Mark Growden & The Calling All Choir

The Calling All Choir is a San Francisco community singing organization led by founder and artistic director, Mark Growden and Assistant Musical Director, Michael Kaulkin. 

Our mission is to provide San Francisco Bay Area communities with a self-selecting choral group that performs works that are moving, challenging, beautiful, and often fun. Now in its 11th season, our choir includes seasoned professionals and devoted amateurs. Members range in age from 8 to 80 plus and readily share with each other the fun and experience for growing musically.

The Calling All Choir was named best choir in the 2015 Oakland Magazine “Best of the Bay” issue. The choir performs service sings throughout each season for retirement homes, residential treatment centers, hospitals, and developmental disability programs. We also have a few special shows throughout the season with other choirs, cabarets, and other events.

Each season we sing a mix of classical, and folkloric music based on a theme. Our upcoming season’s theme is “Knowing She Has Wings – Music by Female Composers and Arrangers”. Themes from previous seasons include:

  • Fire, Tears, and Love Alive – A Celebration of Russian Music”
  • “The Land of Song – Music of the Baltics”
  • “The Blue of our Lakes, The White of our Winters – A Celebration of Finnish Music”

We end each Season with Shows at the stunning Mission Dolores Basilica. Our performances, like our mission, are community focused since we often invite our audiences to sing with us on a song or two.

Here’s a list of some pieces we’ve performed in past seasons (you can find videos of the choir performing many of these pieces in the CAC YouTube channel performance playlist):

  • Bogoróditse Djévo – Arvo Pärt – Estonia
  • Bogoroditse Devo – Igor Stravinsky
  • Lux Aurumque – Eric Whitacre
  • Panda Chant II – Meredith Monk
  • Angus Dei III – from Missa Simile Est Regnum Coelorum -Tomás Luis de Victoria – Renaissance Italy
  • Laulusild – Veljo Tormis – Estonia
  • El Hambo – Jaakko Mäntyjävi – Finland
  • SolfeggioArvo Pärt – Estonia
  • Earth Song – Frank Ticheli
  • La Martiniana – Arr. David Conte – Mexico
  • Good Night, Dear Heart – Dan Forrest
  • Barechu – Solomone Rossi – Italian Renaissance
  • Pärismaalase lauluke (An Aboriginal Song) – Veljo Tormis – Estonia
  • Anoj Pusėj Dunojėlio – Vaclovas Augustinas – Lithuania
  • Bėkit bareliai – M.K. Čiurlionis – Lithuania
  • Past Life Melodies – Sarah Hopkins – Australia
  • Estrela E Lua Nova – Heitor Villa-Lobos – Brazil
  • Tallis’ Canon – Thomas Tallis – Elizabethan England
  • Alabama, Mississippi – Bessie Jones and Martin Luther King Jr. – The American South
  • A Szeleknek Lengo – Hungarian Traditional
  • Hamba Lulu – arr. Mike Brewer – Zambia

…and multiple compositions by our Artistic Directors, Mark Growden and Michael Kaulkin

“What a fantastic performance. A bright & unbridled night!”

Nan CrawfordAudience member and singer
I leave rehearsals feeling enlivened. I feel inside the music – something I’ve never felt as an audience member.  What’s funny is that at best I’m an average singer.  I can stay on key mostly, but there is nothing that stands out in my singing ability.  But in that setting, I don’t hear my own voice.  I hear the voices of all the parts and it lifts me up.
Julie GalvanChoir member

“I am so glad I was there to witness such a beautiful event!  The feelings I had while listening were so heart-centered.”

Kathleen QuinnAudience member

There was a moment in the Spring Finales…when  Mark gave us the signal to give it all.  I was down in the front row so I heard and felt everyone behind do just that – give their all.  Wow.  I felt like the Grinch who Stole Christmas where my heart suddenly grew.

Julie GalvanChoir member

Unbelievably powerful – to be surrounded by a hundred singing voices. A rare and marvelous experience.

Diane GibbsChoir member