Music at Calvary
Music is a very important part of Calvary’s culture. Many in our community are inspired by our choir music on Sunday mornings, special Jazz worship services, the “pop-up,” join-when-you-can, Inspire Choir and the many concerts held at the Church. Others are inspired by participating in our Chancel Choir. There are options for all.
Sunday Morning Worship
The Chancel Choir provides musical leadership in the worship of God every Sunday morning during the 10 am service. It is comprised of exceptionally talented and accomplished singers, as well as those who aspire to learn, and to join in singing the finest choral works composed through the centuries, and with an emphasis on modern sacred music.
The Chancel Choir is open to all those with a desire to sing first-rate sacred choral music, and to be part of a mutually supportive, spiritually oriented community. Some musical background is helpful, but previous choral experience is not required. Rehearsals are held 7:30-9:30 pm every Thursday evening, and 9-10 am preceding participation in the 10 am Sunday service. A bonus extra: the choir parties throughout year are renowned for their gourmet fare and conviviality!
Our Organist is:
- John Walko, organist, is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and moved to San Francisco in 1982 from Montgomery, Alabama. Since 1994 John has been the Organist at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley and the Artistic Director of their Lenten Organ Recital Series. With the FPCB Chancel Choir he completed three European tours, including Eastern Europe, the Baltic region, and the Balkans. John frequently leads groups on tours of the great organs of Europe. Last summer he led a large group on his sixth organ tour, visiting Amsterdam/Haarlem, Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse, and San Sebastian, Spain, where he also performed in recital.
- Michael Conley has earned a notable reputation in the United States and abroad for his multifaceted career as conductor, pianist, organist, singer, and composer. The New York Times has said of his work, “first-rate conducting,” and of his compositions, “tuneful,” “handsome,” “ambitious,” “piquant,” and “surprising.” Mr. Conley moved to San Francisco in October, 2015, after 20 years in New York City, to join the staff at Calvary as Director of Music Ministries. For fifteen seasons he was the Artistic Director of the West Village Chorale in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan, for eight seasons the conductor of the Hudson Chorale in Westchester, NY, and for five years the Assistant Conductor of the Collegiate Chorale, founded by Robert Shaw. Prior to coming to Calvary he was for nine years the Music Director at Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square in Manhattan, and for four years was the Assistant Director of Music at Saint Ignatius Loyola Church on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. From 2004-2012 he directed the High School Chorus at the prestigious Dalton School. As a singer, Mr. Conley has been a soloist with The Gregg Smith Singers, The Dessoff Choirs, the Woodstock Fringe Festival, with the professional chamber chorus Manhattan Voices, The Collegiate Chorale, the caroling ensemble The Yuletide Singers, and was a singer/conductor/composer member of the contemporary music ensemble C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective (C4ensemble.org), recipient of ASCAP’s national award for Adventurous Programming in 2014. Mr. Conley has led choirs on international tours to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Slovenia, and Greece. He holds an undergraduate degree in Composition from James Madison University in Virginia, and completed his graduate studies at Westminster Choir College, where he was a student of renowned choral conductor Joseph Flummerfelt. He is the composer of numerous works in a range of mediums from chorus, orchestra, and chamber ensemble to hymns, cabaret songs, and works for the theater. You can find his published work through his publisher’s website, www.seeadot.com
Concerts at Calvary
“The magnificent, acoustically glorious Calvary Presbyterian Church in Pacific Heights .. heightened the performance and left me feeling musically satisfied. – The San Francisco Classical Voice