Past Performances

Future Performances


Vespers Concert – June 11 , 2017 5pm

Davis Community Church Sanctuary
Davis Community Church
412 C Street
Davis, CA 95616

  • Program TBD

Spring Concert – May 13, 2017 7pm

with the Davis Children’s Chorale

Brunelle Hall
Davis High School
315 W. 14th St.
Davis, CA 95616

  • Songs of the Earth
  • Featuring two pianos, oboe and percussion

Davis Chorale and UC Davis Choirs and Orchestra – March 12, 2017 7pm

Davis Mondavi Center
One Shields Avenue
University of California
Davis, CA 95616

  • Brahms’ Requiem

Messiah Sing-Along – December 18, 2016 4pm

Davis Community Church Sanctuary
Davis Community Church
412 C Street
Davis, CA 95616

The Davis Chorale is inviting all lovers of Handel’s Messiah to a Messiah Sing-Along in the Davis Community Church Sanctuary at 412 C Street in central Davis on December 18, 2016 at 4 pm. Attendees will sing all the choruses, supported by members of the Davis Chorale, soloists and instrumentalists. Singers who so desire may also join the soloists in their arias.


Holiday Concert – December 3, 2016 3pm & 7pm

Brunelle Hall
Davis High School
315 W. 14th St.
Davis, CA 95616

This fun and spirited program extols beloved Chanukah and Christmas traditions in sung stories and poems. We’ll hear early music style Marian themes in Alma Redemptoris by Palestrina and the Magnificat by Purcell. The spiritual Rise up Shepherds urges the shepherds to rush where the baby was born, while three Hebrew songs bring the message of peace Ose Shalom, talk about the lighting of the Chanukah candles, and describe in lively rhythms the Chanukah dreydl, a spinning top, played to commemorate the Miracle of the Eternal Flame after the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. The driving, intense rhythms of the Nigerian song Bethelehemu, accompanied by drums, will not fail to get the audience moving.

The more secular portion of the concert begins after the break. That’s when the Sacramento Brass Quintet , along with Ellen Deffner on the piano and electronic harpsichord, will provide the accompaniment for audience sing-along Christmas Carols, arranged by Davis Wilcocks , and for two longer works. The first is the timeless favorite T’was the Night Before Christmas, set to music by Ken Darby in 1942, the American composer who in the same year also released what is said to be “the biggest selling Christmas record of all times: White Christmas. The second is A Feast of Christmas, composed in 2007 by English composer Alan Bullard. This cantata in eight movements requires a narrator, a role filled by Sam Shane, Evening Anchor from CBS 13 and Davis resident. In verses old and new, family traditions are evoked. The Christmas pudding is stirred vigorously. A turkey is stuffed with six nesting birds, including a savory dressing, and baked for ten long hours. Christmas crackers pop, and wrapping paper litters the room. On the more spiritual side, bells are ringing, food is shared with the less fortunate, and thanks are given. The last movement includes the audience in singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas.


Vespers Concert – June 12 , 2016 5pm
Davis Community Church Sanctuary

Davis Community Church
412 C Street
Davis, CA 95616

  • Tchaikovsky – Gladsome Night
  • Bruckner – Locus Iste
  • Biebl – Ave Maria
  • Brahms – Motet Op.29, No.2
  • Cohen – Adonai Roi
  • Spirituals and Hyms

For the less than one hour long program of sacred music from diverse faith expressions, the choir will sing some of its favorite rich and romantic pieces like the Russian Orthodox chant “Gladsome Night” by Tchaikovsky, Bruckner’s “Locus Iste” and Franz Biebl’s “Ave Maria.” New in the repertory will be Brahms’ Motet in three movements Op.29, No.2, a chorale composition exemplary of the composer’s mature vocal style, achieving deep emotional intensity by virtuosic counterpoint and shifting modes and keys. The Hebrew hymn “Adonai Roi” (Psalm 23) by Gerald Cohen and two spirituals: “Ride the Chariot” and “My Lord, What a Morning” will round out the presentation.


