Conductor

Dr. Donald Kendrick –
SCSO Founder and Music Director

Don-smJune 2019 Mozart Requiem Performance – Zagreb, Croatia (Youtube)

Dr. Donald Kendrick is the founding Conductor of the 150-voice Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra (SCSO) that presents large choral orchestral performances each season in the Sacramento Community Center Theater, Memorial Auditorium, Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament and Fremont Presbyterian Church. The SCSO is celebrating its 25th season this year. (Check out the SCSO’s repertoire over 25 years.)

In May 1995, Kendrick made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut in a performance of Verdi’s Requiem. In May 2003, he once again returned to Carnegie Hall with the SCSO to conduct a triumphant performance of Orff’s Carmina Burana. (Check out the SCSO’s soloists over the past 25 years.)

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 2019 he and the SCSO partnered with orchestras and soloists in Salzburg, Austria, Ljubljana, Slovenia and Zagreb, Croatia in performances of the Mozart Requiem.

For 33 years (1985-2018), Dr. Kendrick was also Director of Choral Activities at California State University, Sacramento, where he conducted the Concert Choir, Chamber Choir and the University Chorus. At CSUS he also directed the Graduate Degree Program in Choral Conducting that he initiated in 1986. His CSUS Choirs performed internationally in France, Switzerland, Italy and Canada (Montréal, Vancouver, Victoria). Hi choirs also performed throughout California and they appeared on an international telecast at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Canada.

In 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!

He also served as the “Repertoire and Standards” representative for Community Choruses for the State of California for the American Choral Directors Association. In May 2007 Dr. Kendrick was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the Capitol Section of the California Music Educators Association (CMEA).

Since 1992, Dr. Kendrick has also been 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, a mixed ensemble that has recorded 9 compact discs and has toured extensively throughout the West Coast. Schola has also enjoyed numerous European tours that included two performances at the Vatican for Pope Benedict (2007) and for Pope Francis (2013).

In February 2005, Schola Cantorum 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

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.