University Chorus

Please watch this video from our performance at San Francisco Conservatory in March, 2013.

Course Number: Music 144
Nikolas Nackley, director

Rehearsal schedule:
Tutti rehearsals: Tuesdays/Thursdays 5-6:30pm, Hertz Hall stage
Sectionals: one Wednesday session per week 5-6pm, Morrison 125

Description and History


The University Chorus is a select ensemble of approximately eighty singers open to all musicians in the campus community: undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff, community members. Acceptance into the chorus is by audition.

Sponsored by the Music Department, the chorus performs literature from the standard choral-orchestral repertoire to contemporary music. Along with concerts on campus under its director Nikolas Nackley, the chorus has been invited to perform with the Midsummer Mozart Festival under George Cleve (Beethoven Ninth Symphony), the Oakland-East Bay Symphony under Michael Morgan (Gershwin Porgy & Bess), and with the Berkeley Symphony under Kent Nagano and Joana Carneiro. Its concerts have met with enthusiastic  reviews from the local press. “The University Chorus is “very impressive in sonority, quality of tone and expressiveness.” (SF Chronicle). In 2011-12, the chorus collaborated with Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra from Venezuela was a resounding success and Beethoven 9th Symphony with the UCB Symphony. Last spring, the chorus sang Mahler 2nd Symphony with the UCBSO. All met with sold-out audiences. This coming year, the Chorus will perform Orff Carmina Burana in the Fall and Mozart Requiem in the Spring.

The goal of the University Chorus is to provide our singers and our audiences with a stimulating musical experience. In any four-year cycle, singers can expect to perform repertoire in a several languages and from various centuries. Each rehearsal involves a combination of vocal instruction, ensemble training, and musical interpretation. Singers can expect to be challenged and enriched in many ways over the course of each year. Whether they see music as their vocation or passionate avocation, most University Chorus alumni continue to sing well beyond their years at Cal and many are accepted into the most prestigious choirs around the globe.


Membership in the Chorus is open to all singer-musicians in the campus community: undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff, community members. Singers may receive University credit for their participation (Music 144, 2 credit hours per semester). Enrollment is not required but highly encouraged. Everyone — whether participating for credit or not — must audition. Regular attendance at rehearsals and participation in public performances is required. The University Chorus performs several times per semester at Hertz Hall and sometimes off campus, including noon concert and evening concerts.

Audition Information

All singer-musicians must audition in order to be admitted to the University Chorus. During the ten minute one-on-one audition session, singers auditioning for University Chorus will be asked to vocalize and sing scales with the director to demonstrate their range. Singers may be asked to read one or more short sight reading excerpts to determine musical ear and sight reading ability. We will evaluate all of your skills as a composite. Typically, our singers have significant musical and choral experience but this is not necessarily a prerequisite for admission into the ensemble. Sometimes singers with excellent ears and pleasant voices but less developed sight-reading are accepted. Sometimes singers with little vocal experience but excellent musicianship skills are accepted. Whatever your level of skill, we will help you find a singing home on campus.

U Chorus Auditions for Spring 2017 will be held on Tuesday 1/17 from 1-4pm in the Hertz Hall Green Room and Wednesday 1:30-4pm in the Hertz Hall Green Room.    Signup for auditions on the board outside of the Music Office on the first floor of Morrison Hall.  Students who are unable to attend an audition time are welcome to come to one of the first two rehearsals on either 1/17 or 1/19 and audition with the director following the rehearsal.

Music 150B auditions for the Spring 2017 Semester will be held at the above times.  Students interested in participating in 150B should sign up on for one of the times on the University Chorus audition sign-up sheet.

Audition information for all performance opportunities in the Music Department.

Sound Clips

Upcoming Performances

Friday, April 7, 8pm $16/12/5
University Chorus, Nikolas Nackley, directorUniversity Chorus
Nikolas Nackley, director
University Symphony Orchestra
David Milnes, music director
Contra Coast Wind Ensemble
Brad Hogarth, director
“The French Kiss of Death”
FAURE Requiem
BERLIOZ Grande Symphonie Funèbre et Triomphale
and pieces by Charpentier and de Lalande

For more information, see our events calendar

Please watch Making Music at Berkeley from Sade McDougal on Vimeo.

Past performances