Our Music Director, Sanford Dole
Sanford Dole has been music director at St. Gregory’s since January 1993. Starting with four stalwart individuals that first year, Sanford has developed a thriving community of singers who support the congregational singing as well as presenting three anthems during the 11:00 service year round. On a typical Sunday the choir numbers between 18-28 singers, expanding to 40 for Christmas and Easter. The choir is all-volunteer and open to everyone without auditions.
As part of the innovative, arts-centered practices at St. Gregory’s, Sanford has encouraged the creation of new music for use at the church. Over the years many have contributed new compositions, both for congregational use and anthems for the choir. Sanford himself has composed over 20 anthems and several liturgical settings including a complete set of service music for Eucharist titled “Harmony of Saints.”
In addition to his work at St. Gregory’s is Artistic Director of Bay Choral Guild, a 45-voice community choir based in Palo Alto, and of North Star Vocal Artists, a chamber choir in the North Bay that focuses on contemporary choral music. A native of Berkeley, California, he has spent his entire professional life involved in the Bay Area music scene. In addition to conducting the above groups, he has introduced many new works to local audiences with the Sanford Dole Ensemble, a professional ensemble involving both instruments and singers. A graduate of San Francisco Conservatory of Music with degrees in composition and conducting, he was a founding member of Chanticleer and has sung with the San Fransisco Symphony Chorus (23 seasons, including ten as assistant director), Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Chorale (10 seasons) along with countless other gigs. As a composer, he has been commissioned by Chanticleer, Pacific Edge Voices, CMASH, and the Oakland Symphony Chorus. Mostly self-published some of his works can be viewed/heard at SwirlyMusic.org.