See also this video from our performance at San Francisco Conservatory in March, 2013
Course Number: Music 144
Marika Kuzma, director
Ursula Kwong-Brown, assistant director
Masis Parunyan, administrative assistant
Tutti rehearsals: Tuesdays/Thursdays 5-6:30, Hertz Hall stage
Sectionals: one Wednesday session per week either 5-6 or 6-7 TBA, 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 Marika Kuzma, 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 (Vaughan Williams Flos campi). Its concerts have met with enthusiastic audiences and reviews from the local press. "The University Chorus is "very impressive in sonority, quality of tone and expressiveness." (SF Chronicle) Last year's collaboration with Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra from Venezuela was a resounding success as were our sold-out performances of Beethoven 9th Symphony with the UC Symphony.
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 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.
All singer-musicians must audition in order to be admitted to the University Chorus. Singers auditioning for either University Chorus or Chamber Chorus are expected to bring a song of their choice: you must have a song in mind. You may bring a piece to sing a cappella. You may also bring a pre-recorded accompaniment or bring your own accompanist. After you sing your prepared piece, we will take you through a series of vocalizes to determine your range and a series of vocalises to determine your musical ear and sight-singing skills. We will evaluate all of your skills as a composite. Typically, our singers have significant musical and choral experience. Sometimes singers with excellent ears and pleasant voices but less developed sight-reading are accepted. Sometimes singers with l ittle vocal experience but excellent musicianship skills are accepted. Whatever your level of skill, we will help you find a singing home on campus.
- Verdi, Requiem, "Tuba mirum" with the UC Alumni Chorus
Recorded live, Hertz Hall, Spring 1999
- Malkin-Stillwater, Benediction with the UC Chamber Chorus
Recorded live, Hertz Hall
In memoriam 9-11 concert, Fall 2002
- J.S. Bach, Matthäus-Passion, Movt. 1 excerpt with baroque orchestra
Recorded live, Hertz Hall, Spring 2006
- Mendelssohn, Elijah, Movt. 15
Recorded live, Hertz Hall, Fall 2006
- November 10, 7:30 pm, First Congregational Church
Duruflé Requiem with organist Jonathan Dimmock, led by guest director Li-Wen Monk.
Combined concert with the UC Chamber Chorus.
- December 4, noon concert, Hertz Hall
Handel Messiah, Part I, with baroque orchestra and student soloists,
Led by Marika Kuzma.
- December 8, 3pm, Orinda Community Church
Handel Messiah, Part I, repeat performance with student soloists and organ at 10 Irwin Way, Orinda, (925) 254-4906
Tickets available at the door on day of concert. This second performance is a fundraiser for the upcoming UC Chamber Chorus trip to perform at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, New York
For more information, see our events calendar