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Terry O'Connor, Director

Terry O'Connor has served Alameda's Sing-It-yourself Messiah (ASIYM) as director since 2006. He joined the organizing committee in 1998. He has held the position of Organist-Choirmaster at Christ Episcopal Church in Alameda, St. Augustine's Episcopal Church, Oakland, and St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in El Cerrito. He was associate conductor with the East Bay Ebony Symphony. While attending UC Berkeley, he participated in serveral choral chamber ensembles -- most notably the California Bach society of Berkeley and Palo Alto, under the direction of Edwin Flath. He is currently the Music Director at Immanuel Lutheran Church.

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Josh Cohen, Concertmaster

Josh Cohen has been involved with music in the San Francisco area for many years as violinist, bassist, concertmaster, conductor, board member and impresario. He has performed with regional groups including the Oakland East Bay Symphony, the California Symphony, and Oakland Lyric Opera. He has also served on the boards of the Oakland Lyric Opera, the California Smphony, and ProMusica Alameda. Founding Musical Director and conductor of the Castro Valley Chamber Orchestra. Josh also produces and performs chamber music concerts, directs opera and musical theater productions and continues to perform on violin and bass.

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Gesine Lohr, Harpsichord

(Kathy) Gesine Lohr studied with the late Eilleen Washington, who brought the first harpsicord to Califormia in the 1930's and was prominent in the early early-music renaissance. She then studied with Kathleen McIntosh and was coached by baroque flutist Stephen Schultz while part of Cal State Long Beach's 1980's early music program. Gesine also played in psychedelic rock blues groups, and played keybboard in Nancy Drew and the Clues, one of the first rock bands at the West Coast Womens' Music Festival. She has loved Handel's Messiah since singing 'He shall feed his flock' for Christmas Eve midnight services at St. George's-by-the-River Episcopal Church, in 1969.

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David Howitt, Co-Director **

David has been the organist at St. Joseph's Basilica since 1985 and was appointed the music director in 1993. David attended San Francisco State University and earned a Bachelor of Music in organ and piano performance and a Master of Arts in music composition. He has taught elementary and middle school music and (occasionally) mathematics for many years and hopes to continue for at least a few more years. By then his children's college tuition might just be paid off!

**= unavailable for 2018

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Michael Moran, Co-Director

Michael serves as the Director of Music Ministries at Christ Episcopal Church in Alameda as well as the Organist for the two Wednesday services at First Church of Christ, Scientist in Oakland. In addition to giving concerts and playing for musicals and operas, he is also completing a collection of original hymn preludes for organ as well as a dramatic musical based on "Don Quixote". Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master's degree in Piano with a Minor in Organ/Choral Conducting from Eastern Illinois University under the tutelage of Dr. Herman Taylor. Michael also plays and conducts with the Alameda based Virago Theatre.

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Barbara Acosta, Soprano Soloist

Barbara Acosta was raised in Alameda, and attended Porter Elementary and Alameda High Schools, as did her parents. She began her musical training at Porter School by studying the flute, and later the piccolo. In high school, she studied piano and voice with the late Elizabeth Curtis. She has been a member of the Distaff Singers since 1980, the Alameda Community Chorus since 1991, and the choir at First Presbyterian Church since 1992, where she performed the role of the mother in Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” directed by the late Bonnie Horlbeck. She performed in several productions of “Amahl” at the Dean Lesher Center for Performing Arts in Walnut Creek. She has participated in the Holiday Home Tour, Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day Ceremonies, the Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade, Alameda Community Band and several musicals at Encinal High School. She is a continuing supporter of the Encinal High School Music Boosters. Barbara graduated with Honors from Diablo Valley College while working full time. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Armand. They have three daughters and sons-in-law, five grandsons, two granddaughters, and another grandchild born this past summer.

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Anna Joham, Alto Soloist

Anna, an award-winning soprano, is a Portland native and has been performing on stage for 30+ years. She has B.A. in vocal performance (Oregon), a Masters in Music Theatre (Oklahoma City University), and a Performance Diploma in Opera (Longy School of Music). Anna has enjoyed performing a variety of genres including: Curio in Twelfth Night (Ross Valley Players), Queen Anne in Three Musketeers (Marin Shakes Company), Lili/Kate in Kiss Me Kate (Pentacle Theatre), Polly in Crazy for You (Western Stage), First Lady in Magic Flute (Cinnabar) and La Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro (Longy.) She is thrilled for the opportunity to sing the alto solos in Handel's Messiah.

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Geoffrey Burnaford, Tenor Soloist

Geoffrey is returning to sing the tenor solos in this year's sing along. A home grown tenor with little training and a passion for singing, he has sung in church and college choirs, at Revels, and with Soli Deo Gloria. He has been a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Alameda for over 40 years. Geoff plays the flute and has listened to classical music most of his life. Other hobbies and interests include building and working with model trains, regular trains, any type and size of airplane, and anything mechanical. Designing and making things out of used lumber is also a passion. He's quoted saying that "I would give Rube Goldberg a real run for his money, given the opportunity."

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Julio Ferrari, Bass Soloist

Julio is a sixth generation San Franciscan and loves hiking and playing banjo and guitar. For ten years cantored at St. Monica’s Church in San Francisco and was featured in several concerts including Faure’s Requiem and Vaughn William’s Five Mystical Songs. Julio has performed with West Bay Opera,  Livermore Valley Opera, Lamplighters, Pocket Opera, and San Francisco Renaissance Voices, to name a few. Operatic highlights include Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera, Count Almaviva in the Marriage of Figaro, Tonio in Pagliacci, and Gianni Schicchi. In 2017, Julio will appear in Werther and La Boheme with Verismo Opera.

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Ron Cohen, Trumpet Soloist

For decades, Ron had a day job as a physicist, and crammed in as much music as he could during off hours.  Having retired from the day job in 2013, he has filled much of that time with performance (vocal as well as trumpet, renaissance cornetto, and recorder) and behind-the-scenes work with a number of musical groups, including Prometheus and Redwood Symphonies, Bay Area Choral Harmonies, Slavyanka, and Los Arribenos de San Francisco.   He is a founding member of the sackbut/cornetto ensemble Zinkbut

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| Home | About Us | Resources | Schedule | Contact |
Terry O'Connor
Josh Cohen
Gesine Lohr
David Howitt
Michael Moran
Barbara Acosta
Anna Joham
Geoffrey Burnaford
Julio Ferrari
Ron Cohen