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Performing Ensembles: Vocal

The Choirs at Pepperdine University’s Department of Music promote members' growth as creative, dynamic musicians through performances of outstanding repertory in a positive, professional atmosphere. The ensembles provide singers with outstanding opportunities to apply their knowledge of voice, music history, and music theory to create a compelling musical experience for the listener and performer.

Although performance is considered to be of the utmost importance the philosophy of the choral program is much deeper. Each member is urged to use ensemble participation to enhance their development of the technical science of music and vocal production in a choral laboratorial environment, to advance the science and the composer’s intentions into an inspiring art form, and to utilize the University’s mission by sharing the gift of music in a wholesome atmosphere of Christian service to society.                             

Through the variety of its ensembles, the Pepperdine Choral Program provides both the singers and the Pepperdine community the opportunity to experience first hand the great repertory of vocal music, from a cappella pieces for a few voices to works for large chorus and orchestra.

  Chamber Choir

Dr. Ryan Board, conductor

The Chambers Singers is formed with a varying mix of singers for the purpose of preparing a concert for a specific performance appearance.  For example, the Chamber Singers, made up of 24 voices, has recently performed Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli for the International Symposium of A Cappella Music.

  Concert Choir

Dr. Ryan Board, conductor

The Concert Choir is the largest mixed performing group made up of all music majors and/or music award recipients, as well as talented singers from other disciplines throughout the Seaver Campus. This select ensemble performs a diverse range of accompanied and a cappella literature. Repertoire consists of music from each of the major style periods. The Choir sings each season with the Pepperdine Orchestra, including the annual Holiday Concert, one of the university’s most beloved musical traditions. Also, each spring the Choir joins with other Pepperdine choirs and the Orchestra to present a major choral work. Recent performances have included Mozart’s Requiem, Brahms’s German Requiem, and Beethoven’s Mass in C.

  Flora L. Thornton Opera Program

The Flora L. Thornton Opera Program at Pepperdine offers a many-faceted approach to the development of the undergraduate singing actor.  Performance opportunities in fully-staged productions of opera, summer study abroad and master classes with top professionals in the field are hallmarks of the program.

Recent opera productions, designed or supervised by an award-winning resident professional staff, have included Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, Abduction from the Seraglio and Così fan tutte, Robert Ward’s The Crucible, Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and Menotti’s Old Maid and the Thief.  One unique aspect of the program is the close cooperation of the Music and Theatre departments.  Since all productions in the opera and musical theater areas are cast by open audition, opera program participants can frequently be found in leading roles in the University’s fall musical and vice versa.

Because there is no graduate music program at Pepperdine, our students enter graduate programs with a wealth of on-stage experience behind them.  Programs recently giving scholarships to Pepperdine graduates include some of the nation’s most prestigious:  The Juilliard School, Yale Graduate Opera Program, Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, Northwestern University, Rice University and USC.  Pepperdine graduates are now gracing the rosters of America’s leading opera companies, including the Los Angeles Opera, Santa Fe Opera, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, and The Metropolitan Opera.

A one million dollar endowment from Flora Laney Thornton, one of Southern California’s most beloved and honored arts philanthropists, ensures high quality productions and often contributes scholarship aid for the summer opera program abroad.  

  The Pickford Ensemble 

Under the direction of Professor Hanks, this new music ensemble is dedicated to performing this special music. Selected by audition, The Pickford Ensemble represents Pepperdine's finest student instrumentalists and singers.