Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir

The internationally acclaimed Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir (PEBCC) offers children throughout San Francisco’s East Bay an outstanding program of music training and choral performance. Started in 1982 by founding Executive Director Susan Rahl with Artistic Director Robert Geary, the Choir has performed with the Barenaked Ladies, Berkeley Symphony, John Denver, The Mark Morris Dance Group, Oakland Symphony, San Francisco Choral Society, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony, Volti, San Francisco Choral Society, at national and regional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America and Organization of American Kodaly Educators. In recent years, they sang with Joyce di Donato in EDEN and premiered Michael Gilbertson’s Denial with Volti and the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. In addition to vigorous programming of innovative new music commissions and premieres, the Choir is a leading force in international choral activities, with far-reaching collaborations, high marks in competitions world-wide, and the establishment of the Golden Gate International Children’s and Youth Choral Festival in 1991.

Ensemble from PEBCC has earned grand prizes, first prizes and gold medals at prestigious competitions across Europe, Asia and the Americas. In 2017, the Choir received 2nd place at the Eisteddfod Competitions in Wales. In 2014, the Choir attended the International Youth Music Festival in Bratislava, Slovak Republic and won the Grand Prix Award for Choral Music and four gold medals. In 2010, the Choir earned first prize in Contemporary Music and second prize in the Children’s Choir category at the 2010 Kathaumixw International Choral Festival in British Columbia, Canada. In 2008, Ensemble was the only choir to win three gold medals at the Grand Prix St. Petersburg (Russia) Choral Festival. In 2006, they earned two gold medals at the Hong Kong International Children’s Choral Festival. In 2003, Geary led the Choir to a special award for highest score among equal voice choirs and a second prize in contemporary music at the prestigious Guido D’Arezzo competition in Gorizia, Italy and in 2000 Ensemble became the first and only American children’s choir then to date to earn a first prize at the Choral Olympics/ World Choir Games.

Recognizing that the creation of art is a forward-looking and forward-thinking endeavor, the Choir has commissioned and premiered dozens of new works by living composers including Sue Bohlin, Kui Dong, Stacy Garrop, Anne Hege, Jacqueline Hairston, Olli Kortekangas, Pekka Kostiainen, Kirke Mechem, Zae Munn, Melissa Dunphy, Pablo Ortiz, Eric Tuan, Mark Winges, Robin Estrada, Jens Ibsen, and many others.

Ensemble Bio

Ensemble is PEBCC’s international performing group, representing the Choir in international competitions and festivals, and upholding PEBCC’s reputation as an exemplary children’s choir. Conducted by Eric Tuan, the group consists of treble voices who demonstrate superior musical proficiency and are at or under the age of 16. The group performs as many as twenty or more times per season, including performances with local symphonies and other arts organizations. Ensemble has premiered dozens of new works, has worked with many composers, and takes pride and delight in the generative process of new music. Ensemble ends each season with a two-week international summer tour, traveling in recent years to Costa Rica, Denmark, and Germany.

Country representing: USA

Have you been to the Llangollen Eisteddfod before?  Yes

Where and how often do you rehearse?  Ensemble rehearses in Oakland, California. The choir meets twice a week for two-hour rehearsals, and members commit to a two week summer sleepaway choir camp to start each season, and a two week international tour to finish each season.

Do you have any interesting stories about your group?  Every three years, we host choirs from around the world for our own Golden Gate Festival. Last summer, our singers welcomed over 200 singers from the Philippines, Lithuania, Georgia, Canada, Estonia, Australia, and the West Coast of the US. Highlights for our singers were to share baseball games, sightseeing, a cruise on the San Francisco Bay, and lots of food, laughter and song throughout their week as homestay hosts. We’re grateful to join the Llangollen Eisteddfod this year with an appreciation of everything that goes into such an amazing and special event.

How would you best describe your group?  Our singers light up with happiness when they sing; they become devoted musicians because singing feeds their souls. They tell us it’s who they are, and a fundamental requirement for happiness. While they commit to striving as musicians, they also cherish the bonding they do as a group and the friendships they make not only in their own choir, but with the singers they host for our Golden Gate Festival and with those who host us around the world.


Website:  https://www.piedmontchoirs.org

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGkorPFX05c

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