people of color. Nancy

Non-religious chorus in Lamorinda?

Jan 2003

I have been enjoying reading the thread about non-religious adult choral groups in the East Bay. I love to sing, too. The Berkeley Broadway Singers sounds fabulous! However, I would have to do something closer to home due to scheduling restraints. I live in Walnut Creek and would love to find something similar (at least non-religious) in the Walnut Creek/Lamorinda area or environs. Know of anything? Thanks. Lori

VOCI women's chorus ( rehearses in Orinda. There are about 20 women in the group; membership is by audition. They're a really nice group of people and they do an interesting mixture of music ranging from Renaissance to music by living composers. Nomi

I sing with a women's chorus, Voci, that rehearses in Orinda on Wednesday nights. We are not religious, but much of the music is religious just because that's what was written. We sing pretty serious music, our last concert was all Baroque. We sing a wide range of styles, the next concert will be American music. We are looking for women of all voice parts, but especially altos. If you'd like more info, please e-mail me and I'll get you the contacts. Joan

Adult chorus in the East Bay?

Dec 2002

Does anyone know of an adult chorus in the east bay (preferably Oakland) which is not religiously affiliated? I haven't sung with a group since high school, but always loved it and would like to try it again. Thanks! Linda

Berkeley Broadway Singers has been performing for Berkeley Community groups since 1998. Just recently they had two performances, one in November and another December 7th, featuring music of Richard Rodgers and other Broadway show tunes. This chorus is directed by Ellen Hoffman (I don't have Ellen's phone number, but if you are interested, call my mother- in-law, Joan, for more information. She is one of the singers and loves it. I believe they meet once a week. zeze

The Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra is an unauditioned chorus of close to 200 people of variable skills. The group puts on three concerts each season (Fall and Spring) of major choral works, usually with orchestral accompaniment. The productions are outstanding. This is possible, even though the concerts are free and open to the public, because of the tuition paid by the chorus members and large amounts of volunteer effort.

If your skills are such that you would prefer to be in an auditioned chorus, Bella Musica is a small chamber group that does some more challenging works, some world premieres for example, mostly without orchestral accompaniment. The group produces 2 high-quality concerts each season.

You can obtain more information about either by calling the Director, Arlene Sagan, at 510-525-5393. BCCO has concerts this and next week-end. Nori

The Linwood Community Chorus is lead by the wonderful Libby McLaren (of the well-known duo, Flower & McLaren). I love to sing, but hadn't sung in a group since high school, but last summer at Cazadero Family Camp I was fortunate to participate in a choral class taught by Libby McLaren. I learned about her Community Chorus and met several members. It seems like a great group with an interesting repetoire. I'm planning to join in January (they have 3 sessions in the year) The Linwood Chorus meets on Sunday afternoons at the Children's Hospital Research Institute (near MLK and 58th). The next session begins January 12th. Here's the web address: =Natasha

You may want to check out the Oakland Symphony Chorus, nice group, that will need a lot of people for their Elijah performance in May in the Paramount theater. Call: 510-456-4199 to schedule auditions, check out If you're not in for an audition, the Berkeley Community Chorus is something to start out with: Rehearsals for Brahms requiem will start in January. Kitty

My husband has sung with the Berkeley Community Chorus for a few seasons and enjoys it -- they are a non-audition, non-sectarian chorus which sings one classical work each semester, about 100 people. They rehearse in the First Cogregational Church on Dana, and you can go hear their performance this Sunday (15th) at 4pm or next Sat (21st) at 8pm at St Joseph the Worker Church on Addison at Jefferson. Mozart's Mass in C Minor. (They sing at churches and the music is usually a mass, but I swear, they aren't affiliated with any of them!) Next season they're doing Brahms Requiem. I've been to hear them lots and they are a fun group -- I recommend it! deb

There are quite a few adult community choirs in the Bay Area! My husband and I are members of (and in fact met in) the UC Alumni Chorus, which is directed by the UC Choral Ensembles (the student choir at Cal) director and rehearses on campus. Our membership is mostly Cal alumni, but faculty, staff, grad students, alumni of other UC campuses and a limited number of ''none of the above'' are welcome. Auditions are held in January and August. More info available at http://www-

