Bay Area Regional Champions and national third-place winners of the 2007 Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, Solstice has enthralled audiences with their technically precise and passionate treatment of music for women’s voices since 1996. Each Solstice member brings her own musical tastes and talents to the group, which creates a diverse, dynamic repertoire. From Bartók to Björk, from Palestrina to Paul Simon, Solstice shares the music they love from around the world and through the ages. We are committed to performing new works for women's voices and regularly compose, commission, and arrange new songs.
Solstice has performed in many Bay Area venues including The Freight and Salvage, La Pena Cultural Center, the San Francisco Community Music Center, Music on the Hill, the Berkeley Arts Center, Trinity Chamber Concert Series, and Montalvo Arts Center. Solstice has also performed on KALW's Folk Music and Beyond On-Air Folk Festival. Solstice was a featured performer at the 2001 West Coast A Cappella Summit along with nationally known groups such as the Bobs and M-pact. At the 2007 San Francisco Regional Harmony Sweepstakes, Solstice was awarded 1st Place, and Becca Burrington’s arrangement of Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” won Best Original Arrangement. Solstice ranked 3rd at the 2007 Harmony Sweepstakes National Competition.
Solstice released their self-titled CD in February 2000, recorded at the Presidio Chapel in San Francisco. The CD includes music from eleven countries in nine different languages, spanning more than 900 years, and features original songs and arrangements. Primarily A Cappella called the recording "a thoughtful and intelligent debut." The album won critical acclaim and a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award for Best Folk/World Song nomination for Blood and Gold. Produced by Solstice.
Full Circle, released in 2004 and also recorded at the Presidio Chapel, has a wide range of material including the Macedonian folk song Shto Mi E Milo; the Cuban Bossa Cubana; Tracy Nelson's blues tune Down So Low; the soaring, tambourine-accompanied A Chantar; and the original wedding song by a founding member Sheryl Kaskowitz, I Carry Your Heart With Me. Primarily A Cappella reviewed the album as having "complex, difficult harmonies, well-chosen, rarely-heard selections, sung with spirit and joy by these six very talented women.” Produced by Jim Hale.
Rise, was recorded at Skyline Studios in Oakland and released in May, 2008. Rise continues the group's tradition of offering music from Palestrina to Paul Simon, in eight different languages. The album includes Becca Burrington’s award-winning arrangement of Joni Mitchell’s Blue, in addition to 3 nordic folksongs from Finno-Ugric Landscapes by Veljo Tormis. and Sara Webb-Schmitz’s arrangement of Hazel Dickens’ West Virginia, My Home. Produced by Jim Hale.
In response to multiple requests from our friends and fans, Winter Solstice, features a lovely mix of Winter and Holiday songs. Highlights include local composer Cortlandt Bender’s Rosa Mystica, Swedish carol Jul, jul strålande jul (by Gustaf Nordqvist, words by Edvard Evers), and 3 modern pieces with Medieval texts by Williametta Spencer. Produced by Solstice with help from Cort Bender.