Since 2015, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale has taken significant steps to initiate innovative collaborations with other leading arts and culture institutions, and increase creative engagement with a broader and more diverse audience. Partners in these artistic initiatives have included the Center for Contemporary Arts, Creativity for Peace, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the International Shakespeare Center, Museum of Indian Arts and CultureNDI-NM, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and the Santa Fe Opera, and the Santa Fe Symphony & Chorus. Additional projects are being developed with the New Mexico History Museum, Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, and other new partners in conjunction with future artistic programming.

Whether our community engagement audience is comprised of underserved adults or youth, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale is committed to providing arts access to those who would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience “the beauty and power of great choral music.” Please join us in this effort: we welcome your interest and encourage you to volunteer to help us better serve our greater community.

Santa Fe Sings!

First produced by the Desert Chorale in 2016, Santa Fe Sings! draws participants ranging in age from eighth graders to octogenarians from across Northern New Mexico, singing together under the direction of Joshua Habermann. Our second annual Santa Fe Sings! sponsored by Stephen and Jane Hochberg took place on Saturday, May 13, 2017, and sold out with 175 participants at United Church of Santa Fe.

In addition to individual singers, area choruses represented included: Coro de Cámara, the New Mexico Peace Choir, the Sangre de Cristo Chorale, Santa Fe Music Works, Santa Fe Men’s Camerata, the Santa Fe Symphony & Chorus, and the Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble. With ongoing sponsorship from Stephen and Jane Hochberg, Santa Fe Sings! continues into its third year – scheduled for Saturday, May 12, 2018 at United Church of Santa Fe.

For more information, visit or call (505) 988-2282. View Craig A. Smith’s article and accompanying photos (Photographer: Sean Johnson) of the 2017 event here.

The Santa Fe Desert Chorale thanks our Community Sing Sponsors:

and Mary and Joe Ferguson, Jim Murphy and Roxanne Howe-Murphy, and Vincent Stenerson



The May 2017 choral workshop focused on repertoire selected and led by Music Director Joshua Habermann. A showcase for friends and family followed. Pianist Nathan Salazar joined us at the keyboard for both sessions.

Video produced by: Vincent Stenerson

The May 2016 choral workshop focused on repertoire selected and led by Music Director Joshua Habermann. The afternoon featured a masterclass by David Holloway, an internationally-renowned baritone and Director of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program. Pianist Nathan Salazar joined us at the keyboard for both sessions.

Video produced by: Cut Print Video Production

Interfaith Shelter Choral Program

The Community Engagement program, “Giving Voice to the Voiceless,” was initiated in summer 2017 in collaboration with the Interfaith Community Shelter. Following a successful pilot program, weekly choral sings are now continuing year-round at Pete’s Place, raising spirits and self-esteem. The Desert Chorale is deeply grateful to CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center for underwriting this alternative wellness program, and to the McCune Charitable Foundation for its additional support. Please see the program in action below:

The Musical Zoo

The Musical Zoo is a tri-part collaboration among the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, NDI-NM and Frederick Prescott Sculpture. Working together for the first time, the partners are developing a work featuring dancers from NDI-NM, with music led by Bert Dalton and performed by Santa Fe Desert Chorale vocalists Sarah Nickerson and Michael Hix. Frederick Prescott’s whimsical sculptures set the stage. Now in workshop, a segment of the work was performed at the 2016 Santa Fe Desert Chorale Gala: Under the Big Top on August 22, 2016 at the Inn and Spa at Loretto.

The Musical Zoo collaboration is underwritten by a generous donation from David and Kay Duke Ingalls.

Photo courtesy of NDI-NM; Photo credit : Insight Photo, Inc.

Creativity for Peace

SFDC and Creativity for Peace, a program that “prepares the next generation of female leaders and peacemakers in Israel and Palestine” joined together on a music project Summer 2016. This project was developed in conjunction with the Chorale’s Sephardic Legacy program.

