SFGC Announces Partnership with Tokyo Gamine



San Francisco, CA – September 12, 2018 – The San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC) today announced, as part of its 40th Anniversary, 2018–2019 Concert Season, an innovative new partnership with leading San Francisco fashion impresario Yuka Uehara and her company, Tokyo Gamine. Under this new partnership, Uehara will dress SFGC’s GRAMMY Award-winning Premier Ensemble for all concerts and touring projects, with her trailblazing work as a fashion designer, visual artist, and young female entrepreneur featured prominently throughout SFGC’s season.

Uehara has created a new pair of concert outfits – a dress and pantsuit – for the Premier Ensemble. Reflecting Uehara’s unmistakable style as well as influences from SFGC’s 40-year history and season programming, the outfits are designed to be worn together and will debut for the opening concert of SFGC’s San Francisco subscription series on Thursday, October 18, 2018, at Herbst Theatre. These outfits will be the exclusive garments worn by the Premier Ensemble for all of its public performances in the Bay Area this season and on its July 2019 international tour to England and France. The outfits similarly feature a sleek, contemporary black base garment that is adorned with removable embellishments created by Uehara from an original painting inspired by the power, beauty, and virtuosity of SFGC’s young women and the specific musical works featured on SFGC’s 2018–2019 Season. Each season, Uehara will paint a new work based on the season’s themes and concert programs that will again be transferred to fabric and used to create new embellishments.

“The San Francisco Girls Chorus is an organization dedicated to empowerment through excellence, innovation, and creative programming,” said SFGC Executive Director J. Andrew Bradford. “For a number of years now, we have longed to perform in a concert outfit that doesn’t just complement the music we sing, but actually reflects our ethos and values. Yuka Uehara has made this dream a reality for us and is, herself, an embodiment of these very qualities.”
Yuka Uehara added, “This partnership is a dream come true. My creativity has typically revolved around emphasizing the individual. With this project, I have been given the opportunity to design for the San Francisco Girls Chorus, taking into consideration how the ensemble looks as a unified group, while also celebrating the uniqueness and individuality of each chorister. I was inspired by each of these talented, young women and this exciting project has allowed me to bring together the worlds of fashion, visual arts, and music.”


In addition to the concert outfits, SFGC will showcase Uehara’s visual art in marketing collateral and on the walls of its Page Street home, the Kanbar Performing Arts Center, this season. The original work of art that will serve as the basis for the removable outfit embellishments will be auctioned at SFGC’s 40th Anniversary Gala on Friday, March 15, 2019 at the Julia Morgan Ballroom to raise funds for SFGC’s Need-Based Scholarship Program. Tokyo Gamine will also dress SFGC Artistic Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe for the season-opening performance.
For more information on this partnership, please visit sfgirlschorus.org.

For more information on Yuka Uehara and Tokyo Gamine, please visit tokyogamine.net.

About the San Francisco Girls Chorus
Stunning range, flexibility, drama, and power are among the hallmarks of the 40-year-old San Francisco Girls Chorus, recognized as one of the world’s premier youth vocal ensembles. Led by Artistic Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe, SFGC has achieved an incomparable sound that underscores the unique clarity and force of impeccably trained treble voices.
Recent performance highlights include debuts in February 2018 at Carnegie Hall with Philip Glass in a remounting of the composer’s 1971 work, Music With Changing Parts, and in April 2017 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with The Knights for the 2017 SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras; tours to the Nordic countries and Cuba; and the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama. SFGC presents an annual Bay Area subscription series and will collaborate this season with leading arts organizations including the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, Kronos Quartet, Opera Parallèle, and the Copenhagen Girls Choir.
Praised by Gramophone Magazine as a “remarkable tapestry of teenage voices,” SFGC has been a champion of the music of our time since its founding, having commissioned more than three dozen works by leading composers including Philip Glass, Richard Danielpour, Aaron Jay Kernis, Gabriel Kahane, Augusta Read Thomas, Lisa Bielawa, and Chen Yi. In February 2018, the ensemble released its newest album, Final Answer, on Philip Glass’s Orange Mountain Music label, which features seven world premiere recordings and commissions for or by the chorus. SFGC’s performance and recording activities have garnered five GRAMMY Awards and four ASCAP/Chorus America Awards for Adventurous Programming.

SFGC operates a Chorus School, which annually trains more than 250 young women, ages 4-18, in the art of choral singing and has been called “a model in the country for training girls’ voices” by the California Arts Council, and owns the Kanbar Performing Arts Center, a six-story hub for the arts in San Francisco’s Civic Center district that annually serves more than 30 arts organizations. For more information, visit sfgirlschorus.org.

About Yuka Uehara/Tokyo Gamine
Yuka Uehara is a Japanese-born, San Francisco-based fashion designer. Formerly a medical student, Uehara began working in design when her father, filmmaker Ryuji Fukuyama, hired her to work in the costume department of his productions. She has been working in fashion ever since, teaching herself both design and craft. Film and storytelling still inform her creative practice as she is a firm believer in the relationship between costume and character. She has said, "Fashion sends a message about who you are and where you come from." It is for that reason that Uehara has a close bond with her clients, making items that work in harmony with their personas and strengthening their individual narrative. "Every woman is the protagonist of her own story. Fashion is there to encourage that. "This dedication to personal expression and empowerment is reflected in Uehara's craft. She has developed a largely instinctual work process and creates by manipulating her materials directly through painting and hand-sewing. Her items are a mix of contemporary artistry and traditional craftsmanship with each piece becoming its own work of art, integrating fashion, sculpture, and painting.

Yuka Uehara with Chorus Dress and Pantsuit / Richard Van
Original Painting by Yuka Uehara / Yuka Uehara

Brenden Guy
Marketing & Public Relations Consultant