Past Benefit Concerts
2014 Benefit Concert
SFA's 2014 Benefit Concert was held at the Palace of Perfoming Arts Theater on March 30th, 2014. It featured Broadway star Marcus Lovett and Metropolitan Opera soprano Marie Plette. They were joined by local favorites Nicolle Foland, Shawnette Sulker, Michelle Jasso, Pedro Rodelas, Alex Taite, Erich Stratmann and Buffy Baggott. Our amazing chorus performed pieces by Bernstein, Copland, and local composer David Conte. Through ticket sales and chorister fundraising, we raised well over $100K for local arts organizations!
See all of our videos on our youtube channel at: www.youtube.com/singforamericaSF
Marcus Lovett, a graduate of Carnegie Melon University, began his career in the original Broadway production of Les Miserables. He simultaneously appeared on ABC's One Life to Live. His other Broadway credits include the lead roles in Aspects of Love, Phantom of the Opera, and King David. He has appeared in multiple off broadway plays and musicals as well. In 2012 he reprised his role as the Phantom, this time at Her Majesty's theatre in the West End. Other than Michael Crawford, Mr. Lovett is the only person to play the Phantom in London and On Broadway.He is also the Voice of Good Morning America, and This Week with George Stephanopoulos, among others. His discography, among others, includes, Marcus Lovett, The Give Moment, and his new 2014 release, Marcus Lovett, Where is Love.
The SFA Chorus and soli (Alex Taite, Shawnette Sulker, Michelle Jasso, Joy Korst, John Minagro and Martin Belle) sing the beautiful finale from Leonard Bernstein's Candide.
Sing for America is very lucky to have Thaddeus Pinkston on our musical staff. He is a pianist, arranger and composer. Career highlights include touring internationally with The Fifth Dimension and playing Fats Waller in the touring company of Ain’t Misbehavin’. Thaddeus has served as Music Director of many musicals including Crowns, Blues In The Night starring Maurice Hines and Freda Payne, and Berkeley Rep’s Anthony and Cleopatra directed by Lisa Peterson. He has worked with many stellar performers, ensembles, and conservatories including A.C.T., Telluride Jazz Festival, Stan Ketz, Blues Legend Koko Taylor, Jennifer Holiday, Janis Paige, Tommy Tune, and Joan Baez. Thaddeus had the honor of studying harmony and composition privately with friend and mentor David Conte.
American Soprano Marie Plette is acclaimed in the major opera houses of North America and Europe for her compelling portrayals from Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly to Love Simpson in Cold Sassy Tree and the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro. Her performances of Madama Butterfly prompted the New York Times to remark, "The opera did partake of the other great unifying factor here: a star turn, by Marie Plette in the title role." In season 2012-13 Marie Plette sang the title role in Tosca with Anchorage Opera. Some recent highlights include singing Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Las Vegas Symphony; joining the roster of Washington National Opera for its production of Iphegenie en Tauride; her return to Seattle Opera to reprise Freia, Ortlinde and Gutrune in Wagner’s Ring Cycle; to the Metropolitan Opera for its production of Don Giovanni.
An alumna of San Francisco Opera Center’s Adler Fellowship program, Nicolle Foland began her career with the San Francisco Opera singing many roles with the company, including Musetta in La bohème, Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, and Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow among many others. She has sung the role of Violetta in La traviata with Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Michigan Opera Theater and has performed with Los Angeles Opera, Opera Bilbao in Spain, and Seattle Opera as Musetta. She has debuted in many other leading roles with such American companies as New York City Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Boston Lyric Opera, Minnesota Opera, Arizona Opera, Central City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Colorado, and Opera Boston. She has made multiple appearances with the San Francisco Symphony and has sung with many other orchestras, including American Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, and Colorado Symphony.
Erich Stratmann is the driving entrepreneurial personality behind the idea of SingforAmerica… putting into the hands of singers the means to help others via their voices. An incorrigible choral singer, he early on recognized the community of choral singing that allowed people of surprisingly different social leanings, to join together in one voice to benefit others. SingforAmerica allows this force to be gently steered toward very real funding of the choristers' choice of charities. This business bent follows on his business degree from the University of California, Berkeley (singing there with the Glee Club under Robert Commanday) and 25 years as a manufacturer in San Francisco. He has used his practical talent in honing his fundraising skills as financial manager for the San Francisco Boys Chorus in the past 15 years and now is totally focused on Sing for America.