Robert Geary, founding Artistic Director of Volti, the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, and  the Golden Gate International Choral Festival, also serves as Artistic Director of the San Francisco Choral Society.  His multi-dimensional commitment to the choral arts over more than forty years has led him and his choirs to national and international prominence. Under his direction since its founding in 1979, Volti has become recognized as one of the most important and accomplished new music ensembles in the USA.

For 37 years, until stepping down as Artistic Director in 2019, Geary oversaw the development of the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, an innovative education and performance program whose record of success in competition is at the highest international standard.  With his guiding vision, the Golden Gate International Children’s and Youth Choral Festival has become part of the international choral environment, bringing thousands of young singers from dozens of countries to California for a thrilling series of performances and competitions.  For 28 years he has led the San Francisco Choral Society to a robust position as a keeper of the traditional repertoire and an innovative force in the commissioning and performance of new works for chorus and orchestra.

Recipient of awards for conducting in Germany and Poland, Geary has also received the KDFC Music Educator of the Year Award and the Lois Blair Rawlings Educational Inspiration Award. Most recently (2023) he received Chorus America’s Michael Korn Founders Award for a lifetime of significant contributions to the professional choral art.

Geary’s dedication to today’s choral music has encouraged the careers of several leading composers and has led to more than 200 new works.  He has served as a clinician internationally and he has conducted in dozens of countries. His choirs have performed with symphony orchestras and opera companies and for many musical conferences and festivals, both internationally and here in the United States, and can be heard on recordings with many labels. Geary has prepared choirs for leading conductors including JoAnn Falletta, Helmuth Rilling, Robert Shaw, Kurt Herbert Adler, Edo de Waart, Krzysztof Penderecki, Herbert Blomstedt, Dale Warland, Kent Nagano, Michael Morgan, Michael Tilson Thomas, Ludovic Morlot, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

BARBARA HEROUX joined Volti as Executive Director in 2008. She became General Director/Producer of San Francisco’s Lamplighters Music Theatre in 1999, served as their Artistic Director until 2013, and remains their Artistic Director Emerita and one of their principal stage directors. She has also directed for Midsummer Mozart, Berkeley Opera, Cinnabar Opera, Livermore Valley Opera, Broadway By the Bay, Diablo Light Opera Company, 42nd Street Moon, and other Bay Area companies, and has been one of the primary writers of the Lamplighters’ annual original-book musical “Galas” for more than twenty years. She is a former staff member of the San Francisco Symphony, and has also enjoyed/endured many past lives as a paralegal, insurance broker, software startup sales manager, and advertising copywriter. Also a singer and actress, she has received four Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle awards (one each as director and performer, two as playwright), as well as awards for Best Director and Best Production at the 1995 International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Buxton, England. She is a graduate of The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Mark Winges was born in Louisville, Kentucky,  and currently resides in San Francisco, where he has been resident composer / advisor for Volti since 1990. He was also composer-in-residence for the San Francisco Choral Artists in the 2012-13 season. He is a graduate of the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, SF State University, and has studied at the Musikhögskolan in Stockholm, Sweden with composer Arne Mellnäs.

Gramophone magazine has characterized his music as “stylistically adventurous in setting, but strongly beholden to conventional means.” SF Classical Voice describes him as “a composer with the skill and self-confidence to write music that is clear, direct, and at times even simple, but not at all simple-minded.” He has had residencies at the MacDowell Colony,  Fundación Valparaiso (Mojácar, Spain),  Ragdale Foundation and the Visby International Centre for Composers (Visby, Sweden).

Recent pieces include Spun Light, a “distanced” concerto written for Icelandic violinist  Hrabba Atladottir and the Left Coast Ensemble,  and Solstice Dreams, a work for large chamber ensemble premiered by Ensemble Ibis at the University of Miami. Upcoming is Adventure in the Air, a concerto for soprano saxophone and wind orchestra commissioned by a consortium of bands. The first performance took place in the fall of 2023 at Cornell University, with subsequent performances by other consortium members throughout 2024.

Sidney Chen is a multi-faceted musician who seeks to dissolve boundaries of all kinds through his work. He is passionate about using his “expressive and richly mellifluous” bass-baritone voice (San Francisco Chronicle) to support the creation of new work, in collaboration with artists of all disciplines.

Recent projects include touring with ODC/Dance as a guest performer in KT Nelson’s Path of Miracles, and creating roles in Anne Hege’s “laptopera” The Furies with SLOrk (Stanford Laptop Orchestra) and Lisa Mezzacappa’s serial podcast opera The Electronic Lover. As a member of composer/choreographer Meredith Monk’s Vocal Ensemble, he has performed internationally and recorded for ECM Records. At home in the Bay Area, he has appeared as a soloist with the Oakland and Golden Gate Symphony Orchestras, performed on SF Symphony’s American Mavericks Festival, and sings regularly with the nine-person chamber ensemble Clerestory. His solo creative projects tend towards quietness, detail, and sharpened focus, and often include his DIY music boxes, which have been featured in a SF Chronicle Sunday Datebook cover story. He has performed with Volti since 2000. 

PAUL G. MCCURDY, rehearsal pianist, is a teacher, coach, and pianist for Chabot College, Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, the Hamlin School, and A.C.T., as well as a frequent collaborator with Lamplighters Musical Theatre, the Oakland Gay Men’s Chorus, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He studied music at the University of Georgia and holds degrees in anthropology and German. In 2014 he recorded Mozart KLAR, an album of Mozart piano sonatas.



SUE BOHLIN, rehearsal pianist, enjoys a career as accompanist, freelance pianist, composer, vocal coach, and conductor. A music performance graduate of the Conservatory at University of the Pacific, she taught oboe at the National Conservatory in Mexico City and played with several orchestras. She was Music Director with George Coates Performance Works Theater for a decade, and she has toured and worked with Robert Geary’s choirs extensively since 1984. She founded and conducts the Anchor Bay Children’s Choir, and has written several pieces that have been published by Alliance Music and Santa Barbara Music.

P.O. Box 15576
San Francisco CA 94115