SMS offers profound thanks to the numerous guest directors who have conducted the choir and broadened our outlook to include new styles of music and fresh insights on music long cherished. These include Joseph Jennings, Perla Warren, Moses Hogan, Maria Guinand, Oscar Escalada, Brian Stratton, Alice Parker, and Vance George. We are also grateful to the numerous individuals and ensembles with whom we have had the opportunity to collaborate who have made us stronger and deepened our understanding of the arts community. These include the Boston Pops, Camellia Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, Sacramento Youth Symphony, Lynn Stevens and the Sacramento Children’s Chorus, James Wheatley and Celebration Arts, Linda Goodrich and the Sacramento Black Art of Dance, Sacramento Opera, Gershwin expert and pianist Richard Glazier, the Folsom Symphony, Sacramento State Percussion Group under Daniel Kennedy, Distant Oaks, American River College Choirs, Folsom Symphony, and Celtic music duo Men of Worth.
SMS has performed many area premieres such as the Robert D. Levin completion of the Mozart Requiem and the Alfred Schnittke Requiem. We have commissioned and performed new works such as Elements by David O, If Music Be the Food of Love by Clifford Shockney, and How Can I Keep From Singing? by Larry Shackley. To mark Dr. Hughes’ 30th year as director of the choir, the board commissioned Larry Shackley of South Carolina, Dr. Jared Pierce (a former bass with SMS) of Utah, and Ken Medema of Michigan to create pieces in his honor in 2016. Poetry by local Sacramentans James DenBoer – The Concert, Sally Worthing – Sacramento, Gilda Taffet – Finale and Elli Johnston – Look to Where the Rivers Meet (Johnson is also a soprano with SMS) was set by Shackley and Medema. We often contract with instrumentalists to provide additional accompaniment, including such outstanding performers as Grammy award winning Native American flutist Mary Youngblood.