Resonance: First Church Berkeley Performances

Join us for our sixth season of memorable concerts!


From a family-friendly Blessing of the Animals to Johann Sebastian Bach's monumental Goldberg Variations, enjoy world-class performances right here in the East Bay. Buy tickets for the entire season here!


Blessing of the Animals: (Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 · 11:00 a.m.) Join First Church Berkeley for our annual, family-friendly Blessing of the Animals — bring a picnic blanket for a morning of fun! The festivities will begin at 11:00 a.m. with a free performance of Maurice Ravel's Mother Goose Suite with pianists Kelly Savage and Derek Tam! Then join us for a short blessing of your pet in honor of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals.


Beethoven at 250: (Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 · 8:00 p.m.) Get a head start on celebrating the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth! Acclaimed Seattle-based violinist Ingrid Matthews (“one of the lights on early music’s international circuit”; San Francisco Chronicle) and fortepianist Derek Tam come together for an evening of the composer’s most cherished works, performed on period instruments.


First Church Festival Chorus presents Duruflé Requiem: (Friday, Jan. 31, 2020 · 8:00 p.m.) One of the most transcendent works of the 20th century choral repertoire, Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem draws upon the ancient traditions of plainchant to create a timeless masterpiece, at once ancient and modern. The First Church Festival Chorus — an annual gathering of 60-80 singers from the Bay Area and beyond — will perform this work along with the composer’s Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens.

To learn more about joining the First Church Festival Chorus, scroll down to fill out the registration form or click here:


Goldberg Variations: (Friday, March 27, 2020 · 8:00 p.m.) A summit of the keyboard literature, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations have become infamous for their breadth of invention, monumental structure, and technical demands. Celebrate Bach’s 335th birthday with a performance of the Goldberg Variations, which start and end with the same simple aria but showcase the emotional depth and intellectual breadth of the composer in the thirty variations between.





In 2014, First Church Berkeley, a premier venue for music performance in the East Bay, created its own exciting series of chamber and orchestral music concerts. Now in its sixth season, Resonance @ First Church has become a mainstay of the East Bay artistic calendar.


Music has always been an important part of the life of First Church. It touches the soul and gives sound and voice to ineffable mystery. We sing together and share our musical gifts. We also delight in the special talents of artists from within our community and beyond.


Derek Tam, First Church's Director of Music, curates this exciting series.


First Church is on the south side of the UC Berkeley campus, just west of Telegraph Avenue. It is a few blocks from the Downtown Berkeley BART and is accessible by several bus lines. Some paid parking is available in the church parking lot. Directions to the church and public transportation information...


$25 for general seating
$20 for seniors (65 and over) 
$15 for students, children under 18 and First Church members


Tickets for individual events are available at from First Church's Brown Paper Tickets site or by calling the church at (510) 848-3696. You may also purchase tickets at the door.


Our past seasons include:


2018-19: Costanoan Trio | Carnival of the Animals | Ars Minerva · Ifigenia in Aulide | First Church Festival Chorus · Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem & Serenade to Music | Derek Tam, fortepiano | Elizabeth Forsyth, organ

2017-18: Mozart for Friends | Jason Chu | Mya Byrne | First Church Festival Chorus · Brahms Requiem | Peter and the Wolf | Sylvestris Quartet | MUSA · The Birth of the String Symphony

2016-17: First Church Festival Chorus · Carmina Burana | Salisbury Cathedral Choir | Ja Ronn & FLOW

2015-16: MUSA · Brandenburg Concertos | Kyle Stegall, tenor | Andrew Jamieson & Trouble Ensemble | First Church Festival Chorus · Fauré Requiem

2014-15: Derek Tam, harpsichord | Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time | French Baroque | First Church Festival Chorus · Vivaldi Gloria