The Montclair State University Chorale, conducted by Heather J. Buchanan, is the core mixed-voice choir of the Cali School of Music. The 170 singers comprise music students majoring in voice performance, music education, instrumental performance, music therapy, composition, as well as non-music majors from other Colleges in the University who account for one quarter of the membership. The somatically based choral pedagogy is designed to enable students to expand and refine their musical, vocal, and choral skills, enabling them to function as independent, flexible, and responsive musicians in their subsequent student and professional lives. The MSU Chorale specializes in performance of symphonic masterworks. Previous season highlights include the New York Metropolitan area premiere of Howard Shore’s Academy Award winning score The Lord of the Rings Symphony with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) under John Maucceri, the regional premiere performance of Let My People Go! by Don McCullough, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Verdi’s epic Messa da Requiem with the NJSO under the baton of Neeme Järvi. The Chorale’s highly acclaimed performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana with the NJSO and maestro Jacques Lacombe were also celebrated with a limited edition CD release in September 2011. In May 2011, the women of the Chorale performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the NJSO and the American Boy Choir under Jacques Lacombe’s direction. Other performance highlights include Requiem’s by Fauré and Duruflé, the Poulenc Gloria, Britten’s Saint Nicholas, and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem. In 2011 they gave the premiere performance of Robert Aldridge's Parables. This performance was also their first collaboration with the MSU Symphony Orchestra. Their performance of David Fanshawe’s acclaimed African Sanctus was also a highlight of the 2011-12 season. In 2013 they performed the Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem.
The Montclair State University Singers is a 60 member mixed-voice choir comprising undergraduate & graduate students who are experienced singers and musicians. Students from all schools/colleges in the University in good academic standing may audition. The University Singers performs a wide variety of sacred and secular repertoire, encompassing genres from the Renaissance to the 21st Century, with special interest in contemporary composers. Previous season highlights include New York Choral Festival Showcase Concerts performances at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall (2005, 2007 & 2008), Prelude Concert performances for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s annual Winter Festivals (2004 & 2005), tours of Central Europe (May 2005) and Russia (May 2008) with performances in Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, Debrecen, Moscow, Pushkin and St. Petersburg. World Premiere performances include Madison’s Descent (Mícheál ÓSúílleabháin), That Music Always Round Me (Tarik O’Regan), Ave Maria, A White Blossom, and She Walks in Beauty (Martin A. Sedek), and the 2012 Raymond Brock Memorial Commission Distance can’t keep us two apart by Chen Yi. The University Singers has also established an exciting performance relationship with renowned composer-artist Meredith Monk beginning with their historic collaboration in December 2006 and continuing with the critically acclaimed March 2009 performances of Ascension Variations at the Guggenheim Museum. They recorded the CD Songs of Ascension with Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble on the prestigious European label ECM Records under the legendary producer Manfred Eicher, released May 2011. This collaboration was included in the Producer of the Year section of the 2012 Grammy nominations. In February 2012 University Singers gave their ACDA Eastern Division Convention debut performance in Providence, RI. They performed Mozart’s Requiem with the NJSO in March 2013 under the baton of Maestro Jacques LaCombe. They traveled to Washington, DC, and Maryland during their Mid-Atlantic Tour in May 2013.
MSU Vocal Accord is a 24-voice chamber choir comprising students auditioned from University Singers. An extra-curricular project-choir, Vocal Accord made its debut performance in the Cali School's Leshowitz Recital Hall in Spring 2010. In June 2012 Vocal Accord toured Europe giving performances in Austria (Vienna, Gleisdorf, Graz, & Ottendorf) and Italy (Venice), and were also artists-in-residence at the University of the Performing Arts (Graz). Vocal Accord performs repertoire ranging from traditional and classical works to new works by professional composers and student winners of the Cali Choral Composition Competition. They perform on campus and at venues throughout the tri-state area, including Carnegie Hall's Weill Auditorium.
Lux Aurumque - Eric Whitacre (2011: University Singers, Heather J. Buchanan, conductor)