CSU East Bay Department of Music
Vocal and Choral Studies
Vocal music instruction at CSU East Bay provides students with knowledge, techniques, and experiences enabling them to become proficient performers and teachers. Many of our graduates are singing professionally with ensembles and opera companies in this country and abroad. Others have successfully established private voice studios or are teaching in public and private schools. Many have completed doctorates from the nationís major universities.
Vocal majors and minors are welcomed at every level of vocal development. There are numerous occasions for solo performance with university choirs, the opera program, studio workshops, and day and evening recitals. Many opportunities also exist for our singers to perform for community organizations, churches, and temples in the area. Each singer has the option of working with either a student accompanist for lessons and performances or our staff accompanist. All Music majors have the advantage of continuous applied lessons with instrumental, vocal, or composition teachers on the faculty.
Choral singing has always been an important activity at CSUEB. The Choral Program existed long before the University had a campus, with students from all majors singing masterpieces, inspiring audiences and making lifelong friends.
The Choirs have been acclaimed for their sensitive and exciting performances of varied and demanding repertoire. Music critics have rated them among the finest choirs in the San Francisco Bay Area. CSU East Bay choirs have performed with the San Francisco and Oakland Symphony Orchestras, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and Composers Inc. in San Francisco, and have appeared in conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and the California Music Educators Association. The Choirs have toured nationally and internationally, most recently to Eastern Europe and Mexico, and have also performed several world premieres of major choral works composed specifically for them, including P.D.Q. Bach's Liebeslieder Polkas, which Peter Schickele "discovered" in 1979 and Libby Larsen's If I Begin to Sing, commissioned in honor of CSU East Bay's 40th Anniversary, as well as works by CSUEB faculty and student composers.
(Mondays and Wednesdays 12 - 1:50 p.m., plus outside engagements)
The East Bay Singers perform regularly on campus, in the community, and on annual tours as ambassadors of CSUEB. Comprised of 32 voices of both non-majors and music majors, the East Bay Singers' engaging repertoire is chosen from the vast history of the choral music. Singers are given individual attention for developing their voice and their musical skills, and sing exciting music from the past 600 years from all over the world.
(Mondays and Wednesdays 2 - 2:50 p.m., plus outside engagements)
Members of the 12-voice East Bay Jazz Singers are chosen by vocal audition. This collection of outstanding musicians specializes in the performance of vocal jazz and a cappella arrangements. The Jazz Singers present concerts both on and off campus, on tours and in concerts and festivals, you can often hear them singing solos with jazz combos or joining the CSUEB Jazz Orchestra or guest artists.
(Mondays, 7 - 9:50 p.m., plus a dress rehearsal and concert each quarter)
The East Bay Singing Society (formerly known as Oratorio Society) is a large 100-voice ensemble of community and student voices that performs the great masterworks of choral literature. The Society sings music with instruments, as well as a cappella masterpieces, and often joins with the CSUEB Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra and East Bay Singers to create memorable musical moments. Members include non-majors and music majors, plus community members and music professionals, and all possess a good ear or a nice singing voice (and sometimes both!). The Society inspires audiences and members, and attention is given to developing individual vocal quality and musicianship.
Opera Workshop (MUS 3506-07) provides essential training in art song and the fascinating marriage of drama and music known as opera. The course covers vocal and visual characterization, stage movement, interaction with others on stage, and development of operatic roles. Open to all CSUEB students by audition at the first class of each quarter. Must be taken concurrently with MUS 2400, Stage and Acting Basics for Singers. May be repeated for credit.
Operas performed in recent years include: The Medium (Gian Carlo Menotti); Transformations (Conrad Susa); The Beggar's Opera (John Gay/Benjamin Britten); Amahl and the Night Visitors and The Old Maid and the Thief (Gian Carlo Menotti); Bertha (Ned Rorem); L'Incoronazione di Poppea (Claudio Monteverdi); Sunday Excursion (Alec Wilder); Die Zauberflöte and Cosi fan tutte (W. A. Mozart); and Samuel Barber's A Hand of Bridge.
Why Sing in a Choir?
Singing is a great way to meet new people.
