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Image for Let Us Break Bread Together – The Music of Earth, Wind & Fire
Let Us Break Bread Together – The Music of Earth, Wind & Fire
Sunday, December 11, 2022
Oakland Symphony presents

with a tribute to
The Music of Earth, Wind & Fire

Sunday, December 11, 2022 ∙ 4 pm
Paramount Theatre, Oakland


Welcome from the Executive Director

Thanksgiving. Christmas. Hanukkah. Kwanzaa. Winter Solstice. New Year. Chinese New Year.    

Whatever our holidays, at this time of year, Let Us Break Bread Together. The spirit of community is reflected in this most joyous concert of the Oakland Symphony’s season. Created by Michael Morgan, the tradition continues this year with a tribute to the music of Earth, Wind & Fire under the baton of Lenny Wee who has arranged music for the Super Bowl, the Grammys, the Emmys, for Disney, Jennifer Lopez, and so many others. We are delighted to welcome him to the Paramount Theatre stage.  

I want to remind you that you can next see the Oakland Symphony here at the Paramount Theatre on Friday, January 27th at 8:00pm for “Rooted in America.”  The concert continues the Orchestra’s survey of the works of Florence Price. Sara Davis Buechner returns to perform the too rarely encountered Second Rhapsody of George Gershwin. The concert, conducted by Andrew Grams, concludes with William Dawson’s stirring Negro Folk Symphony. This epic, powerful piece, was premiered in 1934 by no less than Leopold Stokowski and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Dawson’s symphony takes you from Africa to America, from despair to hope.  And it may be the greatest symphony you’ve likely never heard.

Oakland Symphony concerts continue in 2023 and feature dynamic conductors of the younger generation. On February 24, Vinay Parameswaran offers composers and works from California. On March 24, Joseph Young will conduct selections from Prokofiev’s passionate Romeo and Juliet. And on May 19, Tito Muñoz presents Songs of Protest – music by Beethoven, Barber and the premiere of a new work by Martin Rokeach, an Oakland Symphony commission, Bodies on the Line: The Great Flint Sit-Down Strike.

On behalf of the musicians, the board of directors, and the management team here at Oakland Symphony, we thank you for being here today. And best wishes for the holidays!

Dr. Mieko Hatano
Executive Director

Let Us Break Bread Together   Choral Arr. by Terrance Kelly
Orchestra Arr. by Ellen Hoffman

Combined Choruses, Oakland Symphony,
Terrance Kelly (vocalist), Ellen Hoffman (piano)

What Child Is This/Carol of the Bells  

William Chatterton Dix
Mykola Leontovych, Peter J. Wilhousky
Arr. by Lenny Wee

Oakland Symphony Chorus (a cappella)


Silent Night  

Franz Xaver Gruber, Joseph Mohr
Arr. by Claytoven Richardson

The Best Intentions, Lenny Wee band, Kev Choice (piano)



Philip Bailey, Charles Stepney, Maurice White
Arr. by Kev Choice

The Best Intentions, Oakland Symphony,
Lenny Wee band, Kev Choice (piano)


Mary Did You Know  

Buddy Greene, Mark Lowry 
Arr. by Lenny Wee

Stevie Mackey, Oakland Symphony,
Lenny Wee band, Kev Choice (piano)


Sleigh Ride  

Leroy Anderson

Madi Bayaca (guest youth conductor), Oakland Symphony


Shining Star  

Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, 
Maurice White / Arr. by Lenny Wee

Matthew Johnson, Oakland Symphony,
Lenny Wee band,
Kev Choice (piano)


Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas  

Hugh Martin
Arr. by Lenny Wee

Matthew Johnson, Oakland Symphony


Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah  

George Frideric Handel

Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir,
Oakland Symphony Chorus, Oakland Symphony




In The Stone  

Allee Willis, David Foster, Maurice White
Arr. by Lenny Wee

Matthew Johnson, Oakland Symphony,
Lenny Wee band, Kev Choice (piano)


Rudolph’s Mitzvah 



A Yiddish translation of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Translation copyright November, 2007 by David Rosenfeld, Gerry Tenny, Jewlia Eisenburg, Jason Ditzian, and KUGELPLEX


