Noe Valley Voice December-January 2004

Short Takes

College Classes Close to Home

For most folks in Noe Valley, City College classes are just a short walk away. That's because they're available at the school's Castro/Valencia Campus, known during the day as James Lick Middle School. The school is smack dab in the middle of the neighborhood at 1220 Noe Street near 25th Street.

City College of San Francisco is offering a full spectrum of for-credit courses during the upcoming semester, from languages to musical instruments to public speaking. Courses are held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and most classes meet once per week. Free parking is available in the school's lot, and the cost is $26 per credit unit.

The semester begins on Jan. 18, 2005, and wraps up just before Memorial Day, but staff at City College say December is the time for students who didn't attend class during the fall semester to complete their applications and choose their classes. To register online, visit; for more information, call 239-3000.

Latin Music Festival for Peace

Accion Latina, a Mission District nonprofit, is sponsoring its annual weekend of Latino music, Encuentro Del Canto Popular, Dec. 4 and 5 from 7 to 10 p.m. Latin musicians from around the world will converge to celebrate and commemorate their struggles, achievement, and spirit. The theme of the performances is "Arreglos de Paz: A Latino Quest for Peace in the Middle East."

The musicians slated to perform are all part of the social justice-oriented Nuevo Cancion musical tradition. Pioneer Gabino Palomares of Mexico and the Nicaraguan duo Guardabarranco headline this year's event. They're joined by Bay Area groups Caminante, Los Nadies, Palenque, and Los Mocosos. Together, these musicians all sing out in support of peace.

Both evenings of performance will be held at Brava Theater, located at 2781 24th Street near Bryant Street. Tickets are $20 general admission and $12 for students and seniors. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 648-1045.

Ludwig and the Night Visitors

The staff and students of San Francisco Community Music Center are busy fine-tuning an exciting series of concerts to be performed this month. Unless otherwise noted, all events will be held at CMC, located at 544 Capp Street between 20th and 21st streets.

On Sunday, Dec. 12, at 11:30 a.m., CMC hosts a holiday party complete with a visit from Santa Claus and treats for the kids. The Ina Chalis Opera Ensemble will perform a fully staged production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. Afterwards, Noe Valley resident Candy Forest will direct CMC's San Francisco Children's Chorus in a festive performance.

Las Posadas, the traditional Latino holiday play and celebration, returns to CMC for the third consecutive year at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 17. The free show features songs in Spanish and another performance by the Children's Chorus. Kids will particularly love the piñata filled with treats.

Ring in the new year with a two-day Beethoven Bash presented by Community Music Center conductor and music director Urs Leonhardt Steiner and the CMC Orchestra and Chorus. This fundraiser features Beethoven's famous Ninth Symphony, as well as a Tchaikovsky violin concerto performed by soloist James Dalhgren. The New Year's Eve performance happens at 9:15 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 31, at the Mission Presbyterian Church located at 3261 23rd Street. On New Year's Day, the Beethoven show moves to Mission Dolores Basilica at 3321 16th Street at 4 p.m. Tickets are $20.

To find out more about CMC's extensive concert lineup or to purchase tickets to the Bash, call 647-6015 or visit the center's web site,

Calling Teen Singers

While we're at Community Music Center, Noe Valley resident and conductor Candy Forest invites teens ages 13 to 17 to join her in a new singing class. CMC Teen Singers will meet at 544 Capp Street on Mondays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. beginning Jan. 3, 2005.

Forest says the class is a great way for musical teenagers to work in a small group with lots of individual attention. "The kids will get training in both vocal and performance technique," she notes. Class members will study pop, Broadway, and jazz styles. "We're going to have a lot of fun," says Forest.

Forest is known to many as the founder and director of the award-winning Singing Rainbow Youth Ensemble, which was active in Noe Valley and recorded several albums from 1986 until 1999. Forest is currently the director of CMC's San Francisco Children's Chorus. For more information on registration and auditions, call the Community Music Center at 647-6015.

Chewing the Fat at St. Luke's

If you've got questions about weight loss, St. Luke's Hospital hopes to provide some answers. Adam Brook, M.D., will host a free discussion about diets and the role of exercise and lifestyle in weight loss. Brook is the author of a forthcoming book on popular diets and nutrition (the name is still being formulated).

"He'll be talking about weight loss, obesity, and fad diets," says St. Luke's spokesperson Sarina Puri.

If anyone has the medical credentials for such a discussion, it's Brook. He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, and also holds a Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard University. He is an attending surgeon at St. Luke's.

Join him in the hospital's Griffin Room at 3555 Cesar Chavez Street near Valencia Street from 6 until 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 6.

This month's Short Takes were compiled and written by Erin O'Briant.