I first learned of Choral Singers of Marin from a roadside billboard inviting community members to join in an open holiday sing-along. I enjoyed the rehearsals and concert so much I wanted to get more involved. Once I learned that Choral Singers of Marin also performed at area senior living facilities and provided free lessons to many youths who could not otherwise afford such instruction, I was pleased to accept a position on the board and work toward increasing awareness and sponsorship of this wonderful organization in our community.
Having been an active choral and small group musician for several decades, I had been searching for a coed a cappella group with exactingly high musical standards. I found such an organization in Singers Marin's Just Voices, the professional a cappella ensemble. I was subsequently invited to join the Board. In the interim two years I've thoroughly enjoyed the music, the performances and the camaraderie, and most significantly the high musical standards maintained by our artistic director Jan. This is an organization with a mission- to promote the highest levels of musicianship to all generations- from the school age children as they graduate up through the successive choruses, to the adult performing groups, to the ongoing community outreach concerts at group homes and retirement communities. In a time when arts organizations struggle to survive, S.M. continues to have a solid community of participants with a shared passion for vocal music.
SingersMarin is one of the most deserving community arts groups I've ever been associated with! I have always been a singer, and have sung in a cappella groups and church choirs for most of my life, but wanted a deeper involvement with my local community. About 6 years ago, I was fortunate in being able to semi-retire after a long career with Dolby Laboratories. In looking around for volunteer positions, I came across SingersMarin, which is an umbrella name for nine choruses from young children, middle schoolers, high school, an adult women's chorus. I auditioned and was selected for a new adult a cappella group, which became known as Just Voices. After a wonderful year of singing, our director, Jan Pedersen-Schiff, invited me to attend a board retreat, along with some singers from various groups, and parents of our youth singers. When I heard of all the wonderful work being done in the community, from teaching kids in our local underserved community, to singing in retirement homes for the elderly, and an amazing concert schedule, I was hooked! I joined the Board, and about a year later, was asked to be the Board chairman. Our challenges have been fundraising, providing our artistic director with adequate support so that she can spend less time on administrating the organization, and fundraising. I've been very pleased with the quality of the board members I work with, and their dedication, but as a part-time volunteer board, we rely on contributions form local businesses and foundations. We are gearing up for a 25th anniversary concert at Davies Hall in San Francisco next April, with a commissioned work by composer Gwyneth Walker, and Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms. We'll be joined by the Mill Valley Philharmonic orchestra, a Russian male chorus, and Voci, an outstanding women's chorus from the East Bay. We are truly thankful for our many years of bringing joy to the community, and look forward to your participation!