San Francisco Girls Chorus
Founded in 1978, the San Francisco Girls Chorus’ founding Artistic Director, Elizabeth Appling, prepared the first-ever chorus of girls to perform with the San Francisco Opera, an opportunity previously reserved only for boys. Founded with a vision to become an international-caliber chorus for young women, SFGC has grown into a renowned, industry-leading performing arts and music education organization. Today, under the leadership of Artistic Director, Lisa Bielawa, and Music Director, Valerie Sainte-Agathe, SFGC serves nearly 300 choristers ages 5-18 from 45 cities and all 9 Bay Area counties each year. Served by a music faculty of 21 teaching artists and 7 administrators, the organization operates a professional-level performance, recording and touring ensemble; the four-level Chorus School training program; and a Preparatory Chorus.
SFGC collaborates annually with leading arts and cultural organizations including the San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Film Festival, and the Kronos Quartet, among many others. The Chorus has toured to more than a dozen countries and performed at major national and international venues including the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama, New York’s Lincoln Center, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the World Choral Symposium in Kyoto, Japan, the World Vision Children’s Choir Festival in Korea, and the Gateway to Music Festival in China. SFGC’s commitment to artistic excellence has been recognized through numerous awards, including five GRAMMY Awards and three ASCAP/Chorus America Awards for Adventurous Programming.
SFGC also owns and operates the Kanbar Performing Arts Center, a six-story hub for the arts in San Francisco’s Civic Center district that annually serves more than 30 arts organizations. SFGC’s current annual operating budget is $2.4 million.