Published May 17, 2005
Volume 13, Number 5

Performing Arts Programs in the Tri-Valley offer Top-Notch Performances

Patrons of the arts come from all walks of life and have a wide variety of interests. Whatever your personal desire may be in the area of entertainment, it’s all right here in the Tri-Valley.

Pleasanton Civic Arts
Civic Arts, a program of the City of Pleasanton Department of Parks and Community Services, offers everything from public art to community and school performances, and also sponsors Pleasanton’s poet laureate program. All indoor shows are presented at the Amador Theater, 1155 Santa Rita Rd., in Pleasanton on the Amador Valley High School campus. Here’s a sampling of the programs Civic Arts has on its schedule:

Civic Arts Presents (evening performances) Tickets may be purchased, beginning mid-September, online at www.civicartstickets.org or by calling 925-931-3444.
  • Singer, songwriter, and storyteller Bill Harley, October 26
  • The Velveteen Rabbit will be presented by ODC Dance of San Francisco, December 17 and 18 (photo below)
  • Shawn Colvin, Grammy Award winning artist, will perform on a date to be announced.
  • Golden Dragon Chinese Acrobats will perform on March 2, 2006-2007
  • Billy Collins (former Poet Laureate of the U.S.) will appear April 1, 2006-2007
  • Snowflake, a performance by Gale LaJoye, will take place April 8, 2006-2007
Velveteen Rabbit

Civic Arts Special Events Pleasanton Civic Arts has a number of special events coming up including free programs such as:
  • The Pleasanton Children’s Arts Festival, Sunday, June 5, 12:00 - 4:00 p.m. at Amador Valley Community Park, 4301 Black Ave.
  • The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival will perform Much Ado About Nothing for three weekends beginning June 25, 7:30 p.m. at Amador Valley Community Park, 4301 Black Ave.
  • Woman’s Will’s production of Richard III will be presented Saturday, July 30, at 6:00 p.m. at Centennial Park, 5353 Sunol Blvd.

The Civic Arts School Concert Series (daytime performances), in its 13th season, presents professional performing arts experiences for students in the company of their classmates and teachers at the Amador Theater. To receive a Civic Arts School Concert Series brochure, call 925-931-5340. Next season’s performances will include:
  • Bill Harley, who will once again appear on the Amador Theater stage to open the 2005-2006-2007
  • School Concert Series October 25 and 26, 2005
  • The Velveteen Rabbit, performed on December 15 and 16, 2005
  • Eth-Noh-Tec, who will present Asian and Asian-American stories with on January 18 and 19, 2006-2007
  • Todd Green, who will take students on a musical journey with 30 instruments from around the world on February 13 and 14, 2006-2007

Civic Arts and Youth offers a wide range of classes in many forms of artistic expression for all age groups. Arts experiences for young people include youth theater, dance, poetry, the annual Halloween haunted house, the Pleasanton Youth Music Festival, and the Children’s Art Festival. For more information, call Pleasanton Parks and Community Services at 925-931-5340.

Civic Arts Poet Laureate Civic Arts’ vibrant Poet Laureate program hosts the popular Century House Poetry Readings, poetry workshops for adults and youth, and a variety of literary events. In collaboration with the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council, the 5th Annual Poetry, Prose and Arts Festival will take place on April 1, 2006-2007.

Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council (PCAC) The Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council was incorporated in 1974 to promote appreciation of the arts, provide facilities for arts activities, and create an environment where residents can pursue and enjoy a wide range of cultural opportunities. In concert with many area funding organizations, businesses, and individuals, PCAC supports a wide variety of artistic programs in the schools and the community at large. On Friday, May 20, 8:00 p.m. at the Amador Theater, PCAC will host Rueibin Chen (picture below), piano virtuoso, who will reprise his February 2004 Carnegie Hall performance. For ticket information call 925-931-3444. For more information call the Council at 925-461-4864 or visit the organization’s website at www.pleasantonarts.org.
Rueibin Chen
Singing, Dancing, and More
Local performing and fine arts groups in the Tri-Valley are abundant, and many even encourage those interested to pursue their interests and participate in their organizations.

