The left coast counterpart to American Composers Orchestra, but for vocal music, Volti has been under the direction of Richard Geary since he founded the ensemble in 1979. Known as The San Francisco Chamber Singers until the mid-2000s, the group has steadily included more and more “new music” with each successive year. Volti has performed 43 world premieres and commissioned more than 40 new works, all within the last eight concert seasons alone. In addition to composer-in-residence Mark Winges, those whose works have been interpreted by the ensemble include György Ligeti, Kirke Mechem, Arvo Pärt, Aaron Jay Kernis, Morten Lauridsen, John Cage, Gabriela Lena Frank, Alvin Singleton, Einojuhani Rautavaara, and many more.
Beyond performance, Volti is also about the development of new and budding talent, as evidenced by its Choral Institute for High School Singers, a week-long training and performance school that features a guest composer and Volti as the faculty and resident ensemble. For aspiring composers under the age of 35, the Choral Arts Laboratory is an annual commissioning and residency program.
With fearless determination to perform music that simply hasn’t been heard before, Volti continues to propagate the creation and performance of works by contemporary American composers and to share little-known existing pieces by their international peers.
- Venues: First Unitarian Church (1187 Franklin Street, San Francisco); Walt Disney Family Museum at The Presidio of San Francisco (104 Montgomery Street, San Francisco); Trinity Chapel (2320 Dana Street, Berkeley); Berkeley City Club (2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley); First Presbyterian Church (2619 Broadway, Oakland); Mt. Tamalpais Methodist Church (410 Sycamore Avenue, Mill Valley); All Saints’ Episcopal Church (555 Waverley Street, Palo Alto); and First Lutheran Church (600 Homer Avenue, Palo Alto)
- Public Transportation: Varies by venue
- Handicapped Accessibility: All venues should be accessible; call venue management for more details
- Performances/Programs: A few concerts each season in the Bay area, some with multiple performances
- Ticket Prices: Generally $25 in advance, $30 at the door, $18–$22 for seniors, and $10 student Rush at the door; prices may vary for special events or performances at other venues
- Subscriptions: Available for $99 (general admission) or $83 (seniors)
- Membership: No set membership packages are offered, but donations are accepted and greatly appreciated.