Celebrate the holiday season with the San Francisco Bach Choir at our beloved, traditional candlelight concert with the internationally known merry band, The Whole Noyse, and their unusual Renaissance instruments.
Bring the whole family for a festive, contemplative, lush, jubilant journey around the world at Christmas. We will offer joyful and meaningful holiday music from many periods and countries — from plainchant to American shape-note hymns, early motets to delightful new works. Selections include compositions by Praetorius, Morales, J.S. Bach, Mendelssohn, and Whitacre, to name just a few.
We’ll surround you with music and candlelight for an unforgettable, moving experience that brings audiences to their feet year after year. Let’s raise the roof! Join the choir on the carols, together with handbells, cornettos, sackbuts, and shawms!
Advance purchase: Adults/Seniors: $35/$30; Students/under 30: $10; Under 12: FREE
Performances Friday, December 2 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, December 4 at 4:00 PM.
Purchase tickets early; these concerts sell out. Tickets may not be available at the door.
THE SAN FRANCISCO BACH CHOIR has been an important part of the Bay Area’s cultural life for the past seven decades. The oldest continuing community choir in the western United States, SFBC played a major role in establishing choral music as a serious art form in Northern California while introducing thousands to the great works of J.S. Bach. The choir has performed most of the major works of choral literature, including J.S. Bach masterpieces such as the Mass in B Minor, the St. John Passion, the St. Matthew Passion, and numerous motets and cantatas. The choir now focuses not only on the music of Bach, but on polychoral music from the rich German choral tradition spanning the late 16th to 18th centuries and has performed many works in this early antiphonal style. Under the leadership of new director Magen Solomon, the choir continues this tradition and launches a new era of musical discovery.
THE WHOLE NOYSE is celebrating its twenty-sixth year as one of the country's leading early brass ensembles. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, the group models itself after the versatile wind bands of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; its primary instruments are cornetts (woodwinds with trumpet-like mouthpieces), sackbuts (Renaissance trombones), and curtal (also known as the dulcian), the ancestor of the bassoon. In keeping with the variety of instrumentation expected of early players, its members double on a number of other early instruments, making use of recorders, flutes, crumhorns, shawms, slide trumpet, gittern, violin, and viola. The group takes its name from a term from Renaissance England, when a musical ensemble was called a "noise" (usually spelled "noyse" at the time); a quintet was then known as a "whole noyse."
Historic CALVARY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH was founded in 1854 and originally constructed on Bush Street in what is now San Francisco's financial district. In 1869, its new location at Geary and Powell (currently the site of the St. Francis Hotel) was dedicated and in 1902, it moved to Pacific Heights where it stands today. All the pews, metal balcony supports, much woodwork and over one million bricks were moved to become part of the current sanctuary at 2515 Fillmore Street. Calvary’s windows are original to the opening of the Sanctuary in 1902, and survived the 1906 earthquake, making them a rarity in the city. It features a Swain & Kates Aeolian pipe organ and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and registry of San Francisco Historical Landmarks. In 2013 Calvary began restoration and conservation of the stain-glassed windows. Calvary has a long history of music in the community and offers numerous concerts in its beautiful and acoustically rich sanctuary.