The Bay Area Metro Chorus (BAM) is the performing body of the Bay Area Metro Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. BAM was founded in 1989 and since then, the chorus has won the Far Western District championship in 1994, 1999, and 2000, and has been selected five times to perform at the annual International competition against the top 25 choruses in the world, finishing as high as seventh. Highlighting the Chorus’ several performances throughout the year are its annual Spring and Christmas shows. BAM is under the direction of Dr. Rob Campbell. For more information, call 925-443-7464 or visit the Chorus’ web site at www.bayareametro.org.

Cantabella Children’s Chorus, under the guidance of artistic director Bee Chow, is composed of young people from the 4th through 10th grade (graduates in the 11th and 12 grades may return to sing as alumni), placed in various choir levels according to age, maturity and musical ability. Cantabella Children’s Chorus provides members with the opportunity to participate in choral festivals and workshops that introduce them to other choral groups and clinicians. Qualified singers are often selected to participate in operas requiring children’s roles produced by the Livermore Valley Opera. For more information call 925-292-2663 or visit the Chorus’ web site at www.cantabella.org.

Danville Ballet Company is a nonprofit, pre-professional performing company. The company’s mission is to provide instruction in the technical aspects of classical ballet, repertoire, auditioning, and performing; give performances in ballet to enrich and educate the general public and to provide outreach performances to school children; and directly engage in and provide facilities for young dancers and others to participate in the promotion of the arts. Upcoming performances include The Ballet’s Spring Performance Friday, May 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 28 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Amador Theater, 1155 Santa Rita Rd. For information more about participation in the Danville Ballet Company, call 925-831-9256 or visit the Company’s website at www.danvilleballet.org.

Del Valle Fine Arts sponsors five performances each year, focusing on chamber music and piano but also including pop and pocket opera. Performances take place at the Presbyterian Church at 4th and L Streets in Livermore. Children are admitted free to Dell Valle Fine Arts concerts, and full-time students above high school level can procure tickets at a special reduced price. Call 925-447-2752 for tickets and information or visit the Del Valle Fine Arts web site at www.delvallefinearts.org.

Harmony Crossroads Chorus is an award-winning Pleasanton-based chapter of Sweet Adelines International, offering a warm, supportive environment for women in the Tri-Valley area who want to develop their musical skills. Based in Pleasanton, this a cappella chorus performs in numerous local events in the valley, including Art in the Parks and the Alameda County Fair. Established in 1993, the chorus has been Regional Small Chorus Champion four times in the past eight years. Visitors and potential members are always welcome at rehearsals. Call 925-846-1857 for more information or visit their web site at www.harmonycrossroads.com.

Las Positas College Performing Arts offers a variety of presentations offered by its students in the performing arts. Upcoming events include a Vocal Jazz Concert on May 20 at 8:00 p.m., a Choir Concert May 21 at 8:00 p.m. at the Pleasanton Presbyterian Church, and a free presentation of One Act Plays on May 25 at 12:30 p.m. and on May 27 at 8:00 p.m. Most performances take place in the Las Positas College Theater and are typically priced at $10 for general admission and $7 for students and seniors. For more information call the Las Positas College Performing Arts Event Line at 925-371-3819 or visit the college’s Arts Calendar website at www.clpccd.com/lpc/about/calendar.htm.

Livermore-Amador Symphony Now in its 42nd year under the direction of Dr. Arthur Barnes, the symphony is a volunteer community orchestra. The orchestra meets September through May and plays four main programs plus a “Pops” concert. Rehearsals are Tuesday evenings at 7:15 p.m. at East Avenue Middle School in Livermore. Call 925-447-8789 for information about participating in the Symphony, 925-447-3672 for ticket information, or visit the Livermore-Amador Symphony’s web site at www.livamsymph.org.

Livermore Valley Opera Founded in 1992, Livermore Valley Opera combines the talents and expertise of professional music, stage, and chorus directors, principal singers, musicians, and designers with the dedication and practical abilities of a volunteer board, adult chorus, stage crew, props master, stitchers, and set builders. Each fall and spring, LVO presents a locally produced, fully staged opera with an orchestra in the renovated and acoustically sound Livermore Performing Arts Theatre. In addition, LVO presents special concerts, events and fund-raisers such as its “Dinner with the Opera” series in the winter and “Opera in the Vineyard” in the summer. For more information, call 925-960-9210 or visit the Opera’s web site at www.livermorevalleyopera.com.