Other groups with which I am vaguely familiar are the Berkeley Community Chorus, the Contra Costa Chorale, and the Oakland Symphony Chorus. There are many smaller ensembles as well, usually with a somewhat narrower repertoire focus. Holly

Check out our chorus - Linwood Project Community Chorus directed by Libby McLaren. We rehearse at the CHORI building (Children's Hospital Research building) on MLK in Oakland. Rehearsals are Sundays from 2:30 -5. This is a non-denominational, heart-felt, expertly led, close knit group. Libby is inspiring, funny and compassionate. We do a variety of music which includes spirituals and songs from different cultures. Winter session begins January 12th. The cost is $180. Libby can be reached at (51)482-9479 or at flowerandmclaren AT Jan

You might want to check out the Oakland Symphony Chorus. Magen Soloman is the conductor. They are not religiously affiliated, although much symphonic choral music is religious (they most recently performed the Bach Cantata No. 140 (''Wachet Auf'') and the Stravinsky Mass). You can check them out at www.oakland-sym- or call 510-465-4199. Pam

Have you tried the Contra Costa Chorale? Melissa

My mom is in a great non-religious chorus in Oakland called The Linwood Project Community Chorus. Contact Libby McLaren at (510) 482-9479 or at flowerandmclaren AT Laurie

Berkeley Broadway Singers is a 75 singer chorus focusing on Broadway, jazz, blues, and popular music, and is directed by Ellen Hoffman. BBS gives free concerts in the Berkeley/Oakland area, and also performs in institutions for isolated audiences. This is a mixed level chorus, striving for musical balance and diversity. Currently, the chorus is seeking more basses, tenors, and singers of color. For more information and an audition, email singbroadway AT Lisa

I have been a member of a wonderful chorus calls the Anything Goes Chorus with Ellen Robinson. It meets on Wednesday nights from 7:30 pm 9:30 pm Oakland. She also has a group in San Francisco (don't know the details) This is a great group of people and Ellen is a terrific director and teacher. No audition or ability to read music is required; just an interest in singing and having fun doing so. We perform twice a year in the springtime. One performance is for family and friends, the other is for an Oakland nursing home. If you want more information, please feel free to e-mail directly, or call Ellen Robinson at 482-9520. Happy singing! Shoshana

Berkeley Community Chorus is great. Not religious, sings 2 big concerts a year. monica

What about the Berkeley Community Chorus? The only religious affiliation they have is that they rehearse and perform in church spaces. They require no auditions, and Arlene Sagan is a wonderful director. I sang with them for six years before I had my kids, and I loved their spirit. Their concerts are free (donation suggested) and there always is a sing-along at the end. Former BCCO member and fan

I joined the Distaff Singers two years ago after seeing a notice about the group posted in the Announcements newsletter. Distaff is a non-audition, women's chorus that performs one benefit concert annually with a mix of contemporary and classical choral pieces. It's totally low-pressure and has a wonderful music director. The group has a new website up with lots more info; the address is darcy

Oakland Symphony Chorus is one possibility. They rehearse once a week in the evenings. The repertoire is mostly classical. Great group! Rachel

The World Harmony Chorus meets downstairs in the Julia Morgan center on College Avenue on Tuesday nights. The director, Daniel Steinberg collects and arranges amazing and dynamic music from Africa, Cuba, France, Italy, American shape note and more. There are about fifty people in Berkeley and a similar number meet in Mountain View on Monday nights and join up for concerts. There's a big variation in ability, but the results are great, and anyone who's comfortable with it can have a solo part occasionally. His website is at fiona

Dec 2002

I have been enjoying reading the thread about non-religious adult choral groups in the East Bay. I love to sing, too. The Berkeley Broadway Singers sounds fabulous! However, I would have to do something closer to home due to scheduling restraints. I live in Walnut Creek and would love to find something similar (at least non-religious) in the Walnut Creek/Lamorinda area or environs. Know of anything? Thanks. Lori

