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About

The UC Alumni Chorus shall be a high quality performance chorus representing the Cal community, well-known in the Bay Area, which promotes its members' musical growth and enjoyment.
- Mission statement adopted at the June, 1991, annual membership meeting

UCAC has an additional mission that distinguishes it from other Bay Area singing groups: It is committed to providing musical and financial support to the University of California Choral Ensembles (UCCE), a student-run umbrella organization comprised of several vocal groups on the Berkeley campus of which UCAC is one. Musical support is provided by performing with the students in one or two annual concerts. UCAC members provide financial support to UCCE by spearheading fund-raising activities to help offset shrinking campus resources, by contributing towards much needed equipment, and by helping with replacement costs and capital improvements.

In the Spring of 1985 two former members of the Treble Clef, Ronni Gravitz and Alma Raymond, united with Music Director Carol Young to organize a chorus of Cal student singing groups’ alumni. Together they inspired other like-minded singers who also wanted to rekindle the musical and social associations they had enjoyed as students. Many of those original thirty members are still singing with the UCAC these many years later.

The present Music Director, Dr. Mark Sumner, joined UCAC in the Fall of 1997, at which time we began taking a more active role in the support of the student singing groups under UCCE. The combined talents of our Director and our Accompanist, William Garcia Ganz, have improved the quality of our chorus and the breadth of our repertoire. Recent major works include Mozart's Requiem and Mass in C minor (both, the new Levin edition), Durufle's Requiem, Walton's Belshazzar's Feast, performed with the UC Wind Ensemble and UC Men's and Women's Chorales, Lauridsen's Fire and Midwinters Songs, Handel's Samson, and Britten's Cantata Misericordium. In Spring 2015 we performed Carmina Burana accompanied by the SF Smuin Ballet Company at the Berkeley Community Theater. Many other concerts have featured numerous shorter choral works all presented to support an especially themed program.

In 1994 UCAC diversified into theater with a semi-staged production of Gilbert & Sullivan's Trial by Jury, and in 1995 performed in a concert production of Berlioz' Beatrice and Benedict with the acclaimed Berkeley Opera company. Again in 2005, the chorus performed in Berkeley Opera's concert production of Verdi's Macbeth. The Chorus has also presented staged radio shows using popular music of the 1930s and 1940s.

A recent undertaking was Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light, accompanied by the 1929 silent film, The Passion of Joan of Arc, which had two highly successful performances in 2008, and which the Chorus has twice been invited to reprise, with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony as part of the Cal Performances series, and most recently at the Turner Classic Movie (TCM) film festival in Spring 2016 at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.

The Chorus also enjoys taking its music on the road. Highlights of its first decade include an appearance at the EXPO 88 in Brisbane as part of a concert tour of Australia and New Zealand. In July of 1997, with then-acting music director William Garcia Ganz, the Chorus performed Brahms' German Requiem with other choirs in Lichfield Cathedral, England, as part of the Lichfield Festivals. This was the musical highlight of a tour which also included stops in London, York, and Oxford, and a master class with the King's Singers.

UCAC has continued to tour around the world. In summer 2014 a group from the Chorus toured colonial Mexico with a program of music from the California Missions, and in spring of 2012, a group from the Chorus toured Cuba, enjoying a cultural exchange with choirs from Havana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba. Previous tours were to the Czech Republic and Hungary, China, the Baltics (Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Russia), and South America (Uruguay and Argentina). In the summer of 2009, the Chorus was invited to participate in the International Choral Festival in Missoula, Montana and the ensemble has twice performed together with the Claremont Chorale, both in Claremont, California and in the Bay Area. In Summer of 2016 the Santa Barbara Choral Society, who collaborated with us in our 2015 Carmina Burana performance, invited us to tour Italy for 12 days with the renowned American composer, Morten Lauridsen.

Chorus Officers

Board of Directors

Manager Ruth Chang
Treasurer Carol Conway
Secretary Cricket Rothrum
Concert Officers Effie Hsu and
Lauren Polinsky
Publicity Karen Moore
Librarian Marlene Rogers
Social Chair Susan Bernstein
Historian
Tour Manager
Webmaster Rebecca Gambatese
Social Media Manager Jessica Margolin

Section Leaders:
Soprano Karen Warrick/Lauren Polinsky
Alto Judy Roberts/Sarah Olson
Tenor Jeffrey Neidleman
Bass Gilead Wurman
Monte Meyers, President
John Rosenberg
Melinda Erickson
Garrett Turner
Jessica Margolin