Saint Mary’s College Chamber Singers & Glee Club
The Saint Mary’s College Chamber Singers and Glee Club was formed in 2011 under the direction of Dr. Julie Ford and Assistant Director/Accompanist Sharon Lee Kim (sharonleekim.com). Having one group of singers comprise two different ensembles provides a cross-pollination of classical, jazz, and pop performance practices that is beneficial to musical education and also facilitates activity in a wide range of community and campus events, as well as regional, state, and international festivals and competitions. In July 2014, the Chamber Singers and Glee Club each received Gold Medals at the World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia. The groups were invited to perform both classical and pop sets in a Carnegie Hall Saturday evening choral showcase (Spring 2015), and to compete in the Laurea Mundi “Grand Prix of Nations” Choral Competition in Budapest, Hungary (July 2016), where the Chamber Singers were awarded Cum Laude and the Glee Club, Summe cum Laude and Best in Pop. The 30-voice choir is auditioned, consists of mostly non-music majors, and requires a high level of commitment, musicianship, performance skills, and team-building.
Dr. Julie Ford (julieford.org) is a classical and jazz conductor, vocalist, and educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. As Assistant Professor at Saint Mary’s College, she directs the Chamber Singers and Glee Club and teaches conducting and lyric diction. During her 13-year tenure as Music Director at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church (2000 members), she conducted choral-orchestral works bi-annually and directed the Chamber Singers in a featured performance for the 2009 American Choral Directors National Convention.
Dr. Ford served two terms as Repertoire & Standards Chair for Music in Worship for the state chapter of ACDA, and will soon be serving as the organization’s Bay Area Regional Representative. In 1995-1996, she guest conducted Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody in the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Chorus concert season, and directed the chorus for the nationally televised memorial service for victims of the 1995 Murrah Building bombing. During her tenure as the Oakland Jazz Choir Director (1997-2002), she co-founded the annual community event, In the Names of Love, honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, and received the “Key to Creativity” award from the City of Oakland.
She is also a professional singer as part of Moodswing (CD “Laughing All the Way”), holds degrees from San José State University (Bachelors-Vocal Performance), The Eastman School of Music (Masters-Conducting), and the University of Oklahoma (Doctorate-Choral Conducting).