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San Diego Festival Chorus Presents

Our Upcoming Concert

August 21st 2015

Dear Friends of the chorus:

We hope that you are enjoying a restful summer and are anxious to begin our 2015-16 choral season. We have selected a great program of music for our December 6th 2015 3:00PM concert. Selected for performance is Felix Mendelssohn’s, beautiful, “Hymn of Praise” and a variety of popular Christmas selections. I will direct the first portion of the concert and Ron Councell will conduct the second half. Please check our attached publicity flyer for details. We encourage you to make copies of the flyers and invite your singing friends to join for us for a fabulous season of music activities. Rehearsals begin Monday, September 14th at 7:00PM at the Hillsdale Middle School in Rancho San Diego/El Cajon.  Click here for a registration form.

A highlight of our 2015-16 choral season includes a 13 day Alaskan cruise/land concert tour.  American and Patriotic show music from our recent concerts will be performed aboard ship and land portions of the tour. The Berlin and Rogers and patriotic program should be a welcome introduction to the 2016 Fourth of July celebrations and should insure us of a standing room audience wherever we perform.  Round trip airfare, travel insurance, shipboard amenities, hotel accommodations and side tours are included. We fly from San Diego to Vancouver B.C. with bus and rail services to Fairbanks with overnight accommodations at the Mt. McKinley and Denali Princess Wilderness Lodges. Two concerts are planned aboard ship and two concerts at the Alaskan resorts with an added river cruise and side trips. All of this for the approximate price of $4,000.00. We expect a fantastic turn out for this tour leaving June 25th and returning July 4th 2016.

Recent Board Policy Decisions.

·        In order to secure a financially solvent position, the temporary 2 for 1 membership fee of $30.00 instituted several years ago to increase membership is temporarily canceled. The new membership fee is returned to our original $60.00 per person.

·        In order to encourage members to utilize our convenient website download services for CD study disks and music, the board has now initiated a service charge of $5.00 for the study disks and $8.50 for the music for each half of the concert totaling $17.00.

·        No member will be turned away if they wish to sing because of financial difficulties. Confidential requests for financial assistance should be directed to our President or Music Directors.

Musically yours,


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SDFC’s 2016 Alaskan Concert Tour

August 26, 2015


Dear friends of the chorus, past and present.


If you have been following our activities you know how excited we are about our 2015-16 choral season. In checking our website; www.sandiegofestivalchorus.org you may have noticed our Sunday, December 6th 2015 concert as well as our new date of April 29 2016 concert (April 29, 2016 is the new date arranged to allow important members of our chorus having other important commitments to participate in our concert.) Additionally, we have scheduled a concert cruise and land tour to Alaska, June 25 through July 7. If you check our flyer posted on our website you will notice that it shows the dates of the Alaskan concert tour as June 25th through July 4th. Now comes the big surprise!


I recently spoke with Margie Riley from Gateway Music Tours who is arranging our cruise/land concert tour of 13 wonderful days, 7 days at sea and 6 days on our land portion of our tour. We have already received confirmation from Princess Cruises’ Entertainment Director the “Coral Princess” that he is delighted with the video we submitted to them and is thrilled with our Berlin and Rodgers music and our Patriotic segment of our 2014 concerts, as a prelude to the “Coral Princess” Fourth of July 2016 celebration. They want to showcase our performances with two concerts aboard the ship as well as two more at their Princess Cruise Resorts near Talkeetna, and at their wildlife Lodge in Denali, Alaska.  To encourage signing up for the tour package, Princess Cruises has added several free options and has reduced the initial cost of the package by approximately $200.00 from what was originally presented to our board. They have also have extended our tour an additional 3 days to July 7th 2015. (The earlier travel proposal submitted indicated the July 7th extension as a possibility but it was not guaranteed…now it is!)


Now the best part! In an earlier meeting with the SDFC board Margie gave us a figure of around $4,393.00 for this amazing 13 day tour that includes round trip airfare from San Diego to Vancouver, B.C. returning from Fairbanks, Alaska on July 7th.   The current sale being offered by Princess, is about $200.00 pp less than the original.   This now brings the complete cruise and land tour with concerts (4) to around $4,193, and they are also offering a stateroom location upgrade (approximate $30.00 pp value), included gratuities in the suggested amount of $11.50 per day ($92.00 pp value), and a specialty Dining Voucher aboard ship in their specialty restaurants ($25.00 pp value).  This is a fantastic offer! In order to qualify for this special discounted price we must enroll at least 45 people by October 1st 2015 with a small deposit.


Our Travel/ Concert Tour Committee comprised of Dorothy Comber, Pres. Barbara Eslie, Vice Pres. Albert Renaud and myself have arranged for Margie Riley, Tour Director from Gateway Music Tours to make the initial presentation on Monday, September 14 at our first day of registration and rehearsal at the Hillsdale Middle School 1301 Brabham, El Cajon. CA 92109 7-9:15 PM.  At 7:30 PM,  Margie will present detailed information regarding the SDFC Cruise/Land Concert Tour and answer all your questions. Please invite your family and friends to this informative session. You are under no obligation to sign up for the trip. Don’t let this trip of a lifetime pass you by!  Click here for a registration form.


Additional generic information is available at   https://youtu.be/NHqJf6Un5-U?t=296.  To register for the tour, email your contact information to Margie Riley at Gateway Music Festivals and Tours  margie.riley@musicfestivals.comPlease also use this email address for any questions, because a paper trail is necessary for tracking your needs and preferences. 


You need not be a singer to participate in the tour!  Family and friends and singers from other musical organizations are welcome to join us.


Tony Mostardo 619-670-3588

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Video Moment Links

Dirge for Two Veterans, from Dona Nobis Pacem – Ralph Vaughn Williams

Blades of Grass and Pure White Stones – Orrin Hatch

Chajes-Tchaikovsky (Nutcracker = 0:50)

Requiem - Faure

Mass in C - Beethoven

Rodgers and Berlin

The powerful “Dona Nobis Pacem” (“Grant Us Peace”), was written in 1936 by the great British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.  This cantata was his plea for peace referring to recent wars during the growing fears of a new one. His texts include hauntingly beautiful poems by the poet Walt Whitman in remembrance of the American Civil War.

The song “Blades of Grass and Pure White Stones” by Senator Orrin Hatch is a fitting contrast to the Williams work. This composition with projected videos of the National Grave site in Normany, France honored our dead who fought so valiantly in the Norman invasion. The first part of this program concluded with anthems from the branches of our military service. Veterans and current military service personnel were invited to stand and be recognized as the music from their branch of service was performed.

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