I have had the great fortune and privilege in 2022 to become a choral singer with the University Chorus at UC Berkeley. The chorus meets several times weekly during the fall and spring semesters, it is a class taken for credit by current students. The chorus is also open to community members and alumni by audition. Falling into the first category, and owing to hearing an inspiring performance of the Mozart Requiem in November 2021, I signed up to audition in late January of 2022.
Singing with the chorus has provided exceptional, gratifying, and inspiring musical experiences. We performed Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” in late April, in the version for chorus, soloists, 2 pianists and 6 percussionists (including solo timpani). The concert was live-streamed on facebook, and also is available for posterity on youtube at this link:
UC Berkeley University Chorus, performance of "Carmina Burana," April 30, 2022
As an older musician, I can’t recommend this activity highly enough to anyone interested. The wellness benefits are palpable, in addition to the many social benefits. Most of the singers in the group are young enough to be my children, however the chorus was also expanded for the performance by the inclusion of the alumni chorus, and I have met many peers in that group who enjoy the activity as I do.
I continue to sing and look forward to our upcoming rehearsals and concerts. I must also pay tribute to our director, Dr. Wei Cheng, in my mind she is a brilliant and master musician and would be so in any era.
Also, as a member of the UC Chorus I was invited to participate in a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in June 2022 offered by the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra. The photo of this group is inspiring for me to consider - a truly diverse group of musicians playing and singing of joy and brotherhood. I have been a great admirer of all things Beethoven since my undergraduate days, and this concert was a lifetime thrill for me. I am so very grateful to our Chorus Director, Dr. Lynne Morrow, and also our Conductor, Joseph Young, for sharing their deep musicianship and leading us in the concert.