University Chorus

Featuring more than 50 members, the University Chorus celebrates classics and new music alike.

Background image: The University Chorus performs

University Chorus Information

Wei Cheng, Director

Course Number: Music 144

Rehearsal Schedule:

Tutti Rehearsals: TTh 5:00-6:30pm, Hertz Hall

Sectionals: W 4:00-5:00pm, Morrison 124 and 125

Golden Bear Voices: M 4:00-5:00pm, Morrison 117 (Fa23 Update: Changed from W 4-5pm)

Vocal Technique Class (Music 14): W 5:00-6:00pm, Morrison 125

Auditions for University Chorus, Golden Bear Voices, and private voice lessons (Music 167B and 168B) are held at the beginning of every semester. Please refer to the Audition Requirements for more details.

Description and History

A performance of the University ChorusThe 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 Wei Cheng, 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 UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra.

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.

Vocal Technique Class (Music 14):

Taught by voice faculty Deborah Jackson, this is an additional course offered to University Chorus members only. Based on a member’s audition, they may be required to take this course in order to participate in the chorus. This course is also offered to select members to provide them group voice lessons in lieu of Music 167B. Indiciating interest in this course does not guarantee enrollment, as spots are limited. Members must be approved by Dr. Cheng and will receive an email confirmation by the first week of rehearsal. Afterwards, they will receive a unique enrollment code from Deborah Jackson. More information about the course can be found HERE.

Golden Bear Voices (Treble Chorus):

Performers in the University Chorus

This is a newly-launched, advanced treble chorus that will be in conjunction with University Chorus. Students must participate in either University Chorus or Chamber Chorus to be considered for Golden Bear Voices. Due to limited space, placing in either chorus does not guarantee a spot. In lieu of University Chorus sectionals (W 4:00-5:00pm), members will use this time to rehearse a separate set of repertoire (W 4:00-5:00pm). Thus, members of Golden Bear Voices will be expected to have more advanced vocal technique and musicianship skills. This ensemble will be featured in both the University Chorus and Chamber Chorus concerts during the semester. All members interested in Golden Bear Voices must audition to be considered.


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.

Wei Cheng conducts University Choir