Resident Feature

Chromatica – a chorus for Danville

Imagine a chorus that starts a concert with a Mozart requiem and ends it with an updated version of Twist and Shout (with chorus members dancing among the audience). That gives you some idea of the eclectic nature of Danville’s Chromatica. 

Chromatica is an adult chorus of 26 men and women that was founded in 2011 by Danville’s Chris Kenber and Sharon Kantor. The goal was to create a chorus that was different from other community choruses with a unique audience friendly repertoire. 

Principally responsible for all of this is David Huff, the founding music director and heart and soul of the chorus. A Danville resident, David is a distinguished operatic tenor who has directed and sung all over the world. He has inexhaustible energy and a unique capability to bring out the best in even the less professional singer. 

Chromatica has been performing since 2011, typically presenting a spring and fall concert series each year. Its website at www.chromaticachorale. org lists the extraordinary range of the repertoire it has performed over the more than a decade that it has been entertaining East Bay audiences. It always welcomes new singers and while it auditions them, so long as they can read music and hold a pitch they are welcome. Chromatica’s principal purpose is to enjoy singing music together and to provide highly enjoyable concerts for its fans. 

Shortly after Chromatica was founded, it was lucky enough to find San Ramon resident Julie Rieth as both accompanist and assistant director. Julie has brought extraordinary skills to Chromatica and is an ideal partner for David Huff and for the chorus. 

The COVID epidemic stopped Chromatica and all other choruses from rehearsing or performing for about two years. However, during the pandemic, Chromatica recorded a piece it had commissioned right before the pandemic from Stacy Garrop, a former Monte Vista graduate and noted composer now resident in Chicago. By recording each part individually and then stitching them together, Chromatica created a video. Search Chromatica Chorale on YouTube to see it.. 

Finally, in May of this year, Chromatica returned to the concert stage with a sold-out concert that included both the Mozart and Twist and Shout pieces. The concert sold out and the reaction was tremendous. 

Chromatica will present two Music from Stage and Screen concerts this November. The first, at 7pm on Saturday, November 12, will be at Peace Lutheran Church on Camino Tassajara in Danville, its original home and preferred performance location. It will include its popular wine reception after the concert. The second will be a 3pm matinee on Sunday, November 13 at Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church in Orinda. 

What do Verdi, Gilbert and Sullivan, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Bedrich Smetana, Sigmund Romberg, Jonathan Larson, Christopher Tin and Lin-Manuel Miranda have in common? They all wrote memorable music for the stage (and in some cases the screen). From Verdi’s Rigoletto to Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, from Sondheim’s wide stage repertoire that included Into the Woods, and Merrily We Roll Along to the more contemporary Rent by Jonathan Larson (with help from Puccini) and the hugely successful Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda these works include some of the best music ever written for the stage. There’s much more — and Chromatica gets to sing all of this in these concerts! 

Tickets are available through the website (www.chromaticachorale.org) or at the door — $25 for adults, $10 for students. Under 10s are admitted free.


By Chris Kenber, Resident since 2011