The Bay Area Chorus provides educational outreach for audiences, chorus members, choral directors and students through the study and performance of varied styles of choral music. BAC Artistic Director, Milton Pullen, selects the repertoire, develops programming concepts and conducts the rehearsals and concerts. To maintain high standards of quality in performance, professional instrumentalists are engaged to join the volunteer chorus in fully realizing the musical demands of the repertoire.
Bay Area Chorus concerts typically engage the entire audience in singing activities. Skilled and dynamic song leaders encourage everyone present to participate in joyful group singing. Song sheets and/or power point lyrics facilitate the full participation of both performers and audience members. The broad spectrum of communal songs programmed each year includes patriotic, devotional, holiday, folk and gospel music. Just as the chorus members represent a variety of cultural experiences, ethnic backgrounds, professions and ages, the music programmed also celebrates the diversity of our choral heritage.
The importance of educational outreach as a vital component of BAC activities is demonstrated by the scheduling of guest artist residencies prior to concerts. The Artistic Director works with school district fine arts coordinators and individual teachers to promote participation in BAC-sponsored activities and performances. Many are among the BAC Advisory Board members.
Recent BAC sponsored artists include:
• Alice Parker, composer, conductor, song leader: October, 2006 In conjunction with Houston Baptist University, First Congregational Church, Houston
• Nick Page, composer, ethno-musicologist, song leader: October, 2007 & February, 2009 Guest Conducting, Staff Development for Clear Creek ISD Elementary Honor Choir, Galena Park ISD Music Faculty, Kingwood High School, Spring High School. The BAC is currently scheduling a repeat of this successful collaboration for the BAC 2016-17 concert season.
• Dr. John Lienhard, Guest Speaker: April, 2008 The M. D. Anderson professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and of History at the University of Houston, Dr. Lienhard is also the author and host of The Engines of Our Ingenuity, produced by KUHF-FM and broadcast by National Public Radio. Known internationally for his work in heat transfer and fluid flow, Dr. Lienhard has a long history of choral and solo singing and offers unique insight into connections between science and the arts.
• Barbara Johnson Tucker, Director of A Chosen Few, Christian Music Recording Artist: February, 2010 Presentations of “A Glimpse of History”, a musical lecture of the evolution of African American music for student bodies of schools in Galena Park ISD, Aldine ISD and Pasadena ISD.
Where applicable, program notes and translations are included in the printed program to enlighten and increase the audience’s enjoyment of each concert. Program notes and commentary at concerts provide information about the composers, the style and structure of each piece and its historical context.
The Bay Area Chorus awards two scholarships through competitive audition in CONCERT to high school seniors planning to major in music at the university/college level. The BAC also offers music educator reduced dues scholarships to encourage their active participation as singers in Bay Area Chorus rehearsals and concerts which can further their own development as teachers and conductors.
The Bay Area Chorus appears on the DVD Weston Noble: Perpetual Inspiration, a documentary of the renowned Conductor Emeritus of the Luther College Choir. Filmed at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in the fall of 2005 by Quaid/Schott Media Productions, it has been distributed internationally by the Hal Leonard Corporation since 2006. Visit Choral Perspectives to obtain information and view excerpts.