Sangre de Cristo Chorale Honors Sheldon Kalberg

Members of the Sangre de Cristo Chorale discuss the upcoming Los Alamos concert. From left, Nate Salazar, accompanist; Devin DeVargas, Pojoaque High School apprentice; Karen Wells, alto and Andrew Schmidt, guest conductor. Courtesy photo

SDCC News:

The Sangre de Cristo Chorale (CDCC) is honoring the 25 year legacy of Sheldon Kalberg, the first and longest director of the Chorale, by dedicating to him its winter 2014 concert, titled “Darkness Brings Light”. 

The Los Alamos performance is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6 at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2390 North Road.

The Chorale will perform works by such diverse composers as Tomas Luis da Vittoria, Henry Purcell, John Rutter and Dolly Parton. The concert’s theme is intended to take listeners on a musical journey from sorrow and darkness to joy, beauty and light, reminding us that it is possible to share in a feeling of a communal dawn.

Among the pieces to be performed is Randall Thompson’s “Choose Something Like a Star,” a piece particularly beloved by Kalberg, and played at his recent memorial service. Though the repertoire was selected prior to Kalberg’s death, members of the Chorale find both the music and the lyrics to be wonderfully expressive of the love and appreciation they feel for him.

The Chorale is pleased to introduce Andrew Schmidt as guest conductor for this concert. Schmidt holds a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington, where he studied under the tutelage of Dr. Geoffrey Boers and Dr. Giselle Wyers. He also holds a B.M.E. from Northwestern University. Prior to moving to Santa Fe, Schmidt  was director of choirs at the Princeton Day School in Princeton, N.J. There he taught vocal/choral music students in grades 5-12 in a variety of ensembles.

His recent work with the Masterworks Chorale (Belleville, Ill.) was aired on St. Louis Public Radio’s Cityscape on New Year’s Eve 2010. Additionally, Schmidt has conducted at the Sarteano Chamber Choir Festival, Princeton Festival, National Conductors Symposium, and Montreal Choral Masterclass. He is employed by the New Mexico School for the Arts as choir director and teaches voice and piano.

The Chorale is also pleased to welcome Nate Salazar, a native of Los Alamos, who will accompany the 2014-2015 Season. Nate Salazar molds a master’s degree in collaborative piano from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Martin Katz. He made his orchestral debut in 2004 with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.

His musical travels have taken him to England, Scotland, Italy, and Russia, as well as all over the United States. He performed in the International Festival of Spanish and Latin American Music where he worked with Teresa Berganza. Salazar is currently the accompanist at the New Mexico School for the Arts.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at or at the door. Prices are $20 for adults, $10 for high school and college students, and concert admission is free for those 18 and under when accompanied by adults.  In addition to the Los Alamos concert, the performance will be repeated at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7 at First Presbyterian Church, 208 Grant Ave., in Santa Fe.