Community Music Center (CMC) is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization founded in 1921 with the mission of making high quality music accessible to all people, regardless of their financial status. Students range in age from one to 90+ years old and enjoy classes in everything from Western classical to Chinese to Latin music. As a part of the grant, CMC is providing the music direction and choir directors for the Community of Voices / Comunidad de Voces study.
Sylvia Sherman, BA (Community of Voices Music Director) is the Program Director at Community Music Center. She has extensive experience creating and directing community arts groups and is bilingual (English/Spanish). As a part of the Community of Voices / Comunidad de Voces study, she will oversee the choir directors and their training, help design the culturally relevant music programs and choir rehearsals, and support sustainability efforts. Ms. Sherman is an alumna of community-based arts education programs, playing percussion and bass, and currently performs with the Latin Jazz group, “Survival Groove.”
Martha Rodriguez-Salazar, MFA (Choir Director) is choral director, flutist and mezzo-soprano on the faculty of Community Music Center. She is bilingual (Spanish/English) and a cultural leader in the Bay Area Latino community. Martha is the lead choir director for the Community of Voices/Comunidad de Voces study and will help design the choir program.
Jennifer Perringer, MM (Accordion Accompanist) is on the piano, chamber music and Latin Jazz faculty of Community Music Center. She is also the accompanist for CMC’s senior choruses. She is bilingual (English/Spanish) and has a Bachelor of Music and both a Master of Music and a Music Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University. She performs with several chamber music ensembles and plays keyboards, congas, tablas, saxophone, and accordion with salsa, Latin jazz, Indian music, folk and pop bands.
Maestro Curtis, MA, MS (Choir Director) is an accomplished musician, vocalist, author, and an all around entertainer whose musical impact has been felt in the U.S. and the world over. He has a strong background in Jazz, classical and gospel music. He founded the independent record label, JazzyBoo Entertainment and earned a Grammy nomination for his jazz group’s, debut album. He also has experience leading choirs for older adults.
Nola Curtis (Accompanist)is a talented vocalist, pianist and accompanist. She has performed locally in the San Francisco/Bay Area for over 9 years.
Beth Wilmurt (Choir Director) has been a CMC faculty member since 2000. She teaches both music and theater regularly around the Bay Area and beyond. As a working actress and singer she has performed in over fifty plays, musicals, dance pieces, and cabarets with a variety of companies. Her performances in theater and cabaret have garnered numerous awards and honors, Beth studied theater and acting at San Francisco State University, with the SITI Company, and master Biomechanics teacher Gennadi Bogdanov.
Richard Daquioag, MS (Piano Accompanist) was born and raised in San Francisco. He received a BA in English from UC Berkeley and a Masters in Social Work from San Francisco State University. Although he learned how to read music in the third grade, he only began his music studies in 1995 at the Community Music Center while on a break from Social Work. He benefited from piano instruction at the Community Music Center. He began playing professionally at San Francisco local clubs soon after his studies began. He can be heard regularly at the Revolution Café and RiteSpot with his trio and quartet, Conscious Contact.
Billy Philadelphia, (Choir Director) has played many of the pianos in the Bay Area in the past 40 years. In cabaret, he has performed nationwide with his wife, Meg Mackay. They have recorded three CD’s. As a musical director, Billy has led several older adult choirs and has worked in television, theatre (Berkeley Rep, San Jose Rep, Aurora Theatre) and accompanied the incomparable Dame Edna in her San Francisco debut. He is co-author and lead actor in Hoagy, his tribute to songwriter/actor Hoagy Carmichael, which has had productions in San Francisco, Milwaukee and Miami. Billy has also taught since he was 16 years old when his piano teacher referred a beginning student to him. He has taught at many schools, most recently nine years at Convent of the Sacred Heart High School. He has enjoyed a 20-year run at One Market Restaurant, where he currently plays on Friday and Saturday nights. His favorite gig of all time was playing the calliope while leading the parade honoring the 2012 World Champions, San Francisco Giants.