In the News: SF Bay Times

Opera Superstar Frederica Von Stade to Sing Street Requiem in Support of Homeless Choir 

reposted from:

operaladyFamed mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade will join with a mass chorus of singers and chamber orchestra in two California premiere performances of Street Requiem by Australian composers Dr. Kathleen McGuire, Andy Payne, and Dr. Jonathon Welch AM. Other vocal soloists include Blake Quin, Ilyas Iliya and Mark Jackson.
This week, it was also announced that Street Requiem has been selected as a semi-finalist in the professional choral composition division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. (For more information, see
McGuire, who is well known to Bay Area audiences having led the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and others from 2000 to 2013, will return from Melbourne, Australia, to conduct Street Requiem on Saturday, August 29, at 7:00pm at Old First Presbyterian Church at 1751 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, and on Sunday, August 30, at 2:00pm at the Congregational Church of San Mateo, 225 Tilton
Avenue in San Mateo.
The concert is a benefit for Singers of the Street (SOS), which McGuire founded in 2010. Now led by Ashley Moore and a project of Welcome, SOS is a choir of San Franciscans who have experienced, or are at risk of, homelessness. Its mission is to raise their voices for justice, healing and joy. SOS will open the concert and will also sing with the mass choir in Street Requiem.
opera2Street Requiem provides a musical opportunity for us to mourn not only the homeless who have passed away, but also our own frustration that there are still so many homeless individuals living in streets and shelters,” said the Rev. Megan Rohrer, Executive Director of Welcome. “Beyond a one of a kind concert experience, audience members can also celebrate that the price of admission enables homeless individuals to heal and express themselves for years to come.”
Composed in 2014, Street Requiem has already received international acclaim. Music critic Wayne Lee Gay (Dallas Magazine) said: “A remarkable, unique and beautiful work…an unfailingly engaging cantata. The religious texts were constantly questioned, but with an effect that produces transformation rather than blasphemy. The audience is never let off the hook: in the final movement, the chorus intones, as if to remind those who observe suffering are as much in need of divine intervention and guidance as those who suffer directly: ‘Given them peace. Give us peace.’”
Street Requiem is a 40-minute multi-movement cantata scored for choirs, soloists, and chamber orchestras. It aims to bring a sense of peace, remembrance, and hope to communities struggling with homelessness, poverty, war, hate-crime and street violence. The work is neither secular nor religious, but is intended to be spiritual and includes English and African lyrics, as well as traditional Latin texts. While at times deeply moving, the work is optimistic and uplifting, and employs Gospel, Celtic, neo-Romantic, neo-Baroque, and contemporary compositional styles and instrumentation to reflect the multicultural and multi-faith traditions of modern city living.
McGuire said, “Street Requiem provides an opportunity to mourn those we’ve lost—often ‘nameless’ on our streets—and to protest the tragic injustices we witness every day. These are global issues, but we can each make a difference, one by one. Ms. von Stade’s generous participation is a testament to the importance of this project and the wider cause.”
Ms. von Stade will be joined on stage by a mass choir including singers from The Choral Project (San Jose), the Chancel Choir of the Congregational Church of San Mateo, singers from CREDO (Dallas, Texas, who performed the U.S. premiere in January), and Singers of the Street (San Francisco). Accompaniment will be provided by members of the Community Women’s Orchestra, and Carl Pantle will play piano.

Rehearsals led by Stephanie Lynne Smith, Grace Renaud, Daniel Hughes, Dana Sadava, Dr. Jonathan Palant and Carl Pantle are currently underway in San Francisco and San Mateo; singers wishing to participate should visit:
Tickets for Street Requiem range from $15–$50 and are available online at or by calling (415) 731-1305. All proceeds benefit Singers of the Street.

August 29 and 30, 2015 - a special benefit concert for - and FEATURING - 
SINGERS OF THE STREET, conducted by SOS's founder, Dr. Kathleen McGuire. 

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS. Also available at the door.


Join Us Every Wednesday, Wednesday mornings @ 10:30 am, at FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF SAN FRANCISCO on Polk Street (at Bush), San Francisco. Rehearsal is followed by a FREE DINNER. All are welcome. No auditions or experience necessary.

Singers of the Street (S.O.S.) is a unique community choir of San Franciscans affected by homelessness, who are marginalized and those who support them. Its mission is to raise voices for justice, healing and joy.

We need your help to continue our mission to assist our homeless and marginalized friends and neighbors, to give them a safe, sober and enjoyable place to go that promotes positive direction in their lives.  Most homeless individual's interaction with others, who they do not know, usually, is not a positive experience.  "You can't sit here", "Get off my lawn", "Get a job", are just a few ugly negative comments that many of our members and others like them endure, daily.

Singing with S.O.S. offers our members, many for the first time in their lives, applause, cheers and admiration from people they do not know.  After performing, the tears of joy that flow down the faces of many of our singers when they experience this beautiful moment in their lives is a moment which is overwhelming and INCREDIBLE.

Some of our members no longer sing with us.  Why?  They have found employment and cannot attend our midday rehearsals.  Many give credit to Singers Of the Street for renewing their self-confidence, changing their focus and improving their social skills.  We do miss them but they will always be members of Singers Of the Street.

Your generosity will help us provide food, music, transportation and staff to help continue raising voices for justice, healing, and joy.  Our only funding source is through people like YOU.  Will you please consider a tax-deductible donation to help us continue our mission?  Thank you!

Please make your tax deductible donation to our parent organization Welcome.  And include SOS in the designation line.  Donate online here or, if you prefer to send a check, please make your check out to "Welcome" and in the memo line, enter:  "S.O.S. - Singers Of the Street".

Send to: 
Singers Of the Street
3201 Ulloa St
San Francisco, CA  94116


Thank you to everyone who appeared in or attended our first official concert of Singers of the Street (S.O.S.).

Critical Bliss,
Shelley MacKay,
Chancel Choir, Congregational Church of San Mateo UCC,
...and others!

Thank you for your support! We raised enough funds to cover our lunches at rehearsals in 2012, and received a sizable contribution to pay for hooded jackets for the choir members.

SOS newsletter:


S.O.S. singers & volunteers at our first rehearsal, Sept. 8, 2010

Below: S.O.S. on CBS news, December 1, 2010

S.O.S. and friends protest Proposition L (Sit-Lie Law), Oct. 27, 2010
Homeless People Speaking Out by S.O.S. member Pamela F. Quiton