River City Chorale
The River City Chorale's mission is to bring a variety of fine choral music at the lowest possible cost to the broadest possible audiences. The River City Chorale strives to enhance vocal arts in the region, provide volunteer support to other community nonprofits, and bring recognition to Sacramento by performing an international concert tour every three years. The Chorale also encourages youth choir participation by showcasing at least one local youth choir in our spring concert production.
6925 Waterview Way
Sacramento, CA 95831
|County or Parish:||Sacramento|
The Chorale also works with area conductors to showcase youth choirs in at least one concert production during the season. To promote participation in music among local young people, the Chorale has developed a "young Artists" project. Following auditions, a committee selects an outstanding individual or school choir to perform during one of our spring concerts. This provides an opportunity for community youth to perform and be recognized in front of a broader community audience. The Chorale awards a certificate and stipend to any school organization that is selected.
A small orchestra of visiting musicians accompanies the holiday concerts in December. A three piece combo plays with the singers for the Pops Concert shows in March, and a professional pianist (who is also the rehearsal accompanist) plays for the spring concerts. The Chorale sings all styles of music, from baroque to contemporary, from classical cantatas to popular Broadway tunes and medleys. Membership is open to all adults, subject to audition and the needs of each vocal section. Each member pays $175 per year in dues, for the privilege of singing with the organization. Paying their own way, Chorale members have been performing internationally every third year since 1983.
Tours have taken the Chorale to Canada, the British Isles, Brazil, Ireland, and four countries in Western Europe. The River City Chorale operates on a modest budget of approximately $60,000 per year, relying on revenue from membership dues, ticket sales, fundraisers, advertisements in printed programs, and donations. The Board contracts annually for the services of a musical director, piano accompanist, and webmaster. The Chorale has no office and no paid administrative staff. Chorale members volunteer to serve on the board of directors and various committees to handle all administrative duties. The members of the Chorale donate over 3,000 hours of volunteer time per fiscal year. According to Independent Sector, volunteer time to nonprofits in 2014 was valued at $23.07 per hour. Based on that figure, RCC members donate over $69,000 worth of volunteer hours each year.
Expenses routinely exceed income and we are, therefore, always interested in raising public awareness about the choir, increasing attendance and awareness of our concerts, and promoting our efforts to encourage and showcase youth choirs during some of our concerts. Fundraising through the Big Day of Giving provides a wonderful mechanism to raise community awareness of the chorale and to raise much-needed funds.
Our top needs:
- Funding: Program - Concert underwriters: The cost per concert set is ~ $17,000. We perform three concert 'sets' annually: three Holiday performances, two Pops Concerts, and two Spring concerts.
- Funding: Other - Marketing and publicity services: For 41 years, we have relied on volunteer services of members to market and publicize the River City Chorale. We have an average of 60 members, only a couple of whom have professional background in these fields. It is difficult to find volunteer members willing to commit to these services year after year.
- Funding: Other - Sponsorship of visiting instrumentalists to accompany the Chorale: Approximately $7,070 of our $55,335 annual budget (13.0%) goes toward paying professional orchestra and band musicians to enhance our choral performances.
- Space: Office or Other - Storage for our music library: We have thousands of pieces of music that need to be in storage units that are climate-controlled, secure, and easily accessible. We currently pay $3,600 per year to rent two storage units.
- Funding: Other - Accounting services: We rely on one of 55-60 members to serve as RCC Treasurer. It is very difficult to find a volunteer with the computer (Quickbooks) accounting, and tax-filing skills to fill this position. Our treasurer volunteers about 130 hours per year. One firm offered to provide accounting and tax-filing services for $3,000/year.
Richard Morrissey, musical director since 1991, offers this perspective: 'I love directing the River City Chorale because we are the one group in Sacramento that sings all kinds of music, from baroque to jazz, Broadway, folk, and rock opera.' A member for nearly 35 years, Pat Junod emphasizes that 'the variety of our performances broadens the interest in music for ourselves and our audiences.' Retired Elk Grove teacher Myron Jantzen speaks lovingly about the experiences he and his wife (recently deceased) have shared: 'My wife Joan and I have sung and toured with the Chorale for over 20 years. It has given us an artistic outlet that we found no other way.' After serving four years as board president, Meg Burnett offers this perspective: 'I have always loved to sing with groups who can make beautiful music. My 15 years in RCC have been a real treat and a lesson in great teamwork.' Ken Eikelmann, a long-time member from South Sacramento, comments on the international tour experience, for which singers pay their own way: 'We've sung country music in Brazil, classical music in the Czech Republic, and patriotic songs in Canada. In Rome, the Cardinal followed us out to the steps of the Cathedral and led us in 'amens'. Audiences everywhere are curious and welcoming to the Chorale from Sacramento, California, USA.' In a review of the River City Chorale's December 2014 concert, Dick Frantzreb, Executive Director of the Sacramento Valley Choral Coalition said: 'This was one of the most diverse concerts you might expect to hear at Christmastime. The big challenge in a Christmas concert is to avoid the music everyone gets on the radio, at the mall, etc., and still provide the familiar, satisfying sounds and texts of the season. Year after year, the River City Chorale succeeds brilliantly in this.'"
River City Chorale
-- Richard Morrissey, Executive Director