Classically Trained: OCC Chamber Singers take New York

May 10, 2012|By Bradley Zint
  • Orange Coast College singers pose at the corner of Broadway and 54th Street in New York City. The students recently performed in Carnegie Hall and will be having a "homecoming" concert at 8 p.m. Saturday at the campus' Robert B. Moore Theatre.
Orange Coast College singers pose at the corner of Broadway… (Courtesy ELIZA…)

The times they are a-singin', especially in Newport-Mesa.

The Orange Coast College Chamber Singers returned this week from a trip to New York City. The group of 31 singers — comprised of voice, instrumental and composition majors, as well as nonmusic majors — performed with several other college choruses from places like New York, Michigan and Arkansas.

Playing in the big city is a big deal, but it's even bigger when you consider where they sang: Carnegie Hall.

"Carnegie Hall is everything it's reported to be: a cultural landmark and a truly outstanding hall, both aurally and visually," said Eliza Rubenstein, the college's choral director, in an email. "For a musician, performing there is a benchmark like almost none other, and our excitement at seeing our name on the marquee was eclipsed only by the experience of actually getting to make music in such a wonderful venue and for such an eager audience."


Singing helped the students online too, she said: "I think our Facebook 'friends' lists have all grown this past week."

Getting to the Eastern Seaboard required lots of fundraising, Rubenstein said, which included the help of donors and revenue from concert tickets.

Most of the students from the Costa Mesa campus had never been to NYC before. So when not rehearsing or performing, they were going to Broadway shows, a Yankee game, Central Park, the World Trade Center memorial, museums, cathedrals and jazz clubs, Rubenstein said.

Now that the students are back and on Pacific Standard Time again, there will be a "homecoming" concert at 8 p.m. Saturday in the campus' Robert B. Moore Theatre, 2701 Fairview Road.

The performance repertoire is Brahms' "Zigeunerlieder" ("Gypsy Songs"), a set of 11 pieces for chorus and piano. Janelle Tag will serve as the accompanist.

Also on the lineup is Mozart's "Regina Coeli" for chorus, soloists and orchestra — it will feature a quartet of OCC's voice students as soloists — and Vivaldi's "Gloria," which is one of the most popular pieces in choral repertoire, Rubenstein said.

The Mozart and the Vivaldi were the pieces the touring group sang in New York.

Joining OCC's Chamber Singers is the school's larger Chorale and a professional orchestra. Tickets are $10. Visit or call (714) 432-5880 for more information.

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