You will become a better singer.
You will become a better musician.
You will become part of a team and a community.
You will inspire and touch the lives of audiences.
You will learn many cultural connections.
You may travel to new and exciting places.
You will learn about music and people you never knew you never knew.
Studies have shown making music reduces stress and is good for your health.
Studies have shown your overall academics may improve.
You will develop a skill you can use your entire life.
How do I join a choir?
Anyone can audition for the East Bay Choirs. Membership is open to students, faculty, staff and community members.
When can I join the choir?
Auditions take place during the first week of each year for all choirs. There are auditions at the beginning of winter and spring quarters if space is available in the choirs.
How much does it cost to join the choir?
There is no cost to join the East Bay Choirs. All music is provided, and singers are expected to purchase their performing attire. Every singer must provide his or her own black folder for the concerts.
What attire is required for the concerts?
Singing Society singers wear black dresses for the women and tuxes for the men. The East Bay Singers women wear a specific dress and the men wear tuxedos with tails.
Does the choir have an attendance policy?
Singers rarely miss rehearsals. When they do have to miss, they may be asked to demonstrate that they stayed caught up with what was rehearsed. In order to perform, each singer must make 80% of the scheduled rehearsals.
Where do the choirs perform?
The Choirs perform all over the East Bay in churches and auditoriums. There are often performances on campus, and members of the East Bay Singers and Jazz Singers travel locally, nationally and internationally to sing concerts.
Can I receive University credit hours for for participation in the East Bay Choirs?
Absolutely. Students are required to register and receive one unit of credit each quarter. Community members may, but are not required to, register for Singing Society, but must register through Open University for The East Bay Singers or Jazz Singers.
Do I need to practice outside of rehearsals?
The East Bay Choirs have such little rehearsal time that some time must be spent between rehearsals practicing and memorizing music. Often rehearsal recordings are provided, and The East Bay Singers and Jazz Singers have regularly scheduled sectionals. Every singer's time is valuable, so help is offered to everyone who needs it.
What if I have to drop out of the choir mid-year?
Our singers have busy lives. If you are in the Singing Society and you must drop out, you may audition to rejoin at a later date. Members of the Jazz Singers and East Bay Singers are expected to sing for the entire academic year, unless they graduate or have a conflict involving a class for their major.
Can I get voice lessons as a member of the East Bay Choirs?
There are often opportunities to receive voice lessons as part of the East Bay Choirs. Speak with the conductor about these possibilities.
Does everyone who auditions make the choir?
Unfortunately there is not currently enough room for everyone who auditions for the CSUEB Choral Program. But, every singer who does not make The Choirs can meet with the Director of Choral Activities to discuss ways to improve in the future.
Audition for the Cal State East Bay Choirs!
All Majors Welcome!
Auditions take place the first week of classes each quarter.
To schedule an audition: Use the Choral Audtions Calendar to schedule an audition time, or show up to the first class meeting of the ensemble.
At the Audition (about 10 minutes) you will be asked to sing a solo selection with or without piano accompaniment. Pick a selection you know well and feel confident singing; any genre is acceptable (classical, opera, musical theatre, folk, hymn, church song, etc.).
After you sing your solo you will be asked to sing simple scales and do some sightreading.
If you are admitted to the Singing Society (formerly known as Oratorio) at this point, you have completed your audition process! East Bay Singing Society meets Monday evenings, 7 p.m. - 9:50 p.m. in MB 1055.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the East Bay Singers, you have more to do in the audition process:
East Bay Singer Audition Rehearsals:
Each qualified singer, based on the initial audition, will attend an audition rehearsal for the East Bay Singers. The purpose of this rehearsal is to hear how each singer fits with other potential members of the East Bay Singers. Everyone will learn a choral selection that will become part of the East Bay Singers' repertoire.
Results of the East Bay Singers' auditions will be posted by 5 p.m. on Tuesday of the second week of each quarter.
Please note that the East Bay Singers is a yearlong commitment. Auditions in Winter or Spring are on a space available basis only.
ALL MAJORS WELCOME -
JOIN US NOW!
CAL STATE EAST BAY SINGS!!!