San Diego's Premiere Professional Choir Amplifies Voices Of Women & Composers From Diverse Cultural Backgrounds Inbox

SACRA/PROFANA redefines choral music by combining technical mastery with a dedication to diversity and inclusion in choral repertoire, and an eye toward social justice.

By: Sep. 07, 2023

SACRA/PROFANA, San Diego's premiere professional vocal ensemble, has announced the concerts for their 15th Season melding vocal mastery with a social justice ethos. 

Helmed by artistic director Juan Carlos Acosta, SACRA/PROFANA is acclaimed for its musical diversity; merging pop, classical, and contemporary music with its commitment to amplify the artistic voices of women, and individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds, alongside traditional works. 

The series of five concerts themed A Love That Lifts Up will be performed at venues across the San Diego region beginning Sunday, Sept. 17. Each concert invites social justice consideration inspired by some of the brightest composers of our time. Some of the concerts are underwritten allowing access to the inspiring world of choral music at no cost.

“Our programs this year grapple with loss, dark times, the environment, racial equality, perseverance in the face of hate, and the struggle for community,” said Acosta.  “And yet undergirding all of this is a message of hope and love. In each of the programs this season we hope to show that although a better and brighter day is on the horizon, we cannot sit idly by.”

SEASON 15: A Love That Lifts Up



The End Is The Beginning

Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, 3:00 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church

320 Date St, San Diego, CA 92101

Free admission

Opening its 15th season, SACRA/PROFANA examines the profound universal emotions that shape our understanding of love, life, and resilience. Composer Dale Trumbore is a master of subjects that are simultaneously introspective and generous. Using texts by three contemporary American poets, her secular requiem, “How to Go On,” explores our relationship to life and loss, ultimately finding beauty and release in the embrace of everyday life. 

Herbert Howells' 20th-century masterpiece, “Requiem,” offers a deeply personal interpretation of navigating life's farewells. Despite being completed in 1932, the work remained unnoticed until its premiere in 1980, making it a hidden gem. Once unveiled, the piece gained the appreciation it deserves, showcasing Howell's unique voice and emotional depth.

Dedication: The End Is The Beginning is dedicated to our homeless neighbors who have died on the streets of San Diego in the past year.

A Light in the Darkness

Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, 7:00 p.m.  

Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church

3459 Manchester Ave, Cardiff, CA 92007

Tickets: Advanced Reserved: $35/Adult, $30/Senior & Military, $20/Students.

General Admission: $25/Adult, $20/Senior & Military, $10/Students

Available at Click Here.

As winter solstice approaches, SACRA/PROFANA diverges from the traditional yuletide program to present a transcendent musical experience celebrating peace on earth and the power of light to pierce the darkest nights. Immerse yourself in an evening of enchanting voices and triumphant brass that invites you to reflect on the shifting balance and profound symbolism of the shortest day of the year. 

Includes "Dona Nobis Pacem" by Ralph Vaughan Williams in a new chamber orchestration, as well as seasonal contemporary works focusing on themes of peace on earth.

The Hope of Loving

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, 3:00 p.m.

Christ United Presbyterian Church

3025 Fir St, San Diego, CA 92102

Tickets: Advanced Reserved: $35/Adult, $30/Senior & Military, $20/Students.

General Admission: $25/Adult, $20/Senior & Military, $10/Students

Available at Click Here.

Inspired by the work of prominent civil rights and social justice luminaries such as Martin Luther King Jr., Mary McLeod Bethune, and James Baldwin, The Hope of Loving features pieces that remind us that the struggle toward equality, compassion, and change goes on. The choice of hope and love over despair and hate is a daily one, and the responsibility lies within each of us to uplift the collective cause. 

Includes the “Mary McLeod Bethune Suite” by Judie Batie, “To the Hands” by Caroline Shaw, and “Sign Me Up” by Brandon Boyd among others.

Cathedral of Trees

Saturday, Apr. 20, 2024, 7:00 p.m. 

St. Markʼs United Methodist Church

3502 Clairemont Dr, San Diego, CA 92117

Tickets: Advanced Reserved: $35/Adult, $30/Senior & Military, $20/Students.

General Admission: $25/Adult, $20/Senior & Military, $10/Students

Available at Click Here.

Celebrating the beauty of our natural world, this program explores choral artistry rooted in nature and reaching toward the heavens. Selections include some of today's most prominent composers, as well as emerging voices in the field. Together, we turn our gaze upward and imagine the possibilities of living in harmonious coexistence with nature. 

Musical selections include Crescent Meadow by Nell Shaw Cohen, At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners by Williametta Spencer, and Polar Eufori by Kim Andre Arnesen.

A Space to Belong

A World Premiere

Saturday, Jun. 1, 2024, 7:00 p.m.

St. Paulʼs Episcopal Cathedral

2728 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

Tickets: Advanced Reserved: $35/Adult, $30/Senior & Military, $20/Students.

General Admission: $25/Adult, $20/Senior & Military, $10/Students

Available at Click Here.

Don't miss the world premiere of “Queer Spaces” by composer and San Diego native Dr. Cory Hibbs. Devised as a season-long collaborative project, "Queer Spaces" is a multi-movement choral work drawing from the personal narratives of the composer, choir members, and members of the queer community, exploring the significance of safe spaces to the survival of any marginalized community. Additional selections consider themes of identity, belonging, resilience, and recognizing commonality in the "other."

Includes Can You See by Zanaida Robles, Brothers by Carl M. Steubing, and All of Us (from Considering Matthew Shepherd) by Craig Hella Johnson.

Tickets: Advanced Reserved: $35/Adult, $30/Senior & Military, $20/Students.

General Admission: $25/Adult, $20/Senior & Military, $10/Students

Available at Click Here.

SACRA/PROFANA awakens and nurtures enthusiasm for the choral art through vibrant performances and focused education outreach. A debut album, “Elegies & Ecstasies,” was released in 2012, and in 2014 SACRA/PROFANA produced the world premiere recording of “when we were children” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang, available on the Cantaloupe Music record label. Their second album, “A Longing for Christmas” was released in 2021.

SACRA/PROFANA has accomplished remarkable things in 14 previous seasons, including numerous world and U.S. premieres and collaborations with leading regional arts organizations: San Diego Symphony, Art of Elan, San Diego Opera, California Ballet, and many more. SACRA/PROFANA has also performed with many artists of worldwide renown, including the legendary Irish band the Chieftains, Producer Carlton Cuse (of ABC's hit show Lost), composer Michael Giacchino (Star Trek), and composer Alan Menken and Lyricist Stephen Schwartz in the development of Disney Theatrical's “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” at La Jolla Playhouse.

Some of the highlights from SACRA/PROFANA's last season include performing the trailer for Amazon Pictures' “Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power” at Comic-Con 2022. In its final concert of the season, SACRA/PROFANA presented the world premiere performance of the complete song cycle of Amy Gordon's “Songs of Hope in Strange Times.” SACRA/PROFANA was also honored to receive the 2023 Chorus America Education and Community Engagement Award.

Season 15 promises continued innovative choral programming, renewed collaborations with local and regional artists/groups, and service to the surrounding community through unforgettable performances and education programs that change choral students' lives.

For more information, visit



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