Spring Concert – April 30, 2016 8pm
Brunelle Hall

Davis High School – Brunelle Hall
315 W. 14th St.
Davis, CA 95616

  • Lauridsen: selections from the Nocturnes
  • Music by Brahms, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Siskind, Burleigh, Vaughan Williams, and Raminsh

The Davis Chorale’s spring concert Night to Day will take the audience on a journey through the setting sun, evening, night and early morning. The texts are poetic and vary widely. They range from painting pictures of young love, mortality, spring coming, deep rich love and loss, and prayers. The music is all wonderfully beautiful, as if composers save some of their best material for these tender times of day.

Though mostly secular, the program starts with a Slavic chant Gladsome Night from the Russian Orthodox all-night vigil ceremony, harmonized by P.I. Tchaikovsky in 1881. The rich Russian choral sounds are followed by R. V. Williams’ Serenade to Music from 1938, set to a text by W. Shakespeare, celebrating the music of the spheres, which seem to be sweetest and softest at night. Four Quartets by J. Brahms depict many of the metaphors, emotions and experiences we associate with night. We feel the dew, see the stars and the moon, hear the nightingale trill and glimpse the lover finding his beloved. But the night’s darkness also recalls winter and death and draws our thoughts heavenwards.

Another set of four songs: Nocturnes by Morten Lauridsen bring forth similar images in a more modern, but no less touching idiom, set to equally beautiful poetry by luminaries like R.M. Rilke, P. Neruda and J.Agee. The poem In the Night We Shall Go In also by P. Neruda inspired the Canadian composer I. Raminsh to write music of exceptional stillness. What has now become a popular Israeli folk song An Evening of Roses by Josef Hadar sings once again of the night’s enticement to love. Finally light begins to appear with the Apalachian folk song Bright Morning Stars are Rising and the ecstatic hymn To the Sun by Franz Schubert. The concert ends with two spirituals My Lord, What a Morning and Hold out Your Light exhorting the listener to “let your light shine around the world.”


SacSings! – Sacramento Choral Festival – April 24, 2016 2pm

Sacramento City College Performing Arts Center
3835 Freeport Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95822

  • Lauridsen: selections from the Nocturnes
  • Music by Tchaikovsky, Siskind, and Burleigh

Holiday Concert – December 12, 2015 3pm & 7pm
Brunelle Hall

with the Davis Children’s Chorale

Davis High School – Brunelle Hall
315 W. 14th St.
Davis, CA 95616

  • Lloyd Pfautsch ~ “A Day for Dancing” – with winds and percussion
    • Members of Lisa Applegate’s dance studio will dance original choreography during “A Day for Dancing”
  • Carol sing-alongs
  • Others TBD

To celebrate the holiday season with song, dance, pipes, and children’s voices, the Davis Chorale under the direction of Alison Skinner, augmented by the Davis Children’s Chorale and The Applegate Dance Studio, performs A Day of Dancing on December 12 at Davis High School Brunelle Hall. The concert can be heard in a short family-oriented version at 3 pm and as a full-length program at 7 pm.
The featured piece A Day of Dancing by Lloyd Pfautsch, composed in 1969, lent the title to the concert. It tells the Christmas story in nine sung dances, involving adult mixed choir and children’s descant, accompanied by percussion, flute, oboe and bassoon. Dancers from the Applegate Dance Studio will interpret some of the dances with original choreography.
The majority of the other works on the program also inspires dancing due to lively, often odd-measured and syncopated rhythms. Examples are John Gardner’s Tomorrow Shall be my Dancing Day also from the 1960s, employing fast, high energy changing rhythmic patterns. A more recent work from 2001 Nos Galan by Frank Ferko evokes well-known Christmas Carols in a lively potpourri and combines the Davis Children’s Chorale with Ellen Deffner’s fine piano playing
The emotional Ave Maria by Franz Biebl and the carol Christ was Born on Christmas Day provide a change in pace. Additional Christmas and Hebrew songs, a spiritual and a few traditional Christmas carols for audience participation complete the program.
Tickets can be purchased from Chorale Members, Watermelon Music on E Street in Davis and at the door. 3 pm concert tickets cost: students $5, general $8, priority $10 and family $15. 7 pm tickets cost: students $10, general $15, priority $20 and family $30.
The concert will be presented in a shortened family-oriented version at 3 pm and as a full-length program at 7 pm. Both concerts will be at Brunelle Hall in Davis.


