Soli Deo Gloria is a San Francisco Bay Area SATB choir for experienced singers with a family-like atmosphere dedicated to the joy of performing a variety of masterworks of the sacred repertoire, mostly with orchestra. The choir’s membership is drawn from six Bay Area counties and rehearses in Alameda. SDG has been singing top-quality sacred choral music since 1975 and been conducted by Allen H Simon since 1991.

View our 2023-24 concert season!

We’re looking for a few good new singers. Are you interested in singing with a community group who enjoys working together to sing great music? Come give us a try!

Artistic Director Allen H Simon has conducted Soli Deo Gloria since 1991 and will be retiring following the 2023-2024 concert season. Dr. Simon holds advanced degrees from Westminster Choir College and the University of Arizona, and has studied with Joseph Flummerfelt, Frauke Haasemann, Maurice Skones, and Helmuth Rilling. In addition to his work with SDG, he has taught voice, theory and conducting at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, coached high school students in Peninsula Teen Opera, and been a guest conductor for numerous choirs in the Bay Area. Dr. Simon just retired as a director for the Silicon Valley Boychoir.

Starting with the 2024-2025 season, we are excited to welcome our new musical director, Julia Morris.

Julia Morris’ experience as a conductor includes leadership of community, collegiate, church, high school, and children’s choirs of varying levels and sizes. From 2018-2021, she served as Assistant Conductor to Ming Luke and the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra (BCCO). Under Ming’s guidance she has learned that “correct” choral singing only becomes “great” choral singing when the conductor allows their ensemble to develop and understand the emotional intention of a piece. To this aim, they would discuss the composer and stylistic expectations of the era; the meaning behind the text; the personal or contemporary world events that may have sparked or influenced the composition; and how they might interpret the work within a modern context to resonate with singers today. After these discussions with the chorus, there was a discernible conviction in their performance which was not there before.

During her graduate program at the University of Michigan (M.M. choral conducting, received April 2023), Dr. Eugene Rogers encouraged students to explore much of the same thinking. While at U-Michigan, she directed several collegiate choruses, most notably Orpheus Singers (OS), a ~24-voice SATB auditioned “lab chorus” for the Choral Conducting Studio. OS performed music from a variety of eras and styles. When OS prepared choral-orchestral masterworks, she worked in tandem with her conducting colleagues to hire and rehearse a chamber orchestra to join them in performance. Dr. Rogers honed their rehearsal technique, conducting gesture, and musical interpretation while encouraging them to pursue the deeper meaning in each work: what is the emotional crux of the work, how is it relevant to our modern singers and audience members, and how can they completely embody the musical essence of the work in the performance?

Currently as Artistic Director of the Vallejo Choral Society, this thread of musical curiosity leads every choice she makes. She aspires to curate thoughtful musical programs that includes music from a variety of genres and styles, from choral-orchestral masterworks to Renaissance polyphony, from contemporary choral works to choral music outside the traditional canon, and most everything in between. As a vocalist herself, she approaches choral rehearsals with great attention to vocal technique and awareness of the text. But ultimately, her goal as a conductor is to inspire her musicians to reach their full potential, both as artists and human beings by digging deep into the music beyond notes and rhythms.

Join Us!

If you live in Alameda, Oakland, or Berkeley, or elsewhere in the East Bay this choir is particularly convenient. Consider joining us for our next program!