Dr. Donald Kendrick –
Founder and Music Director

Donald Kendrick: 25 Years of Excellence and Influence –
Sacramento Bee Cover Story, November 7, 2009 – E. Ortiz

Don-smDr. Donald Kendrick is the founding Conductor of the 150-voice Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra that presents large choral orchestral performances each season in the Sacramento Community Center Theater, Memorial Auditorium and Fremont Presbyterian Church. He is also Director of Choral Activities at California State University, Sacramento, where he conducts the Concert Choir, Chamber Choir and the University Chorus. At CSUS he also directs the Graduate Degree Program in Choral Conducting that he initiated in 1986. His CSUS Choirs have performed in Europe, the United States and Canada, where they appeared on an international telecast at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Canada.

Dr. Kendrick is also Organist and Director of Music at Sacramento’s Sacred Heart Church where he conducts Vox Nova (Sunday 9:30 a.m. Men’s Chorus) and ScholaCantorum, an ensemble that has recorded and toured throughout North America and recently completed a concert tour of Spain. In addition, he is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Sacramento Children’s Chorus and was recently awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Assembly for his work in promoting choral music for youth in the greater Sacramento area. In October 2017 Kendrick was awarded the Legend of the Arts award by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission. In November 2017, Wells Fargo  presented Dr. Kendrick with the Wells Fargo CARE Award (Community, Achievement, Recognition, Engagement) honoring his dedication and commitment to growing the arts for over 3 decades.

Dr. Kendrick has prepared choruses for such leading orchestras as the Boston Symphony, the Boston Pops, the Toronto Symphony, the San Jose Symphony, the Chautauqua Symphony, the Baton Rouge Symphony, the Sacramento Symphony, and other orchestras in Canada.

He has studied at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music, Stanford University, and he holds a doctoral degree from the Eastman School of Music where he also served on the faculty. He earned the CHM (Choirmaster) Certificate from the American Guild of Organists, and was the first recipient of the Louise Rogers Goucher Memorial Scholarship given by the American Choral Federation in New York.

Dr. Kendrick has taught at Louisiana State University, the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music, and at universities in Canada where his choirs won national competitions for their excellence. In 1989, he accepted an invitation from Boston’s celebrated Chorus Pro Musica, to serve as its third conductor in 41 years. He currently serves on the statewide board of the California American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) where he is the representative for Community Choruses in California.

He has appeared on the CBC as a recitalist and conductor, and his choirs have been broadcast locally on KXPR-FM and KVIE Television. He is active as a guest conductor, an adjudicator for choral festivals throughout the country, and in May 1995, he made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut in a performance of Verdi’s Requiem. In May 2003, Dr. Kendrick once again returned to Carnegie Hall with the SCSO to conduct a triumphant performance of Orff’s Carmina Burana. 

IIn May 2004, Dr. Kendrick received the CSUS School of the Arts Outstanding Community ServiceAward for his work in linking the community to the UniversityIn July 2004, Conductor Kendrick led SCSO members and guests of the CSUS Choral Program on their first international European tour to Munich, Prague, Vienna and Budapest! In February 2005, Schola Cantorum, Dr. Kendrick’s choir at Sacred Heart Church, was selected to perform at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors’ Association in Los Angeles at the new Cathedral Our Lady of the Angels. He is also the “Repertoire and Standards” representative for Community Choruses for the State of California for the American Choral Directors Assocation. In July 2006, Dr. Kendrick led the Sacramento Choral Society and guests from the CSUS Choral Music Program on a performance tour of China, with concerts in Beijing, Tianjin, Xian, Jinan (Sacramento’s Sister City) and a special performance on the Great Wall. Kendrick has led the SCSO in performances at the Vatican in Rome, Notre Dame in Paris, St. Paul’s in London and in Normandy’s American Cemetery. In the summer of 2017 Kendrick led the SCSO to the Baltics where they partnered with orchestras in Latvia, Estonia, and Finland.

In June 2007 Dr. Kendrick toured Italy with Sacred Heart’s Schola Cantorum where they performed at a Papal Audience for Pope Benedict XVI and at St. Peter’s (The Vatican) on the Great Altar.

In May 2007 Dr. Kendrick was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the Capitol Section of the California Music Educators Association (CMEA).