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!

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 23-24 year: Monday, September 11, 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.

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


College Chorus repertoire
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
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 
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)
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 LaVertu is the Director of Choral & Vocal Activities at Occidental. She conducts the Oxy Glee Club and College Chorus and teaches voice classes, choral conducting, and voice lessons. She also administrates the applied music program with the Director of Instrumental Activities. Additionally, she is co-Director of the Festival Chorus of the Idyllwild Arts summer program, where she teaches advanced masterclasses and presents high-level choral concerts as well as opera scenes performances. Previously, she was Director of the Glee Clubs at Caltech, and was on the voice faculties of Chapman University and the summer graduate program at CSU Los Angeles.

As a soprano, Prof La Vertu specializes in the oratorio repertoire, and made her Walt Disney Concert Hall debut in 2005 as soprano soloist in Poulenc’s Gloria, conducted by Grant Gershon. Other solo performances include Vaughan Williams/Dona Nobis Pacem and Faurė/Requiem at Disney Hall, Brahms/Ein Deutches Requiem, Haydn/Lord Nelson Mass, Bach/Magnificat and Christmas Oratorio, Vivaldi/Gloria, Handel/Messiah, and Mozart/Solemn Vespers and Requiem.

Prof LaVertu maintains a busy private voice studio; her students have sung in professional touring companies of Rent and Hamilton and at Austin Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Opera Philadelphia, and for the LA Master Chorale, Pacific Chorale, and Les Arts Florissants. She also works with actors in film and TV, most recently working with several cast members of Amazon Prime’s hit show The Boys.

Her Bachelor of Music degree in Accompanying is from CSU Fullerton. She received her Master of Music in Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Contact Desiree La Vertu at


Contact Music
Booth Hall