ALAMEDA -- Opera star Frederica von Stade will perform at Saint Mary's College Chapel on Friday to raise funds for St. Martin de Porres Elementary School in West and North Oakland.
Other performers include Saint Mary's College Chamber Singers, violinists from St. Martin de Porris, soprano Christie Lee Peterson and tenor Sydney Wagland.
Von Stade, a renowned mezzo-soprano and Alameda resident, has been on the board of the school for several years and has helped boost its music and arts programs. With her support, the St. Martin de Porres choir recently participated in "Angel Heart," a multimedia musical production staged as part of Cal Performance at UC Berkeley.
"I'm such a believer in music as a way to change lives, show students what they can learn and watch them thrive," von Stade said. "It's such a great way to teach concentration and give kids the ability hear the beauty of sound and what they can do."
The program for tonight's concert includes music by Handel, Mozart and Puccini, along with several spiritual tunes. A highlight will be the singing of "Habanera" from Georges Bizet's popular opera Carmen.
Von Stade "walked into the chapel, and said she would love to sing in such a beautiful venue," said Ann Magovern, president of St. Martin de Porres. "This will be her first concert there."
Through different programs at Saint Mary's College of California, many young adults have been able to volunteer and tutor at St. Martin de Porres, which has about 200 mainly low-income students.
"We've been involved with the school for 10 years through various partnerships," said Carole Swain, vice president for mission at Saint Mary's College.
Tonight's concert is "very exciting" for the students at both schools, Swain said.
"We are thrilled that our choir will be singing with Frederica," Swain said. "We have a shared vision, so this event should be fantastic."
What: Frederica von Stade concert for St. Martin de Porres Tuition Fund
Where: Saint Mary's College Chapel, 1928 St. Mary's Road, Moraga
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday; reception at 6 p.m.
Cost: all donations accepted
Information: 510-832-1757, ext. 12