Larry Marietta, Musical Director

In addition to leading Bella Musica Chorus, Larry Marietta is the Artistic Director of the San Francisco City Chorus and former Music Program Director of the First Congregational Church of Berkeley. On the Life Long Learning music faculty of Contra Costa Community College, he taught Introduction to Opera for 6 years. He continues to teach this class on a volunteer basis as part of the Community Outreach Ministry of Christ Lutheran Church in El Cerrito. A Bay Area resident since 1996, he maintains an active schedule as a voice teacher, vocal coach, adjudicator, and lecturer.

With degrees in Conducting and Organ and Vocal Performance, he has served on the voice and keyboard faculties of Carnegie Mellon (Guest Artist Lecturer) and West Virginia Universities (Piano/Organ; adjunct music faculty, Preparatory Department), and Washington & Jefferson (Director of Choral Activities), Chatham (College Organist), and Waynesburg Colleges (Piano/Organ; adjunct music faculty). His choral conducting studies include such distinguished teachers as Robert Fountain, Paul Salamunovich, Ann Jones, Margaret Hawkins, Robert Page, and Alan Harler.

John R. S. Walko, Accompanist

John Walko studied Theory and Composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, and Huntingdon College; he studied with Russian-American pianist Annette Freeze, Lithuanian pianist Andrius Kuprevicius, Russian pianist Tatyana Tsukanova, and Haitian pianist Liliane Quéstel; he studied Organ and Harpsichord with German organist/composer Dr. Harald Rohlig, and Gene Jarvis, and Organ with John Balka.  He coached with French organist Marie-Claire Alain and Hungarian pianist Lili Kraus, both internationally-renowned recording and performance artists.

John performed on location with the symphony orchestras of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Havana, Cuba, for the five-hour silent film Napoleon, to audiences of 30,000 people.  He worked with composer Carmine Coppola and director Francis Ford Coppola in the preparation of film scores, and can be heard accompanying the San Francisco Symphony Chorus in the Oscar-nominated film Godfather III.

John is Organist at San Francisco’s historic Calvary Presbyterian Church and at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor; in addition to Bella Musica, he currently accompanies the San Francisco City Chorus, and Diablo Choral Artists.  He has performed with Masterworks Chorale, Cantare Con Vivo, Baroque Choral Guild, San Francisco Boys Chorus, OAKE National Children’s Choir, and WomenSing, among many others.  John performed many solo recitals in the USA; also in Paris, Prague, and on the famed Riga Dom organ in Latvia.  John has lead many organist’s tours throughout France, Holland, England, and Switzerland.  He was the sole American adjudicator for the Bank District English/American Organ Festival Playing Competition in London.