The Women’s Antique Vocal Ensemble hosted a benefit concert for Cindy Beitman showcasing the Medieval and Renaissance music of France last June. The concert marked the end of Cindy’s 18 year run as conductor of WAVE and celebrated her meaningful contributions to the group and uplifting presence in the face of cancer treatment. Although Cindy will be a sorely missed figurehead for WAVE, both Cindy and the group look forward to many more musical adventures in the future.
Our spring concert brought much ‘Freude’ (Joy) to our singers and concert goers alike. If you were lucky enough to have been in attendance, we thank you for experiencing this great work with us on such a special weekend. Thanks, also, to Ellen Gailing for capturing these images at the Saturday night performance.
Below is a letter from our Director, Cindy Beitmen, that was printed in the concert program:
Message from the Director
Most of you are aware I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer this past February. When it seemed my world was falling apart around me, I was embraced by the unbelievable generosity of the Chorale and their various offshoots into the community. They provided a safe harbor in a sea of uncertainty and have guided me with all the healing energy and love they could possibly muster with offers of help for anything I could ever need. I am just overwhelmed emotionally and will be forever indebted. From the strength and vision of our board with President Susan Lambert, to every person in the Chorale, I felt they have been with me every step of the way.
The cancer is curable, and I fully expect to be back at the podium in the fall with a particularly meaningful program entitled “Eternal Light,” which will showcase the beautiful choral work by Morten Lauridsen, “Lux Eterna.” In addition, we will be performing music based on the theme of light including “O nata lux” by Thomas Tallis, “Choose something like a star” by Randall Thompson, and “Sure on this shining night” by Z. Randall Stroope. Eternal light, or what I believe is the power of hope, has given me the strength to go on, so I feel this will be a very fitting and meaningful set to perform upon my return.
And a VERY heartfelt thanks to guest conductor John Kendell Bailey who came through so skillfully in getting this program together. I just can’t thank you enough, John. You kept it going with professionalism and knew that the show must go on. Bravo!
On Thursday, May 4, we raised over $10,000 for our newly established “Directors’ Fund.” A big thank you to all our donors!
Through its newly established Directors’ Fund, Contra Costa Chorale proposes becoming a community partner with West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD), providing mentoring, funding, and choral performance opportunities for students throughout the district. From taking Chorale performances to schools in the district to inviting school choral groups to perform at the beginning of Chorale performances, the Chorale feels that there is an opportunity to build a stronger affinity for choral music in the youth of West County.
The spring 2017 WCCUSD All District Music Festival at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium featured two orchestras, three bands, but only one choir. Our desire and intention is to work with the district’s Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) program to help students expand their interest and expertise in choral singing.
With funds raised last year for a concert performance that unfortunately had to be postponed indefinitely, we have a starting fund of $7,000. With the goal of an additional $8,000, we will establish a substantial re-granting and performance program supporting students and teachers in advancing choral music. A program like this will benefit not only the youth but also the teachers of WCCUSD; additionally, the interaction between Chorale members, many of whom are seniors, and the youth will benefit our members as well. Inter-generational collaboration through choral music broadens the perspectives and lives of all who participate.
Thank you to everyone that attended our English Country Dancing fundraiser on March 11th. With your help, it was a great success. We hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did! These great photos were taken by Ellen Gailing at the event. We’re already looking forward to next year, and hope you’ll join us again!