SacSings! – The Sacramento Choral Festival June 14, 2015 2pm

Harris Center for the Arts / Three Stages at Folsom Lake College
10 College Parkway
Folsom, CA 95630

The Davis Chorale will again participate in the second annual Sacramento Choral Festival “Sac Sings!” at the Harris Center of Folsom Lake Community College, 10 College Parkway, Folsom. This two-day event features 15 choirs in three concerts on June 13 and 14. The Davis Chorale will be the first group in the 2pm concert on Sunday, June 15, followed by the Grass Valley Male Voice Choir, the Reconciliation Singers Voices of Peace, the Sacramento Valley Concert Choir and finally the Sacramento Women’s Chorus. The Davis Chorale will perform excerpts from their June 7 concert, including works by Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Bruckner, Schuetz and Gjeilo.

Tickets to the individual concerts cost $20 and can be purchased at www.sacsings.org, the official website for the festival which has also information on the other two concerts.


Spring Concert – June 7, 2015 7pm
Brunelle Hall

Davis High School – Brunelle Hall
315 W. 14th St.
Davis, CA 95616

  • Bach ~ Cantata 4 Christ Lag in Todesbanden
  • Gjeilo ~ The Ground
  • Rachmaninoff ~ Blessed is the man
  • Bruckner ~ Os Justi
  • Mozart ~ Missa Brevis K 194
  • Schutz ~ Psalms 8 and 110

The adoration of the divine has inspired powerful music throughout the centuries. At its concert Voices of Wonder, on June 7, the Davis Chorale invites the community to experience six sacred works by some of the most admired European composers in that genre, spanning five centuries. Centerpieces are the Easter cantata Christ lag in Todes Banden (Christ Lay Bound by Death) by J.S. Bach from 1707 and Missa Brevis in D Major by W.A. Mozart from ca. 1774. Additionally, the program includes Psalm 8 and Psalm 110 by Heinrich Schuetz, an important German composer of the seventeenth century, presaging Bach’s polyphonic and contrapuntal style. The psalms were composed in 1619 and are scored for two four-voice choirs and instrumentalists.

The 19th, 20th and 21st centuries are represented by three shorter more chorale-like works with multiple voices set in lush, wide ranging chords, perfect for a large cathedral. The most recent piece from 2009 The Ground, an excerpt from Sunrise Mass, by Swedish-born, Santa Monica-based composer Ola Gjeilo, who is one of the Davis Chorale’s favorite composers due to his inventive contemporary idiom, surprises by its adherence to traditional chorale style. It requires string and piano accompaniment.

The well-known graduale Os Justi by the Austrian Anton Bruckner from 1879 and Blessed is the Man by Sergei Rachmaninoff are a cappella compositions. The latter, sung in Church Slavonic, similar to Russian, is the third of 15 settings for an All-Night-Vigil a Russian Orthodox religious ceremony. It was composed in 1915 before the Russian revolution, when Rachmaninoff had not yet left his native country and immigrated to the United States. The All-Night-Vigil counted among his two favorite compositions. Indeed it displays the best of rich Russian sonority.

Tickets ($10/15/20: student, general, priority) can be purchased at the door, from a Chorale member or at Watermelon Music in downtown Davis.