Lurker In The Night  

Dan Cantrell



Marriage of Santa Claus  

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Arr. by Dan Reiter

Oakland Symphony


O Holy Night  

Adolphe Adam, John Sullivan Dwight
Arr. by Terrance Kelly

Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Oakland Symphony


Medley: Fantasy, Boogie Wonderland  

Maurice White, Verdine White, Eddie del Barrio, Al McKay
Arr. by Lenny Wee

Stevie Mackey, Oakland Symphony, Lenny Wee band,
Kev Choice (piano)


September (Earth Wind & Fire)  

Al McKay, Maurice White,
Allee Willis / Arr. by Lenny Wee

Stevie Mackey, Matthew Johnson, Best Intentions,
Terrance Kelly, Combined Choruses, Oakland Symphony,
Lenny Wee band, Kev Choice (piano)

The 2022-2023 Season of Oakland Symphony is generously funded in part by the
East Bay Music Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation; the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; and supported by the Oakland City Council and funded by the City of Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program


Oakland Symphony Orchestra


Dawn Harms,

Emanuela Nikiforova,
Assistant Concertmaster

Deborah Spangler
Shawyon Malek-Salehi
Ilana Thomas
Kayo Miki
Elizabeth Rivard
Matthew Oshida


David Cheng,

Sharon Calonico,
Assistant Principal

Baker Peeples
Sergi Goldman-Hull
Brian Lee
Sarah Biagini
Sarah Elert


Betsy London,

Tilton Viola,
Assistant Principal

Linda Green
Colin Belisle
Lisa Ponton


Daniel Reiter,

Joseph Hebert,
Assistant Principal

Beth Vandervennet
Paul Rhodes
Elizabeth Struble


Alden Cohen,

Andy Butler,
Assistant Principal

Ben Tudor


Christy Kim,

Emma Moon


Robin May,

Cindy Behmer,


Diane Maltester,

Ginger Kroft


David Granger,

Carolyn Lockhart


Alicia Telford,

Alicia Mastromonaco
Mark Jansen
Ross Gershenson


Bill Harvey,

Leonard Ott
John Freeman


Thomas Hornig,

Katie Curran


David Ridge


Kevin Neuhoff,


Ward Spangler,

Allen Biggs
Mark Veregge


Jennifer Ellis,


Matthew Oshida


Paul Rhodes

Oakland Symphony Chorus

The Oakland Symphony Chorus enriches our community through high quality musical performances and educational workshops that raise appreciation and understanding of choral music, while providing performance opportunities for people who love to sing. Established in 1958, Oakland Symphony Chorus is one of the East Bay’s finest choirs, and a premier resource for continuing education in the choral arts. In June 2015, the chorus traveled to Budapest, Györ, Vienna, and Prague for its first international tour. The Chorus performs regularly with its partners, Oakland Symphony and Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra, as well as with a variety of other Bay Area orchestras. In June 2018, the Chorus toured Italy and gave concerts in Rome, Pisa, and San Marco Cathedral in Venice. In April 2019, the Chorus premiered a new choral orchestral work, Mass for Freedom, written by Bay Area composer Michael T. Roberts. This commissioned work used Spirituals (which became freedom songs in the 1960’s) as the source material.

Ash Walker, Chorus Director

Grammy-nominated conductor Ash Walker serves as Artistic Director of Pacific Edge Voices of Berkeley and as cantor and associate director of choirs at the Archdiocese Cathedral of St. Mary. He completed a Masters degree in choral conducting at California State University East Bay in 2017. While there, Walker won the Trustees Scholarship and on two occasions co-presented research at the American Choral Directors Association National Conference with his mentor Dr. Buddy James. 

A Philadelphia native, Walker began his musical career singing and touring internationally with the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale. He attended Millersville University of Pennsylvania, where he completed a B.A. in music. While an undergraduate, he co-founded and directed the Men’s Choir and served as vice president of the American Choral Directors Association, Lancaster Chapter.  

In 2009, Ash founded and served as Artistic Director of the ‘Music for Everyone’
Lancaster Community Chorus, an award-winning community choir open to singers of every age and stage, with a mission of cultivating the power of community and music in Lancaster City, Pennsylvania.

