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Founders Day: 95 voices sing as one

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April 30, 2003

One of SFSU's oldest and largest musical treasures will entertain revelers at the Founders Day celebration on Thursday, May 1. The 95-member University Chorus will give an outdoor performance in celebration of the University's 104th birthday, with a program that includes a Bach cantata and Dona Nobis Pacem from Bach's Mass in B Minor.

The Chorus has been around almost as long as the University. Now under the leadership of assistant professor of music David Xiques, the ensemble is hoping to take on some new directions.

"The quality of the ensemble was in excellent shape when I started, and I want it to continue to grow," said Xiques, who also wants to expand the group's repertoire number of performances next year.

Open to all members of the campus community through audition, the Chorus currently includes students from music and other disciplines along with a few staff members. Members rehearse twice a week for more than an hour -- with some challenging full-program rehearsals in the days leading up to the special Founders Day performance.

"It's hard to take time in the middle of my day but I can pretty much do it in my lunch hour," said Susan Hall, assistant to the dean of the College of Creative Arts and a graduate of the University's music program, who's sung with the Chorus on and off for more than five years.

For Hall, singing is a way to take a break from her regular day.

"I love to sing. Singing is like a spiritual experience for me," she said. "When I'm singing I don't have to worry about the other things in my life."

For jazz vocalist Emily Lieu, now in her third semester of a bachelor's degree in music, the chorus is part of a requirement to participate in a classical ensemble. She’s enjoying herself so much she hopes to return in the fall. "I came from a classical background but I haven't sung in a classical group in several years," Lieu said. "It's great to be back in it. It really brings a balance to my studies."

She's looking forward to the Founders Day performance and to the visibility it will bring to the Chorus. "It'll be nice to get a little bit of exposure for the Chorus,” she said.

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Last modified April 30, 2003, by the Office of Public Affairs