UCD Alumni Chorus Performance with UCD Orchestra – March 8, 2015 7pm
Davis Mondavi Center

Mondavi Center
One Shields Avenue
University of California
Davis, CA 95616

  • Vaughan Williams ~ Song of Thanksgiving
  • Vaughan Williams~ Toward the Unknown Region
  • Mendelssohn ~ Verleih uns Frieden
  • Herbert Howells ~ Hymnus Paradisi

The Davis Chorale members are practicing for a concert in collaboration with the UC Davis Music Department to be presented on March 8 at 7 pm at the Mondavi Center’s Jackson Hall. This concert includes the Hymnus Paradisi by English composer Herbert Howells. It is an intensely personal and emotional requiem which was written in 1935 in response to the death of Howells’ nine-year old son, who died three days after contracting polio. It employs startling, deeply touching harmonies to express grief, but also faith in the ultimate glory beyond earthly life. The work rallies monumental forces, requiring a full orchestra, soloists, two choruses of up to eight parts and a children’s choir. The March 8 program also features A Song of Thanksgiving and Toward the Unknown Region by 20th century English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, whose music typically seems demanding, but in comparison to Howells’ Hymnus sounds easy and familiar. The chorale-like Verleih uns Frieden (Grant us Peace Graciously) by the 19th century German Bach-revivalist, Felix Mendelssohn, rounds out the program.


Messiah Sing-Along – December 21, 2014 4pm
Davis Community Church Sanctuary

Davis Community Church
412 C Street
Davis, CA 95616

Valley Artist Productions and the Davis Chorale are inviting all lovers of Handel’s Messiah to a Messiah Sing-Along in the Davis Community Church Sanctuary at 412 C Street on December 21, 2014 at 4 pm. The event is organized by Rachel Kessler. Community singers will sing all the choruses and will be supported by members of the Davis Chorale, invited guest conductors, soloists and instrumentalists. Those who so desire may also join the soloists in their arias.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own scores or purchase them at Watermelon Music, 207 E Street in downtown Davis. A limited number of scores will be available at the door to borrow. Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted.

For more information contact Rachel Kessler at 756-3807.


Holiday Concert – December 13, 2014 3pm & 7pm
Davis Methodist Church Sanctuary

with the Davis Children’s Chorale

Davis Methodist Church
1620 Anderson Road
Davis, CA 95616

  • Pinkham ~ Wedding Cantata
  • Stroope ~ Hodie (with children)
  • Finzi ~ Magnificat

This holiday season the Davis Chorale is trying something new, presenting their Christmas concert on December 13th in two versions: an earlier one at 3 pm that lasts 45 minutes and is especially suitable for families with young children and one in the evening at 7 pm of a more typical length and character. The concerts will be directed by the Chorale’s new Assistant Director Garrett Rigsby and by Artistic Director Alison Skinner. Ellen Deffner serves as accompanist on piano and organ.

Both concerts feature, in addition to the adult choir, the Davis Children’s Chorale, organ accompaniment and the eight-piece Davis Brass Ensemble. Kids will have an opportunity to get a good view of the instruments before and after the concert. An added attraction for them is the presence of singing peers.

Both performances offer lots of variety: familiar songs for sing-along and familiar songs in less common arrangements, sung by the two choirs and soloists. There will be two Hebrew songs and two spirituals. The spirituals feature soprano soloists Meg May and Michelle Doolittle, the latter having recently made her name when she sang “God Bless America” in one of the SF Giants’ World Series games.

The main concert in the evening includes three major cantatas from the second half of the 20th century, all quite different in character: David Pinkham’s Christmas Cantata,; Z. Randall Stroope’s Hodie, and Gerald Finzi’s Magnificat. While the first two exuberantly celebrate the birth of Christ with double choirs, brass and percussion, the more pensive Magnificat asks only for one choir and organ accompaniment. The Christmas Cantata is also part of the afternoon program.

Both concerts take place at the Davis Methodist Church, 1620 Anderson Road. Admission is free, but donations of $2 – $5 for children and $10 – $20 for adults will be gratefully accepted.


