UCSB has the fortune of harboring an expansive community of talented musicians, among which stand the ensembles of singers who create music collaboratively using just their voices as instruments. This weekend, UCSB’s two classical choirs and three acappella groups present their captivating, kaleidoscopic repertoire.
Tomorrow at 8 p.m., the trained UCSB Chamber Choir and Women’s Chorus will perform transcendent musical pieces about love and nature in the acoustic glory of St. Anthony’s Seminary Chapel. Academic and methodical in their perfectionist musical approaches, UCSB’s choirs produce an exquisitely sculpted sound that appeals to audiophiles and anyone with an open mind.
The symphonic Chamber Choir, led by conductor Michel Marc Gervais, presents a program of German Romantic music by Bach, Schubert, Schumann, Wolf and Grieg sung in eight to 16 male and female vocal parts.
“They’re all transcriptions from orchestral music to voice,” Danny Padilla, a third-year economics student who sings Bass II in the Chamber Choir, explained. “It’s really interesting because any time you add lyrics to music it adds a whole new level of understanding [since] it’s basically music plus poetry.”
The Women’s Chorus, directed by Luvi Avendano, will perform Brahms’ “Vier Gesange, Op. 17” — accompanied by harp and two French horns — as well as modern master Eric Whitacre’s “Five Hebrew Love Songs,” accompanied by a string quartet.
“For one class a week I get to sit in a room with friends and make music,” Sharon Coone, a third-year molecular biology and philosophy double major who sings Alto II in the Women’s Chorus, said. “At the end of the quarter, we take the stage together, share music with others and hopefully convey the great stories these songs tell. It’s much more fun than o-chem … It’s going to be a great show.”
This Saturday at 3 p.m., UCSB’s all-male acappella group, Brothas From Otha Mothas, will entertain through embarrassing personal anecdotes and funny, heartwarming renditions of popular songs at BFOM’s “Guide to Life” concert in Embarcadero Hall.
With sparkling personality and stunning voices, BFOM goes to expressive depths within their ambitiously diverse repertory of mainstream pop, indie rock, 20th century classics, sentimental crooner tunes and childhood favorites.
BFOM Bass-Baritone singer and second-year theater and psychology double major Mason Sperling explained that the group hopes to share their collected (and humorous) life experiences with the audience during their show.
“BFOM members have gathered ample evidence for why this group knows how to live life best,” Sperling said. “We are going to share our stories of success and failure — actually just failure. We’re going to be telling embarrassing stories and we’re going to derive life meaning and moral guidance out of them. We’ll be your moral compass for two hours … Hopefully you can live life with as much fun as we do. We’re [an authority on the subject] because we are so fun and irresistible.”
At 2 p.m. on Sunday, UCSB’s first and oldest acappella group, Naked Voices, will hold their concert on campus in Music Room 1145. As a co-ed ensemble, Naked Voices blends the resonant, male tones and sultry sweetness of female voices to generate a vibrant singing spectacle.
In this free concert, Naked Voices will perform Bruno Mars’ “Treasure,” Pentatonix’s “Run to You,” Alex Clare’s “Too Close” and a Michael Jackson medley, among other upbeat songs.
Chamber Choir singer Padilla, who also lends his singing and vocal percussion to Naked Voices and BFOM, describes Naked Voices’ musical energy as, “Sexy, fun and aca-mazing.”
Finally, next Tuesday UCSB’s newest addition to the acappella scene, InterVals, bring their unique range of co-ed musical confections to St. Michael’s University Church in Isla Vista. In this enchanting and intimate setting, the InterVals will perform a collection of funky, fresh covers with sincere emotion and dazzling polyphony.
InterVals exude passion and individuality with exhilarating covers of songs like Gnarls Barkley’s “Gone Daddy Gone,” Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts” and AWOLNATION’s “Sail.”
The UCSB community offers a full spectrum of vocal music aesthetics in its concerts this week. Join the fun and beauty of this stupendous singing season as the choral and acappella groups publicly share their music!
A version of this story appeared on page 8 of Thursday, November 21, 2013’s print version of the Daily Nexus.