Pacific Chamber Symphony Founded in 1989 by a group including director Lawrence Kohl, the Pacific Chamber Symphony performs at the Valley Community Church in Pleasanton and other venues throughout the Bay Area. The group’s season begins in November and continues through April. The symphony is committed to the ideal of bringing music into schools and, last season alone, performed for over 17,000 Bay Area students. Supplementary materials are provided to teachers for in-class use. Call 925-484-9783 for tickets or information or visit the Pacific Chamber Symphony web site at www.pacificchambersymphony.org.

Pleasanton Chamber Players, founded in 2002, are a group of professional musicians who perform and teach in the San Francisco Bay Area. The group’s goal is to bring classical music to the Tri-Valley on a professional level in the form of chamber music, where each member of a small group performs expressing the unique voice of his or her instrument. They currently perform two concerts a year. The group’s next performance will take place on June 5 at 3:00 p.m. at Lynwood United Methodist Church in Pleasanton. For more information, contact Dominique Piana, the group’s founder, at 925-600-1331.

Pleasanton Community Concert Band was founded in 1975 as part of Pleasanton’s celebration of the U.S. Bicentennial and has been performing ever since. A true community band, members range in age from teens to those in their 80s, most of whom are local residents. The Community Concert Band sponsors three performances each year: a holiday concert, a children’s concert, and a spring concert, and also perform at the Pleasanton Farmer’s Market, Pleasanton Fourth of July Ceremony, Veteran’s Day Ceremonies in Livermore and Pleasanton, and other events. Call 925-846-5897 for further information or visit their web site at www.pleasantonband.org.

Pleasanton Playhouse is probably best known for its four main stage musical productions each year at the Amador Theater. However, the Playhouse also has a black box studio theatre at 1048 Serpentine Lane, Suite 309, in Pleasanton that seats just 84, allowing for productions of several comedies and dramas each year in an intimate setting. Upcoming performances include Bleacher Bums (September 16-October 9) and My Fair Lady (October 21-November 6). Call 925-462-2121 for tickets and information or visit the Playhouse’s web site at www.pleasantonplayhouse.com.

The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival seeks to expose as many people as possible to Shakespeare’s plays to cultivate an appreciation for both Shakespeare and dramatic performance. The most recognizable program presented by the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival is Free Shakespeare in the Park. Produced every year in San Francisco, Oakland, Pleasanton, and Cupertino from July to September, Free Shakespeare in the Park provides an opportunity for everyone to see high quality, professional theater free of charge. For more information about the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, visit www.sfshakes.org or call 415-422-2222.

Soli Deo Gloria is a San Francisco Bay Area auditioned choir dedicated to the performance of masterworks of the sacred repertoire in a concert setting. The choir’s membership is drawn from six Bay Area counties. Upcoming performances include The Dawn of Romanticism (with Orchestra Gloria) featuring Cherubini’s Requiem in C minor and Mendelssohn’s Psalm 42 (Wie der Hirsch schreit nach frischem Wasser) Saturday, May 21, 2005, 7:30 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal in Palo Alto and Sunday, May 22, 2005, 3:30 p.m. at St. Gregory of Nyssa in San Francisco. For ticket information, call 415-982-7341 or order online at www.sdgloria.org.

Valley Concert Chorale (formerly known as the Valley Choral Society) is now in its 42nd year, and its fourth year with John Bush as director and Daniel Glover as accompanist. The chorus sings three to four programs during the year and holds concerts at many locations including Livermore, Pleasanton, Hayward, Oakland, Walnut Creek, Fremont, and San Francisco. Through the years, the Society has offered a variety of musical performances to serve the musical tastes of its audiences, ranging from Brahms Requiem to light music such as an arrangement of Saints Go Marching In by the Swingle Singers. Call 925-866-4003 for information or visit www.valleyconcertchorale.org.

The Valley Dance Theatre, a non-profit ballet company, was founded in 1980. It is currently located in Livermore’s historical railroad depot and directed by Betsy Hausburg and Margaret Kenrick. The company was formed to provide talented dancers with performance opportunities and to bring affordable, quality dance performances to the Valley. Performances are held twice a year. Each December, the Company presents a full-length production of The Nutcracker. Classical and contemporary repertoires and various collaborations are presented in the Spring. Productions are accompanied by the Livermore-Amador Symphony. Performances take place at the Livermore High School Performing Arts Theatre at 600 Maple Street in Livermore Call 925-243-0927 for tickets and information or visit www.valleydancetheatre.com.


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