by Heather Morales
When the University of La Verne Chamber Singers are not busy rehearsing, they are busy building friendships and having fun.
Currently, they are busy preparing for their Spring Concert rescheduled for Saturday, May 21.
The Music Department hired a chamber orchestra and a jazz/rock ensemble to accompany the choir.
According to Lilia López, operations manager for the Music Department, there are currently 15 students participating in the program. There are community members that participate, bringing the number up to about 40 members, but it has at one time had as many as 80 members.
They will be playing the music of Mozart, Vivaldi, Gilbert and Sullivan, Bobrowitz, George Gershwin and Cole Porter.
The first half of the program will have a classical theme with the music of Vivaldi and Mozart. The second half of the program is more modern, featuring the works of Gershwin and Porter.
Spending all this time together has brought the group closer. They practice every day at noon, except Wednesdays.
The class can be taken for credit, but students can also join without getting class credit.
“It’s a class to go and enjoy yourself. You can go in there and relax,” said sophomore Raymond Garza, who has been a member for two years.
Sitting in on a rehearsal, it is possible to get the feeling that everyone is enjoying themselves as they work.
“I don’t consider it a class,” said freshman Kristen Dow, who is having fun in her first semester as a member of the Chamber Singers.
One of the reasons it does not feel like a class is the director, Bruce Hirsch, associate professor of music. He walks into class joking with the students and has an energetic smile on his face.
One student yells out “I’m ready to sing!” while another gets her music ready.
The whole group seems to be in a good mood and cannot wait to start singing.
“Bruce is not only your teacher, he is you friend,” said Garza.
Hirsch enjoys working with the group this semester.
“They’re an excellent group of people. They have worked hard on some difficult music,” he said.
The students and Hirsch are looking forward to performing this program.
Hirsch would like to see more people get involved. Students can sign up for the class at the beginning of the semester.
“I wonder why more students don’t come forward to participate,” said Hirsch.
He believes that everyone can sing and that no one should be afraid to say that they would like to sing.
“It’s my job to teach them how and to encourage them, so they can have some of the marvelous experiences of being in the group,” said Hirsch.
While the students prepare for the concert, they are also looking forward to a tour that has been planned for January 1996 along the coast of California.
The singers have not toured since 1993 and are anxious to take their music to a wider group of listeners.
Students interested in the Chamber Singers or in going on tour should contact the Music Department for more information.