Oakland Symphony Chorus Roster


Kate Offer*
Molly Christiansen
Moana Fogg
Anna Mikkelborg
Phyllis Pennington-Kent
Abbie Rockwell
Hend Saaden


Lauren Carley*
Margaret Hegg
Karen Ivy
Jeanne Korn
Dawn Martin
Monique Stevenson
Ilona Turner



Lee Steward *
Phil Bowling-Dyer
Jim Hasler
Curtis Lawler
Barbara Miller
Ricardo Pastor
Ted Vorster


Jim Ahrens
Achi Ben Shalom
Wai-Pan Chan
Charlie Crane
Rick Diamond
Sheldon Greene
Karl Malamud-Roam
Joe Orr
Mark Slagle
Calvin Wall

Lindsay Rader, accompanist

*section leader

Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir

The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir weaves together a family of more than 55 singers from a wide range of faiths, races, and cultures—joined in the mission to inspire joy and unity in all people through Negro spirituals and black gospel music. The choir and its dynamic director, Terrance Kelly, have captivated audiences across the world, from Israel to Norway to Australia to the Deep South, but they always stay true to their Oakland roots. OIGC has been home to three choirs (nearly 200 singers) and in the summer of 2022 saw the acquisition of the Oakland Youth Chorus, expanding the total Oakland Interfaith community of choirs to six, and bolstering OIGC’s youth program and outreach.

Brenda Bailey Powell
Heather Figueroa
Jennifer Grace
Leola Clark
Linda Dorsey
Lynne Gurewitz
Meliney E. Brooks
Teresa Mack

Ashley Anderson
Cheryl Garner
Christine Miyashiro
Dawn Martin
Jennifer Little
Lindsay K. Elam
Loretta Winchester
Nina Pessin-Whedbee
Sharon P. Hymes-Offord



Daniel Strauss
Lara Hermanson
Manuel Mendoza
Maxwell Maynard
Michael Dicus
Patrick Siewe
Scott Meltzer
Tessa Loehwing

James Fisher
James Powell

Miles  Lathan
Tina Bryant


Terrance  Kelly, Artistic Director
Nevin Inthirath, Production Manager

The Best Intentions

Based in the Oakland-San Francisco bay area, “The Best Intentions”, a performing and recording group, is comprised of five talented vocalists, a Music Director, and a 8 piece band. Their unique harmonic, soulful tones and their smooth choreography, have come to be recognized as the signature of the group. Presenting the Original Motown Classics, Old School, and R&B sound from the 60’s. 70’s, 80’son up, has come to make them a household name among the baby boomers, as well as the new generation. The 100 years of combined experience within the group, brings a breath of fresh air to the listening audience that they perform to regularly all over the Western United States and Canada. As recording artists. they often include one of their original songs in their shows, pulling from their soon to be released C.D. entitled, ” NEVER TO LATE ” . Keeping the musical legacy alive of groups like the Temptations, Spinners, O’Jays, the Dells, etc. while creating their own sound of today, has them recognized and celebrated, as one of the Premier Vocal groups, in the Western United States and Canada. They are a must see.


Kugelplex is the West Coast’s rockin’-est purveyor of klezmer and old-world music. Formed in 2001, the group plays wild, soulful dance music at concerts, festivals and jewish lifecycle events throughout the United States. We’ve performed with Joan Baez, the Oakland Symphony, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir and Frank London, Linda Tillery, Jewlia Eisenberg, Nils Frykdahl, Kitka, Rumen Shopov, and other greats. Kugelplex has received awards from the Zellerbach Family Foundation and San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, and has been klezmer-band-in-residence with the Oakland Symphony for over a decade.

The ensemble features an all-star cast of Bay Area virtuoso musicians. Everyone in the ensemble tours internationally, performs/records with a wide range of bands, and then comes together as Kugelplex to play this music that we so deeply love. It is our mission to keep this old-world klezmer tradition thriving into the 21st century and beyond...


Dan Cantrell 
accordion & voice

Morgan Nilsen 

Lila Sklar 
violin & voice

Travis Hendrix

Michael Pinkham

Max Baloian