After closing the year with two sold-out Benicia and Vallejo performances of Handel’s Messiah, the enduring Vallejo Choral Society launched the new year with the appointment of a distinguished new Artistic Director, Derek Tam.


Renowned for his work with choral and orchestral ensembles, Tam is also a preeminent, historical keyboardist who performs regularly throughout the Bay Area. He is a founding member, harpsichordist, and occasional conductor for MUSA, a San Francisco-based Baroque chamber ensemble, and he serves as the Director of Music at First Church Berkeley, producing a critically lauded performance series there. Tam is also Executive Director of the San Francisco Early Music Society.


"I'm so excited to join VCS for my first set of concerts with this storied ensemble," he said. "Right from the first rehearsal, I've been impressed and humbled by the chorus's dedication to music and to each other. It's an honor to build upon VCS's reputation as a focal point for community music-making in Solano County."


Laura Pyles, president of the performing arts non-profit, said, "Vallejo Choral Society is absolutely thrilled to have Derek Tam take up the baton as our Artistic Director. We caught a glimpse of Derek's nimble directing style when we auditioned him last fall, and now we have the pleasure of weekly rehearsals under Derek's deft direction. His enthusiasm is infectious. We are excited to follow his lead for our June performances and for many seasons to come."


Vallejo Choral Society—with half of its members hailing from Benicia—describes itself as unique among area choruses, being a non-auditioned symphonic choir committed to producing concerts of exceptional caliber and giving its singers opportunities to perform choral masterpieces alongside top-shelf Bay Area instrumentalists.


VCS invites the community to meet Derek Tam at its June concerts, A Slavonic Summer, featuring the Dvořák Mass in D Major with chamber orchestra, scheduled for Saturday, June 1, 7 pm, at Community Congregational Church in Benicia, and Sunday, June 2, 3 pm, at First Presbyterian in Vallejo.


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