The SACRA/PROFANA choral group.

SACRA/PROFANA, San Diego’s most eclectic vocal performance ensemble, opens its 11th season this month with a program of contemporary American choral music.

The program “Looking Back: American Mavericks” focuses on American choral music’s breakout from European traditions, with 20th century works by Alice Parker, William Schuman, Earl Kim and Dominick Argento. Three of the four pieces will be heard for the first time in San Diego.

The opening concert is at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, at Christ Lutheran Church, 4761 Cass Street in Pacific Beach.

Four more concerts are planned in a season whose theme is “Moving Forward,” reflecting the group’s commitment to contemporary composers and new music while also highlighting some of the musical pioneers of the past

“Coming out of our tenth anniversary season provides an opportunity to think about what comes next,” said Artistic Director Juan Carlos Acosta. “It is a cliché that ‘time waits for no one,’ and yet time keeps moving on with or without us. It is impossible to think about what comes next without thinking about what has already come.”

Additional concerts in the ensemble’s season are:

December Holiday Concerts — SACRA/PROFANA performs familiar carols in new settings, as well as new takes on ancient hymns and texts. The concerts are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec 13, at First Unitarian Universalist Church in Hillcrest and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15, at San Marcos Lutheran Church.

Music as Social Change — Concerts featuring arrangements of socially aware pop music from the 1960s to the present day, as well as choral music that is commentary on the issues of our times. The concerts are at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7, at Water’s Edge Faith Community, and the same time on Saturday, Feb 8, at First Unitarian Universalist Church.

Looking Up — Music about about stars, planets, galaxies and other celestial bodies, reflecting the passage of time and featuring some of the bright young stars of choral music today. The concert is at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, at St. James By-the-Sea Episcopal Church in La Jolla.

Moving Forward: How to Go On — The San Diego premiere of Dale Trumbore’s secular requiem “How to Go On.” This work for a cappella chorus and soloists asks how we each confront our own mortality after a loss, and how, in the face of that knowledge, we bring quiet grace back into our daily lives. The concert is at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, at Christ Lutheran Church.

Advance tickets are available online with reserved seats are $20 to $35 and general admission is $10 to $25. Prices are higher at the door.

SACRA/PROFANA has collaborated with the San Diego Symphony, Art of Élan, San Diego Opera and the California Ballet, as well as many individual artists. Its performances are sponsored in part by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the California Arts Council.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.