As a conductor, Derek Tam appears frequently with choral and orchestral ensembles, serving as assistant conductor with Symphony Napa Valley. As the assistant conductor of the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra (BCCO), a 210-voice ensemble, he works with the full chorus, conducts a 30-voice chamber ensemble, and rehearsed the chorus on their recent tour to Central Europe, the first in the group’s history. Derek was recently appointed Director of Music at First Congregational Church of Berkeley, and was formerly artistic director of Opus Q, a men’s vocal ensemble and music director at Bethany Presbyterian Church in San Bruno.
In addition to his conducting career, Derek is a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist on various historical keyboards, from the harpsichord and fortepiano to the modern concert grand. As a historical keyboardist, he often presents solo recitals throughout the Bay Area and is a founding member of MUSA, a San Francisco-based Baroque ensemble. He also performs regularly with the Alchemy Trio, which performs a broad range of repertoire on period-appropriate instruments. He is associated with Benvenue House Concerts, where he is involved in outreach and performance through their apprenticeship program. Derek also collaborates frequently with singers in vocal recitals.
Derek is also committed to education and outreach. He is education coordinator for American Bach Soloists, one of the nation’s premier Baroque ensembles. As a conductor with the Star Valley Children’s Choir, based in Millbrae, he led the choir to a gold award — the highest possible rating — at the 2012 WorldStrides Heritage Musical Festival in Anaheim. He also played a major role in resurrecting the choral program at Berkeley High School, which had been nonexistent for the past decade. With the Berkeley Community Chamber Singers, he frequently leads outreach efforts to hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions.
Derek graduated cum laude from Yale, where his teachers included Elizabeth Parisot on piano, Jeffrey Douma in conducting and Ilya Poletaev on harpsichord and continuo.
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