The State Hornet

Sac State director of choral activities to retire after 33 years

Donald+Kendrick%2C+the+director+of+choral+activities+at+Sacramento+State%2C+rehearses+with+the+University+Choir+in+preparation+for+his+final+concert+with+the+University.+The+concert+will+be+on+Saturday%2C+May+12+at+8+p.m.+at+the+Sacramento+Community+Center+Theater.
Donald Kendrick, the director of choral activities at Sacramento State, rehearses with the University Choir in preparation for his final concert with the University. The concert will be on Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m. at the Sacramento Community Center Theater.

Donald Kendrick, the director of choral activities at Sacramento State, rehearses with the University Choir in preparation for his final concert with the University. The concert will be on Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m. at the Sacramento Community Center Theater.

Khanlin Rodgers - The State Hornet

Khanlin Rodgers - The State Hornet

Donald Kendrick, the director of choral activities at Sacramento State, rehearses with the University Choir in preparation for his final concert with the University. The concert will be on Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m. at the Sacramento Community Center Theater.

Clarissa Pacheco

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After 33 years at Sacramento State, Director of Choral Activities Donald Kendrick will soon direct his final concert.

His final production on May 12 at 8 p.m. at the Sacramento Community Center Theater will be his farewell and it will feature Sac State’s choir and the other choirs that he directs in the community. This concert is set to have over 325 people on stage, according to Kendrick, with the West Coast premiere of the piece “Jubilate!”

Kendrick has been surrounded by music since he was 6 years old. His father taught him to play the piano and shortly afterward, Kendrick began to sing for his church in Canada.

His love for music led him to pursue his bachelor’s degree in music at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and his master’s degree at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

After receiving his master’s degree, Kendrick landed his first teaching job at the University of Regina in Canada.

Kendrick then continued to study at Stanford University and later received his Ph.D. at the Eastman School of Music in New York. In 1985, he arrived at Sac State.

“I saw the job at Sac State and I applied,” Kendrick said. “I thought ‘Wow California! I would love to live in California again.’ ”

Kendrick said he has learned a lot about his students and that his goal is always to encourage them.

“Never give up — everything is possible through teamwork,” Kendrick said. “One of the things that I’ve tried to do is to inspire my students and to inspire our audiences with our choir; so that is my motto: ‘inspire before you expire.’ ”

Kendrick established the graduate program at Sac State in 1987 and has since had almost 40 students graduate through the program. Many of his students have gone to teach or pursue their doctorates.

“I’ve had so many wonderful students over the years,” Kendrick said. “Many of them have gone to have careers in music and that has been very rewarding for me.”

Some of his notable students, according to Kendrick, are Shawn Spiess, the choral director at Rocklin High School, and Stafford Herbert, the concert director at Sheldon High School in Sacramento.

Kendrick is the ultimate example of a hard-working professional musician,” Spiess said. “Kendrick’s leadership and willing to allow students to grow as professional colleagues has formed a model for me while working with my students.”

Herbert said that he is fortunate to have had Kendrick as his teacher in graduate school.

“Kendrick is at the core a brilliant musician,” Herbert said. “He is able to inspire his students by being at the top of his field, yet showing true enthusiasm for the achievements of his students.”

Kendrick will retire in June, but he will continue to be involved with Sacramento music. He will continue to direct the choirs at Sacred Heart Church and at the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra.

As Kendrick retires, he shares a message with his students.

“I hope that they’ll always keep music in their life, no matter what they do or what degree,” Kendrick said. “I hope that there will always be an opportunity for them to make music.”

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