San Francisco Girls Chorus Raises $220,000 for Music Education Programs and Scholarship Fund at 45th Anniversary Gala — Jensen Artists (2024)

San Francisco Girls Chorus Celebrates 45th Anniversary Season with Annual Gala and Auction

Featuring Remarks by San Francisco Mayor London Breed

Guest Speaker Diane Jones Lowrey

Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Common Sense Media

And Guest Artist Silvie Jensen, Mezzo-Soprano & SFGC Alumna

More information about the San Francisco Girls Chorus:

San Francisco, CA – The San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC) celebrated 45 years of empowering young women with its Annual Gala and Auction on Friday, April 26, 2024 at 6pm at the Julia Morgan Ballroom. The event raised over $220,000 in support of SFGC’s Music Education Programs and the Elizabeth Avakian Need-Based Scholarship Fund.

Among the 160 guests enjoying the festivities were San Francisco Mayor London Breed, renowned San Francisco attorneys Paul and Louise Renne, philanthropist Navid Armstrong, co-founder and board president of Clinic by the Bay Janet Reilly, real estate philanthropist Clint Reilly, and Head of DEI at Common Sense Media and the San Francisco Commissioner for the Commission on the Status of Women Diane Jones Lowrey, who was also the featured guest speaker. At the gala, Mayor Breed presented SFGC Artistic Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe with a Proclamation, declaring April 26, 2024 as San Francisco Girls Chorus Day and highlighting the role of SFGC in the cultural life of the city.

The evening began with a co*cktail reception with music provided by guitarist Karl McHugh followed by performances by the GRAMMY® Award-winning SFGC Premier Ensemble led by Valérie Sainte-Agathe, the Level IV Ensemble conducted by Monica Baruch, and soloists Samsara Dluzak, Adea Hansen-Whistler and Vibuhti Singh. Guests enjoyed a fine dining experience with artisan wine provided by Whistler Vineyards, as Ann Gray Miller, the President of SFGC’s Board of Directors, welcomed guests to the celebration, recognizing the 45th anniversary year and the Board, staff and faculty in the room. Mezzo-soprano and SFGC Alum Silvie Jensen, a highly sought-after oratorio soloist described by The New York Times as “marvelous,” “elegant,” and “beautiful,” performed throughout the evening.

The 2024 SFGC Gala Committee included chairperson Sarah Hollenbeck, Laura Lane, Ann Gray Miller, Kim Nakahara, John Sanborn, Leah Fitschen Schloss, Sheila Schwartzburg, Alma Sorensen, and Stephanie Wei.

SFGC Gala Table Sponsors included Ryan and Johanna Aipperspach, Shoshana Berger, Jen Bilik, Ellen and Joffa Dale, Charles Ferguson and Kay Dryden, Leah Fitschen Schloss '85 and Randall Schloss, Carol and Richard Harris, Sarah Hollenbeck and David Serrano Sewell, Alison Huang and Jonathan Howe, Ann Gray Miller, Erin Pettigrew and Matthew Fong, Sheila and Thomas Schwartzburg, Julia Trujillo and Richard Bourgon.

The 2024 SFGC Gala was sponsored by The Julia Morgan Ballroom, Image Orthodontics, and Whistler Vineyards.

Fundraising included a live auction and a fund-a-need paddle raise. Led by San Francisco auctioneer Greg Quiroga, guests snapped up a 3-night retreat to the coastal haven of Sea Ranch, California; a day trip to Oliver Ranch in the heart of Sonoma County; a 4-night Parisian getaway; a complete orthodontic treatment courtesy of Image Orthodontics; and an opportunity to conduct SFGC at Davies Hall. All proceeds supported SFGC’s music education program and the Elizabeth Avakian Scholarship Fund, ensuring that every young singer is able to access SFGC’s transformative music education programs.

Since 1978, SFGC has provided girls and young women the unique opportunity not only to perform at the highest artistic caliber, but also to develop self-confidence, leadership skills, and an awareness of the role of the arts in civic engagement. A leader in the Bay Area and national music scenes, SFGC produces award-winning concerts, recordings and tours; empowers young choristers in music and other fields; and sets the international standard for the highest level of performance and education. SFGC has been recognized through numerous honors including five GRAMMY Awards, four ASCAP/Chorus America Awards for Adventurous Programming, and in 2002, becoming the first youth chorus to receive Chorus America's prestigious Margaret Hillis Achievement Award for Choral Excellence. Each year, hundreds of singers of diverse backgrounds from 45 Bay Area cities ranging in age from four to eighteen participate in SFGC’s programs. The organization consists of a six-level Chorus School training program and the Premier Ensemble, a professional-level chorus of treble voices.

Under the direction of Valérie Sainte-Agathe, SFGC has achieved an incomparable sound that underscores the unique clarity and force of impeccably trained treble voices fused with expressiveness and drama. As a result, the SFGC vibrantly performs 1,000 years of choral masterworks from plainchant to the most challenging and nuanced contemporary works, many created expressly for them, in programs that are as intelligently designed as they are enjoyable and revelatory to experience. The SFGC 2023-2024 season is no exception.

More about the San Francisco Girls Chorus:

More about Valérie Sainte-Agathe:

The San Francisco Girls Chorus receives support from Grants for the Arts, The Kimball Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Sequoia Trust, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc., The Sam Mazza Foundation, The Bernard Osher Foundation, and the Joseph and Vera Long Foundation.

San Francisco Girls Chorus Raises $220,000 for Music Education Programs and Scholarship Fund at 45th Anniversary Gala — Jensen Artists (2024)
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