VOCI women's chorus ( rehearses in Orinda. There are about 20 women in the group; membership is by audition. They're a really nice group of people and they do an interesting mixture of music ranging from Renaissance to music by living composers. Nomi

I sing with a women's chorus, Voci, that rehearses in Orinda on Wednesday nights. We are not religious, but much of the music is religious just because that's what was written. We sing pretty serious music, our last concert was all Baroque. We sing a wide range of styles, the next concert will be American music. We are looking for women of all voice parts, but especially altos. If you'd like more info, please e-mail me and I'll get you the contacts. Joan

I have been looking into a singing group as well in the Walnut Creek area. Here's what I found: Sweet Adelines of Diablo Vista-- ''learn basic vocal skills and four-part harmony while singing jazz, bluses, show tunes & barbershop favorites'' call 925-687-0520. Also, Diablo Women's Chorale 682-3769 or I believe there is also an Orinda Women's Chorale (may not be the right name). Linnea

April 1999

The Oakland Symphony Chorus is a group you might consider. Their usual rehearsals are at St. Peter's in the Rockridge Area of Oakland, around Lawton/Broadway. They mostly perform large choral works, often in conjuction with the Oakland/East Bay Symphony (conducted by Michael Morgan). I sang with them for a season about 10 years ago, and right now I am performing in their 40th Anniversary Gala (they invited all their Alums to sing some of the pieces--the performance is April 10, 8 pm, at Holy Names College). Normally, one auditions in the summer for the season, which runs from late August or early September through June. Call 428-3172 for more information or to get information on Auditions. Also, there used to be a Berkeley Community Chorus. I've never performed with them, nor do I know what their current status is. My understanding is that their entrance requirements are considerably less stringent than OSC, for instance.

From: Veronica

La Pena at 3105 Shattuck Ave (tel 849-2568) has a community chorus. I don't know if that is what you are looking for when you say singing group, but they are pretty good and do some really interesting stuff. There is more information on their monthly calendar.

From: Eartha

I'm not sure what kind of a singing group you are interested in, but I'm part of a gospel choir which is call the Bay Area Music and Arts . If you are interested in joining, please email me. I also saw an ad at the gym which I picked up it was asking for singers to join a group and I think they are gearing toward R, but the lady's name is Sara Hunter and her number is 510-763-1032, you can tell her that I gave you the number. I plan to call her too I think if I don't too much on my plate from my other choir. Good luck!! Thanks.

From: piroth

There's a community chorus in El Cerrito called the Contra Costa Chorale - they practice at Hillside Comm. Church on Navalier Street on Monday nights... (they're not affiliated - they just rent the space for rehearsal.) I saw/heard them perform at Hilltop Mall at Christmas time...they were very good, and it seemed like a fun group. Good luck

From: Wendy

To the person looking for a singing gorup: I sing with the Contra Costa Chorale, which meets at the Hillside Community Church in El Cerrito. It is a wonderful group and has many members from North Berkeley. We have just begun working on Haydn's The Seasons, which is a delightful piece of music. The Chorale will perform this piece with the Kensington Symphony in June. The chorus manager's name is Lucy and she can be reached at 527-2026. Rehearsals are on Monday nights 7:15-9:45PM.


If you're interested in Rounds Singing for Women , there's a great class that meets weekly for 6 weeks (with 2 weeks off, then a new session). It's run by Kay Eskenazi, and you can reach her by email at yogaprops AT (she also runs a yoga prop business). Address it to her, and inquire about the Berkeley group (she also has an SF group). The Berkeley group meets on Tuesday eves, from 7:15-8:45pm. She can tell you the location (not hard to park). Her phone number is (415) 285-9642, in SF. I've been taking her classes for over 3 years, and really love it. It's not difficult, though it can be challenging, and she's very welcoming and appreciates new singers as well as experienced singers. Right now my life is so full I'm taking a little break from it, but I miss it very much! The cost is $10/class (or $60 for 6 weeks).