Eric Choate is in demand as a choral and orchestral conductor, composer, and organist. In addition to his service at St. Mary the Virgin, he is the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Boys Chorus, Professor of Choral and Organ music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and often prepares choruses for the San Francisco Symphony and Berkeley Symphony. As an award-winning composer, his music has been performed by renowned artists including VOCES8, Vancouver Chamber Choir, The Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, Brian Thorsett, Emil Miland, John Churchwell, Friction Quartet, Areon Flutes, One Found Sound, and others. His music is published by E.C. Schirmer and Augsburg Fortress. Eric is an active organ recitalist and has been a visiting artist at major universities, including a recent residency at Virginia Tech University.
Graduating with Departmental Distinction, Eric earned his Bachelor of Arts in Composition from St. Olaf College, where he studied with Timothy Mahr and Justin Merritt. He was awarded a fellowship to study harmony and counterpoint at the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France. He then went on to earn a Master of Music with David Conte at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Having served as an officer of the San Francisco American Guild of Organists Chapter, he remains an active member of both the AGO and the Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM).
Marla is a pianist who brings to St. Mary’s an extensive background in piano performance and music teaching. She fell in love with music as a preschooler singing with her mother at the piano. Piano studies began at age 5 leading to an Assoc. with The Western Board and B. Mus. from Brandon University, Canada. She received her M.M. from Hartt School of Music, Univ. of Hartford, studying under Anne Koscielny and Raymond Hanson, and Prof. Studies Diploma from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under Paul Hersh. Additional training was at the Guildhall School, Internationale Sommer Akademie Mozarteum, Johannesen Int’l Summer School, The Banff Center, and private study with Diana Lawton and Sir Kendall Taylor.
Marla has performed as soloist, piano duo partner, chamber musician, and accompanist for professional instrumentalists and singers, choirs, and ballet classes. She has also enjoyed work in musical theater. Marla has taught piano and music since age 17 to students of all ages in private lessons, theory classes, ensemble coaching, a vibrant nursery school program, and for those with learning differences. While raising her family in San Francisco she worked with young musicians through Villa Sinfonia, ACT, SFCM’s Summer Music West, several private schools, and her own studio.
Her music has been influenced by years of figure skating, love of nature, a keen interest in mind-body-spiritual connection and healing, and Eastern practices. Marla and Barry are grateful to have had the nurturing community of St. Mary’s in raising their two children to adulthood.
Upcoming Music events
Check out the Candlelight Concert page
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