About Consort Chorale
Consort Chorale co-founded in 1994 by Bob Friestad and Allan Robert Petker, is an audition-only group of select singers from the San Francisco Bay Area who are dedicated to the chorale art form. Consort singers are committed to achieving choral excellence across a broad spectrum of musical eras and styles. Every summer since 1994, the group has gathered for a solid week of rehearsals, culminating in a standing-room-only concert of choral classics from the Baroque age to the modern era. This unique "intensive" format provides an opportunity for singers to fine tune their skills while sharing their love of choral music through the ages.
Every three years since 2008 members of Consort Chorale have joined with singers from Allan's other chorales to form the Allan Petker Chorale and go on tour in Europe and South America.
Artistic Director / Founder
Allan Robert Petker
Allan Robert Petker is a published composer and arranger with over 250 published works with numerous publishing houses. His conducting books, "Choral Questions and Answers" Vols. I, II, III, IV and V, have become staples in school curriculum and for secondary resource material. His crusade to offer a cure for musical illiteracy culminated in the publication of the ADVANCE learning series. As a composer for hire he has written original scores for live performance and has penned a number of original T.V. commercials which have appeared on the CNBC network. Allan holds a Bachelors and Masters degree from California State University at Northridge in music, specializing in viola (BA), voice and choral conducting (MA).
Allan has been involved in the choral music publishing industry for many years. In 1977 he became the Director of Publications for Fred Bock Music Company and subsidiaries, and is currently the Vice President of Publications. In 1989 he established his own company, Pavane Publishing, and later added John Rich Music Press to his portfolio.
As a conductor, Allan frequently serves as a guest clinician or conductor for publishers, choral societies, church festivals, state honor choirs and colleges. In the summer of 1994 he formed Consort Chorale, an ensemble of 50 auditioned voices from the San Francisco Bay area, which maintains an on-going concert series. In 2004 he became the Conductor and Artistic Director for the Santa Clarita Master Chorale, an 80-voice ensemble that performs a subscription concert season with orchestra. In September of 2015 Allan became the conductor of the Los Cancioneros Master Chorale, a 50-voice auditioned choral ensemble based in Torrance. His chorales have toured Eastern Europe, Dalmatian Coast, Baltics, Argentina, and are preparing for a trip to South Africa in 2020. Allan is a past President of the National Association of Church Musicians.
As an instrumentalist, Allan has done free-lance studio work and occasional concert playing. You may even catch him playing jazz violin and viola at a local pub, one of his favorite things to do.
Co-Founder / Dean Emeritus
While Bob is a Marin/Bay Area Realtor by day, for 25 years he has been the driving force behind Consort Chorale. From the first days of co-founding and singing in the group, as "Dean", he has also continued to be involved in every aspect of its development and growth. He has been instrumental in promoting Consort, seeking talented singers and volunteers, helping to choose each year's music, arranging for rehearsal and concert facilities, and publicizing our events.
After his well-deserved retirement, it has taken an entire Board of Directors (below) to replace all the valuable work he has done each year. We are fortunate that he has agreed to continue as "Dean (Emeritus)" where he continues to consult and offer assistance with our new format.
Board of Directors
Back row: Lily O'Brien (Publicity), David Raub (Treasurer), Jon Curtis (IT)
In front: Noralee McKersie, Judith Ward, Allan Petker (Artistic Director, Founder), Bob Friestad (Emeritus, Co-Founder), Lucinda Ray (Secretary)
Not pictured: Betsy Levin-Proctor (Fundraising)
The board has taken on all the duties Bob Friestad managed single-handedly for 25 years. The board develops a yearly budget and provide financial oversight for each year’s concert. We participate in the overall planning process and assist in implementing and monitoring the group's mission of bringing excellent quality of music to singers and our audience.
A Bay Area native, Sanford, has been active in choral music since he sang in the cherub choir at church beginning at age three. At age 19 he joined the San Francisco Symphony Chorus later becoming that group’s assistant director for 10 years. He was a founding member of Chanticleer and was involved with the all-male choir’s first recordings, as well as national and international tours. Sanford directs North Star Vocal Artists (currently on hiatus), a Marin-based chamber choir dedicated to performing contemporary choral music. He has been the artistic director of the Palo Alto-based Bay Choral Guild since 2000 and music director at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco since 1993. Sanford holds degrees in composition and conducting from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
David Irvine is the Choral Music Director at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Rosa. Previously he served as Director of Worship Arts at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Sonoma from 1994 until 2019. In addition, David has been the Artistic Director/Conductor of the Sonoma Valley Chorale since 2008. A product of Chapman College, he studied choral conducting with William Hall and Larry Ball and has also participated in the Masters Class in Choral Conducting at the Oregon Bach Festival with Helmut Rilling. David has studied voice with Jonathan Mack, Janet Smith and Ruthann Lovetang. He has appeared as Baritone soloist with the Consort Chorale, the Sonoma County Bach Choir and the Redwood Empire Sing-Along Messiah.