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Voci Women's Vocal Ensemble: "The Greenest Branch"

Location: California, USA
Choir type: Chamber Choirs and Vocal Ensembles
Voicing: Women
Voci Women's Vocal Ensemble   
Jude Navari, Conductor                                         
“Voices in Peace IX:  The Greenest Branch” 

Mostly Medieval Marian music with Romantic and Twentieth-Century offshoots? 

With Guest Organist, Matthew Walsh.

Featuring Francis Poulenc's "Litanies to the Black Virgin," Emma Lou Diemer's "Hail, O Greenest Branch," masses by Benjamin Britten and Josef Rheinberger, and Medieval Chant, Conductus, English Carols, and French Chansons




Sunday, December 13, 4:00 pm 

Lake Merritt United Methodist Church

1330 Lakeshore Ave. 

Oakland, California


Saturday, December 19, 2009, 4:00 pm

Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley 

1 Lawson Rd.




$20 General 

$17 Students, Seniors and Groups 

FREE for Children under 12

Available at the door or online at

Information: (510) 531-8714




Voci offers this ninth annual Voices in Peace concert to inspire us on the path to peace and harmony in the spirit of the holiday season.

Voci Women’s Vocal Ensemble, founded in 1991, is recognized as one of the finest choral groups in the Bay Area. Led by artistic director Jude Navari, who is active throughout the Bay Area as a conductor and composer, the Ensemble has been described as having a particularly lush and ethereal quality. Voci champions music by women and for women and commissions new works by contemporary composers, especially from the San Francisco Bay Area.  The group’s size of 24 voices conveys a poignant intimacy and allows for a deep, personal connection among chorus members and between chorus and audience. Voci’s commitment to musical excellence, unique mastery of style and technique, and adventurous and innovative programming have earned high praise from critics and choral musicians alike. The singers are women of all ages and walks of life who share a passionate love of music, fierce dedication to the ensemble, and deep commitment to the community.  Voci has given benefit performances for the Oakland firestorm victims, the Faithful Fools Street Ministry of San Francisco, Adopt A Special Kid, and the Global Fund for Women. 

The 2009-2010 season is Jude Navari's eleventh year as Artistic Director of Voci.  He has prepared choruses and conducted performances for Berkeley Opera, arranged folk music and coached rehearsals for Westwind International Folk Ensemble's chorus Westwind Voices, conducted premieres of new works by UC Berkeley graduate student composers for the Berkeley New Music Project, and served as Artistic Director of the Sacramento Men’s Chorus.  In August 2001, Jude prepared the vocal ensemble for the West Coast Premiere of Philip Glass’s The Photographer at the Cabrillo Music Festival.  Currently, Jude serves as Professor of Music and Director of Vocal Ensembles at Skyline College in San Bruno.  Jude Navari received his Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of California, Berkeley, where he also studied conducting with Marika Kuzma and Jung Ho Pak.

Assistant Conductor Edna Huelsenbeck is the founder and former director of the Pacific Women’s Chorus in San Diego, and Concentus Women’s Chorus in Rochester, NY.  She previously served as Interim Director for the University Section Club Chorus at U.C. Berkeley and the Interim Assistant Director of the San Diego Master Chorale.  She received her Master of Music degree from The University of Texas at Austin, where she studied conducting with Morris Beachy and Craig Hella Johnson.  This is her second year with Voci.

Accompanist Sharon Lee actively performs as accompanist, collaborative pianist, vocal coach, music director, and piano instructor. She has worked throughout the nation, especially in the New England area, with various colleges, companies,and organizations including the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Children's Chorus, MassTheatrica, Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute, New England Conservatory, Wellesley College, and Boston College. Ms. Lee holds a Bachelor's degree in music from UC Berkeley.  She furthered her studies with Irma Vallecillo, Kayo Iwama, and John Greer at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she received her Master's degree and Graduate Diploma in Collaborative Piano. 

Guest organist, Matthew Walsh, has served as Music Director at three American cathedrals. After serving cathedrals in Winona, Minnesota and Detroit, Michigan, in 1994 he accepted the position as Music Director for Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. There he presided at the cathedral’s Flentrop and Casavant organs and led the professional and volunteer choirs in liturgy and concert. He directed the start of a new Holy Name Cathedral Children's Choir and recorded two CDs with the Cathedral Choirs. From 1982-1994 he served as Music Director for St. Ignatius Church and the University of San Francisco where he was a frequent recitalist, led the tonal renovation of the organ and established a weekly concert series.  In July 2006, he and his wife, Mary, returned to the Bay Area and he is currently the Organist and Choir Director at St. Monica Church in San Francisco. He also teaches medieval and renaissance music history and counterpoint at Holy Names University in Oakland.  Mr. Walsh’s performances include recitals at St. Mary’s Cathedral and Church of the Advent in San Francisco, Holy Name Cathedral and Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Trinity Church in Reno and St. Sulpice in Paris, France. He has performed with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and has been invited to perform on the concert series celebrating the installation of the large new organ at Oakland’s Cathedral of Christ the Light.  Mr. Walsh is a member of the Steering Committee of the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians and was a founding member of the Society for Catholic Liturgy. He is the immediate past Sub Dean of the San Francisco Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and also serves on the Worship and Music committees of the Cathedral of Christ the Light where he was organist for the first public Mass.

































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