The Blackhawk Chorus is a 501(c)(3) corporation, firmly established as a premier community-based East Bay chorus with a reputation of delivering polished performances that exhilarate singers and audiences alike.
Under the direction of founder and noted former opera principal Diane Gilfether, the chorus performs two concert series each year. In December, we present a festive holiday program. In the spring, we showcase popular jazz and pop standards.
The Blackhawk Chorus regularly fills the house at venues such as the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek and the Bankhead Theater in Livermore, though we are also proud to have represented the Tri-Valley area in performances further afield – at New York’s Lincoln Center, throughout Europe, and even at the Vatican in Italy.
Our holiday program is an eclectic mix of the traditional and the new, featuring familiar carols and classical pieces, as well as some modern compositions. The evening traditionally ends with a community singalong to get everyone into the spirit of the season.
In the spring, we present popular tunes from different musical themes. Our “Broadway Blitz” program in 2014 showcased hits from contemporary shows that included "Les Miserables," "The Lion King," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Jersey Boys." In 2015's “America Sings,” we explored the Great American Songbook, from traditional, folk and gospel songs to popular jazz standards, show tunes, Motown – and even Michael Jackson!
History and Purpose
The Blackhawk Chorus began in 1991 when 12 women sought voice lessons from acclaimed former soprano coloratura (and now Realtor and business leader) Diane Gilfether. Lessons lasted a few weeks and were given in Diane’s living room.
More than two decades later, and still under Diane’s direction, many of the original 12 are still with the group, although membership has swelled to around 130 singers and now includes men as well as women. Singers come to us with a range of differing musical experience and abilities, from seasoned soloists and group singers to those who have had decades-long lapses in their musical endeavors.
What is shared, however, is a love of music, a desire to learn and improve, and the joy of sharing our music with others. Over the years, the Blackhawk Chorus has truly become a family to its members – a source of laughter, comfort and treasured friendships in our otherwise stressful and busy lives.