Ensembles & Auditions
Occidental Glee Club
Desiree La Vertu, conductor
Advanced study and performance of choral music. Emphasis is placed on the more difficult traditional choral repertoire, but the study of world music and popular music is included. Enrollment is for the full year and is by audition during the first week of the fall semester. Two hours of rehearsal per week for women and men separately, plus 2.5 hours combined rehearsal per week. Sight reading ability and previous musical experience highly recommended. Click here for Fall 2013 audition information.
Contact Desiree La Vertu
Desiree La Vertu, conductor
College chorus provides an opportunity for Occidental community members to sing in a large ensemble. Singers—both music readers and non-music readers—will benefit from the experience of performing music from a variety of traditions. Occasional collaborations with other Occidental ensembles will provide additional enrichment of the music-making experience. The chorus rehearses one evening each week and performs on-campus each semester. Enrollment for one or both semesters. Click here for Fall 2013 audition information.
Contact Desiree La Vertu
Occidental College-Caltech Symphony
Allen Gross, director
The Occidental-Caltech Symphony consists of instrumentalists from Occidental, Caltech, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and members of the community. The orchestra presents concerts on both the Occidental and Caltech campuses. The symphony performs a varied repertoire of classic, romantic, and contemporary music. An annual student concerto competition, held the first week in December, allows winners the opportunity to perform as soloists with the symphony. Membership is by audition at the beginning of the academic year. The orchestra rehearses once weekly, at both Caltech and Occidental, with extra rehearsals before each concert. Click here for Fall 2013 audition information.
Caltech-Occidental College Concert Band
William Bing (Caltech music faculty), conductor
The Concert Band is a symphonic wind ensemble comprised of instrumentalists drawn from Caltech, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Occidental College, and the Pasadena community. Guest artists with the Concert Band in recent years have included Eddie Daniels, Steve Houghton, Allen Vizzutti, and David Shiffrin. The Concert Band performs three to four concerts a year, both at Caltech and Oxy. The repertoire includes traditional and contemporary compositions. The Concert Band rehearses at Caltech, and student drivers help with transportation from Occidental. For further information, contact Bing at (626) 395-3714 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for Fall 2013 audition information.
Chamber Music Ensembles
Gloria Lum and Stephanie O’Keefe, directors
The Occidental Chamber Music Ensembles are made up of instrumentalists who are interested in performing chamber music for various media and drawn from various historical periods and styles. Among the usual ensembles are a brass ensemble and various combinations of strings, woodwinds, and piano. Students will perform at least twice during the year in regularly scheduled chamber music recitals. The ensembles receive coaching from the applied music faculty and guest artists. Click here for Fall 2013 audition information.
Tim Emmons, director
The Occidental College Jazz Band is a musical organization, meeting weekly under the direction of Tim Emmons, to play as an ensemble, learn basic jazz theory, and improve improvisational skills. Jazz enables people of various ethnicities, cultures, nationalities, and backgrounds to come together and communicate through the common language of music. Along with enhancing the jazz experience through weekly rehearsals, we heighten campus-wide jazz awareness and appreciation through periodic performances during the year. Director Tim Emmons is an acoustic and electric bass player who has wide experience in both the jazz and classical music worlds. Click here for Fall 2013 audition information.
Son Jarocho Ensemble (Fall semester)
Cesar Castro, director
Son Jarocho Ensemble introduces students to the songs and instrumental techniques of son jarocho, a musical genre from Veracruz, Mexico that mixes indigenous Mexican, African, Spanish, and Arabic sounds. The course will be taught by a master musician who brings over 20 years of musical experience to his classes. Students will learn to play jarana, the eight-stringed guitar that provides the harmonic scaffold for son jarocho. In addition to weekly rehearsals with the ensemble, students will be expected to practice on their own and to participate in a public performance at the end of the semester. No prior music experience is required.
Afro-Cuban Ensemble (Spring semester)
Joe Addington, director
In addition to practicing secular rumba drumming, students will study the sacred rhythms of Santería and learn to sing the songs of the Orishas in the Yoruba dialect of Lucumi. In addition to weekly rehearsals with the ensemble, students will be expected to practice on their own and to participate in a public performance at the end of the semester. No prior music experience is required.
- Contact: Wendy Clifford, senior administrative assistant, (323) 259-2785, Booth 205
- Contact: Irene Girton, department chair, (323) 259-2590, Booth 205