Music has the power to soothe, excite, heal, motivate, and inspire us. Our guest speaker Conductor Michael Morgan, Musical Director of the Oakland Symphony, will share with us how music has the power to bring us together across all that can divide us. As a spiritually alive, radically inclusive, and justice-centered religious community, we will come together on this Stewardship Celebration Sunday and commit our annual pledges to the ongoing sacred project of nurturing a world where all people, regardless of anything, shall be together and know freedom and dignity. Laila Ibrahim will offer a story for all ages that acknowledges our Veterans. Charlotte Dickson will provide her stewardship testimony and we will be blessed by the presence of our children and youth. Crescendo Choir will weave holy rhythms that will hold all of our experiences. Come, come, whomever you are. Let us worship together.
Michael Morgan was born in Washington, DC, where he attended public schools and began conducting at the age of 12. While a student at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, he spent a summer at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, studying with Gunther Schuller and Seiji Ozawa. He first worked with Leonard Bernstein during that same summer.
His operatic debut was in 1982 at the Vienna State Opera, conducting Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio. In 1986, Sir Georg Solti chose him to become the Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for seven years under both Solti and Daniel Barenboim. In 1986, he was invited by Leonard Bernstein to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic. As a guest conductor, Morgan has appeared with most of America’s major orchestras, as well as the New York City Opera, St. Louis Opera Theater and Washington National Opera.
In addition to his duties with the Symphony since 1991, Maestro Morgan serves as Artistic Director of the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra, Music Director at Bear Valley Music Festival, and Music Director of Gateways Music Festival. He is Music Director Emeritus of the Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera and is on the boards of Oaktown Jazz Workshops, the Purple Silk Music Education Foundation, and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute.
In the summer of 2018, he led a national youth orchestra of students from El Sistema programs organized by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, sharing the concert with Gustavo Dudamel.