Master of the Chorus - Dr. Donald Kendrick Retires

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Dr. Don Kendrick and SCSO’s season finale is on Saturday, May 12 at the Sacramento Community Center Theater: Praise and Jubilation.

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Retires from Sacramento State after 33 Years of Teaching

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) – “Singing is a joyous experience,” explained Dr. Donald Kendrick. “Choral music prepares you for life.”

In August 1985, Dr. Kendrick accepted the position of Director of Choral Activities at Sacramento State University. For the past 33 years, this energetic Canadian has worked diligently to create an awareness of the power and importance of choral and orchestral music via three important pillars of our society - the Community, the State and the Church.

“33 years is a long time,” admitted Dr. Kendrick. “I have seen so many students come together to perform beautifully.”

Don’s final gift for his 110 students and community members in his three Sacramento State choirs will be to provide them with an opportunity to partner with the Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra. The students will have the rare chance to sing with a professional orchestra at the SCSO’s season finale on Saturday, May 12 at the Sacramento Community Center Theater: Praise and Jubilation.

Kendrick lovingly refers to this SCSO season finale as his downtown Sacramento State retirement party. There will be a post-concert reception in the Sacramento Community Center Theater lobby following the final performance.

This unique performance will also feature the Sacramento Children’s Chorus Director Alexander Grambow. The musical forces on stage will include 280 singers, three soloists and a 52-member professional orchestra. The main fare on the program is a West Coast première of American composer Dan Forrest’s stunning Jubilate Deo. This work was only recently premiered in Carnegie Hall in 2016.

The rousing performance will feature seven languages with projected supertitle translations. The work brings to life the global aspect of the traditional Psalm 100 text “O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands” by setting it in seven different languages and drawing from a wide spectrum of musical influences. Each movement combines some characteristics of its language-group’s musical culture with the composer’s own musical language.

In the first half of the program Kendrick has programmed Dvorak’s Te Deum (Hymn of Thanksgiving), a work that he recorded with the SCSO and some of the Sacramento State students at the Liszt Academy in Budapest during their summer 2004 European Tour. Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances will showcase the SCSO Orchestra to round out the concert.

Kendrick feels strongly about having his choirs perform out in the community. For twenty-five years his three choirs performed in the beautiful acoustics of Sacred Heart Church in Sacramento. His December Procession of Carols is a tradition that we fervently hope Sacramento State will continue following Don’s retirement.

For more than three decades Kendrick has demonstrated his mastery of creative concert programming. His impact as an educator and conductor has greatly enhanced the quality of life in our region and has resonated on a national and international level.

“I have so many happy memories. So many of my students went on to perform around the world,” said Dr. Kendrick.

The dedicated teacher of over three decades has enhanced lives through great music, bringing beauty, hope and inspiration to our community, but when asked what he learned over the years, Dr. Kendrick graciously replied, “Patience and understanding.”

“The most important thing is that we have music in our lives – period,” said Dr. Kendrick. “And we should bear in mind that we all have a voice.”

Kendrick’s Downton Sacramento State Retirement Party at a Glance
May 12th SCSO Season Finale – Praise & Jubilation

Event: Praise & Jubilation

Date: Saturday, May 12 at 8 PM

Pre-concert talk at 7 PM Doors open at 6:30 PM

Location: Sacramento Community Center Theater, 1301 L Street, Sacramento

Post-Concert Reception in the Sac CCT Lobby – Come join us.

Tickets: 916-808-5181 or

$43-$53 – Students = 50% discount

Student Rush Seats (with ID) - $10 – As of 6:30 PM on May 12th

Information: 916-536-9065 (SCSO Office)

Dr. Don Kendrick and SCSO’s season finale is on Saturday, May 12 at the Sacramento Community Center Theater: Praise and Jubilation. Dr. Donald Kendrick is set to retire from Sac State after 33 years of teaching.