Touring with the UCLA Chorale

The UCLA Chorale is scheduled to tour to Phoenix, Arizona for a performance this Sunday at the Arizona Musicfest, and I am so excited to be one of the “artists in residence” this weekend!  To be able to tour with my collegiate choir to perform has been an item on my UCLA bucket list — as if I had any control over that — and my dream has come true.

Throughout the quarter, we have been learning and preparing Giuseppe Verdi’s “greatest opera”, the Messa da Requiem (music history buffs would understand my use of quotation marks), and a choir in Phoenix has been doing the same concurrently albeit separately.  We are all pumped for the rehearsals on Saturday that will finally put together all of the hard work between the two choruses and the orchestra (in which there are members of the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony) into the awe-inspiring Requiem in all its grandeur, and of course, for the three hours on Sunday when our entire quarter’s project will culminate in the finale of our performance in Pinnacle Presbyterian Church (tickets for which have been sold out for weeks!).

We have been fortunate enough to enlist the help of many families in and around Phoenix to house all performers of the UCLA Chorale.  Without their generosity, we would have needed a much greater financial contribution per singer to make the trip possible.  Activities and luncheons have also been planned for us to ensure that our trip is comfortable and that performers have time to relax after hours of rehearsal.

The UCLA Choral Department has been (and always will be) my sanctuary where I can participate in professional-level vocal performance regardless of my major.  In fact, the results of a visual (“raise your hand if you are…”) survey taken earlier this quarter were that not even a third of Chorale members were music majors!  Our professor is so proud of the fact that regardless of our areas of study, students of all faculties have come together through a simple audition process to learn and perform great, historically-renowned works including Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Grand Mass in C Minor.  The best part of it all is that these ensembles are classes that you can enroll in, meaning it will show up on your transcript and contribute towards your units and GPA. 🙂  As a junior, I have been concentrating on upper division courses of my major for almost a year now and I would be lying if I said these choral classes didn’t keep me sane through all of it.

If you are a prospective student interested in choral music in college and/or have any questions about my experience, feel free to comment or contact me with your questions!

Eleanor Fang