College Chorus

Love to sing? Love the joy of singing with other people? The Occidental College Chorus brings students, alumni, faculty, and others together to sing every Monday night. Come join the fun!

(Not offered Fall 2020)

In College Chorus, singers learn and perform music from a variety of traditions, including classical, world music, musical theater, and pop. Occasional collaborations with other Occidental ensembles provide additional musical enrichment. The College Chorus rehearses once a week on Monday evenings from 7:15-9:45 and performs on campus once each semester.  It is a 1-unit course, MUSC 120, and enrollment is for one or both semesters. First meeting of the 20-21 year: Monday, August 31th, 7:15 PM.

Although there is no formal audition, interested singers are encourage to sign up for an audition time on the door of Booth 220 to meet the director and have their voice part determined.

2020-21 Concert dates TBD

All concerts are held in beautiful Herrick Chapel on the Occidental College Campus.

The College Chorus Posing for a Picture

College Chorus repertoire
2019-2020
Baba Yetu - Christopher Tin
Bring Me Little Water, Silvy - Leadbelly
The Dream Keeper - Rollo Dilworth, text Langston Hughes
Voice sur ton chemin (from Les Choristes)
Stand by Me - Lieber/Stoller/King
A Whole New World (from Aladdin)
All You Need is Love - Beatles
Ni Jina Gani - Israel Kagaruki
Exultate Justi in Domino - Brant Adams
Erev Shel Shoshanim - Hadar/Dor
Verleih uns Frieden - Mendelssohn
Lamaa Badaa Yatathanaa - trad Muwashshah
Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
I Sing Because I’m Happy - Gabriel/Martin
2018-2019
Alleluia Incantation - Miller
Non nobis Domine - Byrd
Gloria in excelsis Deo - Haydn
Ose Shalom - Leavitt
The Seal Lullaby - Whitacre
Remember Me - Anderson-Lopez/Lopez
Sisi ni moja - Narverud
Peace Flows Into Me - Runestad
Sorída - Rosephanye Powell
Psalm 8 - Forrest
The Moon is Distant from the Sea - Childs
La Martiniana - trad Mexican folk song
Tribute to Aretha: Chain of Fools/Say a Little Prayer/Climbin’ Higher Mountains 
2017-2018
Musica est Dei donum optimi - Lassus
Allelujah - JM Haydn
River (from The Mission)
Prayer – Lauridsen
And in the Evening - Snyder
Turn the World Around - Belafonte/Freedman
How Far I’ll Go (from Moana)
The Human Heart (from Once Upon this Island)
Take me to the Water – Rollo Dilworth
Bonse Aba - trad. Zambian folk song
Ave Maria – Arcadelt
For Sion Lamentation Make – Handel
Omnia Sol - Stroope
Prayer of the Children - Bestor
Cantar! - Althouse
When You Believe (from Prince of Egypt)
2016-2017
Hallelujah from The Mount of Olives - Beethoven
The Road not Taken - Thompson, text Robert Frost
La Serenata - Tosti
I Dream a World - Thomas, text Langston Hughes
Iraqi Peace Song - trad Iraqi song  
Sim Shalom - Naplan
Home (from The Wiz)   
Rhythm of Life - Fields/Barnes
Wana Baraka - trad Kenyan folk song
Cantate Domino - Pitoni
Sure on this Shining Night - Lauridsen
Lamentations of Jeremiah - Stroope
No Time - trad American folk song
May it Be (from Lord of the Rings)
About the Director

Désirée La Vertu, Director of Choral and Vocal Activities and NTT Associate Professor of Music, is a conductor, soprano soloist, and voice teacher in Los Angeles. Professor La Vertu became a member of the Music faculty at Occidental College in the fall of 2009. Previously, she was the Director of the Glee Clubs at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Additionally, she was on the voice faculties of Chapman University and the summer graduate program at California State University, Los Angeles. She is Co-Director of the Idyllwild Arts Summer Festival Choir.

As a soprano, Ms. La Vertu specializes in the oratorio repertoire, and has been soprano soloist in Poulenc’s Gloria and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, both at Disney Hall, Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, and Bach’s Magnificat, among others.  She was a long-time member of the Donald Brinegar Singers, and was a founding member of the female a capella quartet “Diva Complex."

Initially trained as a pianist, her Bachelor of Music degree is in Accompanying from California State University, Fullerton. She received her Master of Music in Choral and Vocal Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno. Professor LaVertu maintains a private voice studio in Pasadena.

Contact Desiree La Vertu at lavertu@oxy.edu.