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Occidental Community Choir

Occidental Community Choir
Director/Leader: Sarah Saulsbury
Phone: 707 874-8622
Home Venue:
Occidental Center for the Arts
3850 Doris Murphy Court at Graton Road
Occidental, California  95465
On Christmas eve in 1978 people drove from their homes in the hills surrounding Occidental, California and gathered in the center of town around a campfire to sing carols. We didn't want to go home, so we started a choir.

Since 1978, we’ve grown into a choir of singers and composers, writing and performing our own music. Our writing styles range from fugues and folk to madrigals and classical, from reverent to irreverent and everything in-between. Described affectionately by the media as “heartfelt, irreverent and quirky”, we generally perform two concert series a year of our original music. Subject matter can range from raccoons, Ford automobiles and therapy, to the cosmos and love.

The Occidental Community Choir has been fortunate to have had talented leadership throughout the years. In the beginning, Philip Rolnick was the director. Alaudin Mathieu took the helm for 10 years and led us on several adventures to San Francisco to join in exciting performances at Grace Cathedral and Davies Symphony Hall with Paul Winter and his Consort. Mr. Mathieu encouraged the composing process among interested choir members. His flamboyant conducting style and superior piano skill and composing inspired a higher level of musicianship. Doug Bowes became our next director, leading us for 16 wonderful years. He refined our ears and voices into a well-oiled, tuned, and blended group. His composing talent was showcased in each and every performance. In 2004, the choir welcomed our current director, Daniel Canosa. Once again we have in our midst, a talented conductor and composer. Mr. Canosa brings vocal training and passion to each rehearsal. His enthusiasm for the music we sing and the people in the group lift us up into a larger sound and a feeling kind of experience.

Mission Statement

The Occidental Community Choir creates, performs, and promotes choral music composed primarily by its members. Our music reflects a wide range of personal experience and represents an authentic connection we have with one another and the community at large. We mentor and support one another in developing our skills as singers, lyricists and composers. We strive to share a meaningful musical experience with our audience community.
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