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Sierra Master Chorale Overview

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"Thank you InConcert Sierra (SMC) for another fabulous holiday concert.

The attention to detail, the gracious presentation and, of course, the music, music, music brings us back season after season.” - Tristan Berlund (2017)

Alison Skinner - Choral Director and Conductor

Alison Skinner, was appointed to the position of Sierra Master Chorale's director in January, 2019. She followed SMC's founding choral director Ken Hardin who stepped down from the podium following SMC's Holiday 2018 performances.

Alison grew up in California in a musical family, with many instrumentalists, singers and music appreciators.  Singing Christmas carols- in parts - was a family tradition at the holidays.  A third generation choral conductor (her grandmother and aunt before her), she has always felt like conducting is “home.” She started her musical training at the piano​ ​but quickly moved onto singing and has been singing in choirs since elementary school.  Alison sang with every conductor she could during her years growing up in Davis and graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a BA in vocal performance.  She then went on to study with Alan Harler at Temple University in Philadelphia, and earned a Master of Music degree in choral conducting from Temple.  Before returning to her hometown of Davis in 2008, Alison lived in Philadelphia where she was the Artistic Director of the Rainbow Chorale of Delaware, taught high school music at Germantown Friends School and was the assistant conductor of Philadelphia’s Choral Arts Society.


 Alison is also the Artistic Director of the Davis Chorale.  Aside from conducting choirs, she spends time with her children, hikes, swims and occasionally has time to cook.

“Alison has been more than we ever could have hoped for in a new director.

In the short time we’ve been with her the Sierra Master Chorale is, like the theme of our concert, coping, overcoming, and most of all, thriving. I hope I can sing under Alison for another 17 years.”  

–  Baritone Steve Nicholson

About the Chorale:

The 70-voice auditioned chorale was founded in 2008 and has established a reputation for providing outstanding performances to very enthusiastic audiences. SMC holds the distinction of being one of a very few high-caliber community choruses throughout the United States that always performs with the InConcert Sierra Orchestra comprised of local and regional professional musicians.

"Tonight’s ICS Christmas concert was the most wonderful one I have attended here!

The selections were fabulous (and probably difficult), the choir and orchestra were tops, and the directing was a delight to observe! Thank you for all the work you have given to this and for the very special concert!" 

– Nancy J (Holiday, 2019)

Vision Statement:

The Sierra Master Chorale is an auditioned group of singers who perform choral music of such wide variety and with such high quality that both the listening audience and the performers share a sense of great enjoyment and pride.

"With the phenomenal concert Saturday still in our hearts and minds, plus watching the Kennedy Center Awards the next night – this particular Holiday Weekend will always be in my list of “the top Five” in my many years!!!   Thank you EVERYONE who made this all possible!!" – Aileen James (2019)


The acoustically outstanding Seventh-day Adventist Church, 12889 Osborne Hill Road, Grass Valley, CA 95945

“A concert by the Sierra Master Chorale in the near-acoustically-perfect Grass Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church is something I always look forward to. And I’m sure there were many others who shared my feeling.”

– Dick Frantzreb

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