Diane Gilfether   Founder and Musical Director


Diane Gilfether founded the Blackhawk Chorus in 1991 and continues to this day as its leader and director. She is the recipient of many awards and accolades, both for her professional achievements as one of the Bay Area’s leading Lyric Coloratura Sopranos and for her continued work with the Blackhawk Chorus. 


Recent honors include:

  • Contra Costa Board of Supervisors Arts and Culture Commission’s Arts Recognition Award

  • Bay Area News Group and Comcast’s Hometown Hero award

  • Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International


Diane was named a California Arts Council Touring Artist for four consecutive years -- an award and designation given to only two classical vocalists in the state. She has appeared with the San Francisco, Pasadena and City operas, and was a longtime leading lady with Donald Pippin’s Pocket Opera.


In addition, she has been a featured soloist with the Oakland, Berkeley, Washington-Idaho, Concordia College (Indiana), San Jose, Monterey, Stockton, Santa Cruz, UC Davis, Holy Names University and UC Berkeley symphony orchestras, to name just a few. She has toured nationally and internationally, delighting audiences and critics alike with concerts and recitals throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.


Often in demand for master classes in voice, Diane holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Holy Names University, and studied voice with the late Donald Stenberg of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. 


She is a longtime resident of Blackhawk, along with husband, Jerry Kidd. In addition to being a lead partner and top performer with Berkshire Hathaway Realtors, Diane enjoys spending time with grandsons Koby and Jace.