SacSings! – The Sacramento Choral Festival June15, 2014 2PM

Concert G: Stage One
Harris Center for the Arts / Three Stages at Folsom Lake College
10 College Parkway
Folsom, CA 95630


An Interfaith Vespers Service June 1, 2014 5PM
Davis Community Church Sanctuary

Davis Community Church
412 C Street
Davis, CA 95616

  • Mozart – Laudate Dominum
  • Britten – Rejoice in the Lamb
  • Brahms – Lass dich nur nichts nicht dauren

Dreams and Dances Concert – April 5, 2014 8 PM
Brunelle Hall

Featuring Britten’s Choral Dances from Gloriana, Gwyneth Walker’s Dreams and Dances and Fern Hill by John Corgliano. The performance is slated for Saturday, April 5, 2014, 8pm at the Davis High School Brunelle Performance Hall. Tickets are $15 general, $10 students, and $20 priority seating.

Davis High School – Brunelle Hall
315 W. 14th St.
Davis, CA 95616


Winter Concert. – December 14, 2013 8pm Brunelle Hall

The performance of Christmas in the Americas with small ensemble of instruments is a celebratory selection of Spanish and English Christmas songs from North and South America — some well-known, others less familiar. “Navidad Nuestra” (“Our Nativity”) by Argentine composer Ariel Ramirez (1921-2010) is an assembly of six poems set to music with a Hispanic American flavor, depicting biblical imagery including the annunciation, the pilgrimage, the nativity, the shepherds, the three kings and the flight into Egypt. “It’s a dramatic and beautiful work,” Skinner said. Also on the program will be a set of 10 songs, arranged in 1992 by San Francisco-based composer Conrad Susa under the title “Carols and Lullabies — Christmas in the Southwest.” They give each a taste of regional styles of Hispanic music, with the singer joined by harp, guitar and marimba. There will be a set of three carols from Canada, including the “Huron Carol,” composed in 1642 by Jean de Brébeuf, a Jesuit missionary who lived among the Huron tribe. Brébeuf wrote the lyrics in the native language of the Huron/Wendat people; the melody is based on a traditional French folk song, “Une Jeune Pucelle” (“A Young Maid”). The other Canadian carols are “The Three Kings” and “The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy.” And there will be a set of American carols, including “Judea — A Virgin Unspotted” by early American composer William Billings (1746-1800), “I Wonder As I Wander” and “Go Where I Send Thee.” The Concert is slated for Saturday, December 14, 2013, 8pm at the Davis High School Brunelle Performance Hall.

Davis High School – Brunelle Hall
315 W. 14th St.
Davis, CA 95616


Fall Concert. – November 16, 2013 7:30pm Fremont Presbyterian Church in Sacramento

The Davis Chorale will join with the Camillia Symphony and other choirs to present Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

The performance is slated for Saturday, November 16, 2013, 7:30pm at the Fremont Presbyterian Church in Sacramento. For ticket information see www.camelliasymphony.org.

Fremont Presbyterian Church
5770 Carlson Dr.
Sacramento, CA 95819


An Interfaith Vespers Service June 2, 2013 5PM
Davis Community Church Sanctuary

Davis Community Church
412 C Street
Davis, CA 95616


Spring Concert. – April 13, 2013 8pm Brunelle Hall

The Davis Chorale, directed by Alison Skinner, has begun the new semester working on a exciting program, including J. S. Bach’s Cantata 196 (Der Herr denket an uns), Mozart’s Missa Brevis, and two recent compositions by Norwegian, New York-based composer Ola Gjeilo (pronounced Ola Jaylo). The works require an eight- part choir and vocal soloists, accompanied by a string quartet and organ or piano. The two compositions by Gjeilo Dark Night of the Soul (2010) and Luminous Night of the Soul (2011) are especially demanding with their driving, uncommon rhythms and layered textures, which, however, produce effects of sensuous, glowing beauty.

The performance of the works is slated for Saturday, April 13, 2013, 8 pm at the Davis High School Brunelle Performance Hall. Tickets are $15 general, $10 students, and $20 priority seating.

Davis High School – Brunelle Hall
315 W. 14th St.
Davis, CA 95616