For more information on Creativity for Peace, please visit

Jake Runestad, 2016 Composer in Residence

Jake Runestad

  • Panel Discussion at Collected Works
    July 20, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
    Panel Discussion with Jake Runestad and Frank Ferko, moderated by Kathlene Ritch.
    Topic: Choosing and setting text.
    Collected Works Bookstore and Coffeehouse
    202 Galisteo Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Panel Discussion with Jake Runestad and Young Creatives
    July 21, 2016, 7:00 p.m.
    Tractor Brewing Company, Wells Park
    1800 4th Street NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
    Other Panelists: Chelsea Call (Photography); Chris Tenerowicz (Music: Singer-songwriter and Guitar); JAK Media (Film); Jeremy Kinter (Writing/Film); Kevin Herig (Singer-songwriter).
  • Meet the Composer Event with Jake Runestad  
    July 22, 2016, 3:30 p.m.
    El Castillo Retirement Community
    250 East Alameda, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Georgia O’Keeffe Museum American Innovators Program
    July 25, 2016, 6:30 p.m.
    Lecture by Jake Runestad and selections from American Voices with a Desert Chorale quartet.
    Topic: Contemporary American music and art with emphasis on the Modernist movement.
    SFDC vocalists: Meredith Ruduski, Helen Karloski, Patrick Muelheise, David Farwig
    Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
    217 Johnson Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501
    For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit:
  • Panel Discussion with Jake Runestad and Young Creatives
    July 27, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
    Second Street Brewery at the Railyards
    1607 Paseo de Peralta, Suite #10,Santa Fe, NM 87501
    Other panelists: Aviva Baumann (Acting, Dance); Chelsea Call (Photography); Chris Tenerowicz (Music: Singer-songwriter and Guitar); Jesse Fisher (Film); Ken Baumann (Writing, Acting).
  • Meet the Composer event with Jake Runestad
    July 28, 2016, 3:30 p.m.
    The Montecito, Santa Fe (Retirement Community)
    500 Rodeo Road, Santa Fe, NM 87505








Out and About

  • TGIF Concert Series
    July 14, 2016, 5:30 p.m.
    Keely Rhodes and Shari Wilson, along with accompanist Debra Ayers, will perform a preview of the 2016 Summer Festival Season as part of the TGIF* concert series at First Presbyterian Church.
    First Presbyterian Church, 208 Grant Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501
    *please note this concert is on Thursday, not Friday

    Mezzo-soprano Keely Rhodes in rehearsal [Photo: Cory Klose]

  • Choral Eucharist at Church of the Holy Faith, Santa Fe
    July 17, 2016, 11:00 a.m.
    Members of the Desert Chorale will join the choir at the 11:00 a.m.
    Church of the Holy Faith, 311 East Palace Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • National Anthem at the Albuquerque Isotopes Game
    Root, root, root for the home team – the Santa Fe Desert Chorale
    July 17, 2016- 6:05 p.m. (Departure from Holy Faith, 4:00 p.m.)
    Members of the Desert Chorale will sing the National Anthem before the 6:05 p.m. game. We have opened this event up to the public, with tickets on sale at $35.00. Price of the ticket includes round-trip transportation to the game on a chartered bus, as well as snacks and beverages on the trip to the stadium. For information and to reserve: call (505)988-2282 ext. 1
  • Service at Temple Beth Shalom
    July 22, 2016, 6:30 p.m.
    Providing music for evening Shabbat service from Sephardic Legacy Program
    Temple Beth Shalom, 205 East Barcelona Road, Santa Fe, NM 87505
  • Morning Service at United Church of Santa Fe
    July 24, 2016, 10:00 a.m.
    A SFDC quartet joins the choir for the morning service
    United Church of Santa Fe, 1804 Arroyo Chamiso Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Preview of Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church
    August 8, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
    Preview of Rachmaninov All-Night Vigil
    Dr. Matthew Tresler, Assistant Music Director
    Glenn Miller, Bass
    Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, 231 East Cordova Road, Santa Fe, NM 87505




Solely for Students

  • Santa Fe Arts Commission’s Summer Youth Cultural Passport
    Desert Chorale Dates: July 19, 8:00 p.m.; July 29, 8:00 p.m.; August 4, 8:00 p.m.
    The Santa Fe Arts Commission’s Summer Youth Cultural Passport is a new program that encourages local and visiting children and families to explore all of the culture that Santa Fe has to offer. The SFDC is one of 29 participating organizations, and we have donated a dozen tickets to each of three of our American Voices concerts. Young audience members will receive “stamps” on their passports for attending these events and turn them in for prizes.  For more information, visit:
  • Ailyn Pérez and Gary Matthewman Recital and Meet-and-Greet
    Eighty Santa Fe School Students were treated to complimentary tickets to hear the Beverly Sills Award-winning soprano and her acclaimed pianist perform a recital of French and Spanish Art Songs at The Lensic in March. After the performance the artist met with the students to answer questions, sign autographs and take selfies!

Ailyn Pérez with young audience member [photo: Chelsea Call]

Ailyn Pérez with young audience member [photo: Chelsea Call]

Behind the Scenes: Lecture and Talks

Free pre-concert talks will take place 90 minutes before each concert in the 2016 Summer Festival Season:*

  • Jake Runestad, American Voices
  • Steven Bellon, Songs and Sweet Airs
  • Dr. Matthew Tresler, Rachmaninov All-Night Vigil, op. 37
  • Joshua Habermann, Pergolesi Stabat Mater
  • Steven Ovitsky, Sephardic Legacy

Capacity is limited/reservations required.
*except August 4