Cantabile History

Cantabile’s history begins at the Mountain View Community School of Music and Art, where there was a program called the Peninsula Children's Chorale. While a part of the Community School, the choir grew, excelled, and participated in a variety of unique performance opportunities.  In 1994, founding Artistic Director Signe Boyer left the Community School to create Cantabile Youth Singers; the adult choir, the Baroque Choral Guild, sponsored Cantabile - lending us vital support to get started.  The program began with three levels and 25 students: Preparatory, Intermediate and Concert Choir. These twenty-five singers rehearsed at the same Foothills Congregational Church we rehearse in today.  Signe Boyer was the Artistic Director and driving force for Cantabile during our first ten years.  She moved Cantabile through many milestones to establish the choir as an important participant and leader in the Bay Area choral music community. Fostering and sharing her lifelong passion for music education for children, she gave the singers and their families the gift of belonging to a choral community and shared that gift with the larger Silicon Valley community.  Many founding families and a very dedicated Board helped move Cantabile toward growth and expanded performance opportunities. Here are some highlights of performances and tours during Signe’s Artistic Directorship of Cantabile:

1996: Cantabile begins a touring program at Disneyland in their first festival and the first new music commission and premier, Requiem for Lost Children, by Los Altos composer Sondra Clark, commissioned by the San Jose Symphonic Choir and Orchestra.

1997:  Cantabile sings the Passion of Saint Matthew with the internationally recognized Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and performs in Henry Mollicone's, A Rat's Tale: The Pied Piper Revisited.

1998: Cantabile participates in a choir exchange with England's Farnham Youth Choir and performs in Bath Cathedral.

2000: Cantabile joins the Tuscany International Children's Choir Festival under conductor Henry Leck and performs in a huge showcase concert in Florence.

2002:  Signe presents a workshop at the prestigious California Music Educators' Association Conference.

2003: Cantabile premiers Craig Bohmler's beautiful piece Sisters, a work about sister cities for children's choir, adult choir, and symphony orchestra, with Mission Chamber Orchestra and participates in a European tour to Salzburg, Vienna, and Budapest. Cantabile performs both with and for the internationally recognized Vienna Boys Choir.

In 2004, Signe Boyer steps down as Cantabile's Artistic Director and Maestra Elena Sharkova picks up the baton.  Artistic Director Elena Sharkova, continues to build the artistic excellence and reputation of Cantabile.

In 2005, she led the choir to its debut at Carnegie Hall during the National Children's Choir Festival.

In 2008 Cantabile became an independent, non-profit corporation (501c3) focused entirely on youth programs. Baltic Tour to Finland, Estonia, and Russia during which Cantabile performed at the Tallinn SongFest alongside 25,000 other international youth singers and sang at Helsinki's world-famous Church of the Rock.

2009/10 Cantabile expanded its repertoire further - our choirs performed with actor Ryan Gosling in his rock play "Dead Man's Bones" and sang on a rock CD recording with a local San Francisco band. In the summer of 2010, Cantabile's choirs once again performed onstage at Carnegie Hall during the National Children's Choir Festival. At home in Palo Alto, our singers performed alongside the world-famous Kronos Quartet as part of a concert at Stanford Lively Arts. 

2011/12 Cantabile's choirs enjoyed performances with Symphony Silicon Valley, including performances of Bluegrass Meets Chorale with World Mass by Carol Barnett and Gustav Holst's The Planets.  Cantabile toured both internationally and nationally, joining together in song with choirs from all over the world in Chicago, IL and London, England.  Cantabile’s toured to Newfoundland, Canada for the Festival 500.  

2013/2014 Cantabile performed with composer Roberto Lange and visual artist Nene Humphrey in an experimental piece called "Everything That Happens" at Montalvo Arts. Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers with Dr. Craig Jessup at Stanford’s Memorial Church, Carmina Burana with Symphony Silicon Valley and Chorale under the direction of Maestro Carlos Vieu from Argentina.  Cantabile tours Italy on the Passion of Italy tour and performs at a music festival in Padua and at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome as well as many other smaller community venues.

2014/2015 Gustav Holst’s the Planets with Jin Dong Cai’s Stanford Symphony Orchestra, Bing Concert Hall; Lord of the Rings West Coast Premier with Symphony Silicon Valley and Chorale, Carnegie Hall, NYC with solo stage time in Cantabile’s third tour to NYC.

Each year Cantabile hosts three full concert productions:  Winter, All Choir and Spring, sponsors the Annual Cantabile Festival for Young Voices and brings a world renowned clinician to work with our students in a Master Class format.  Cantabile also has a New Music Commissioning Program.