News

LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING: Black Opera Singers Raise Their Voices in Remembrance and Triumph

Prof. Darryl Taylor, countertenor, recently participated in soprano Nicole Heaston’s Purple Robe Song Series. The Juneteenth tribute features 65 of the nation’s top operatic talents, singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing!” arranged by Roland Carter.

The song was written by James Weldon Johnson and was first performed by 500 school children to celebrate President Lincoln’s Birthday on February 12, 1900, in Jacksonville, FL. The poem was set to music by his brother, John Rosamond Johnson, and soon adopted by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as its official song.

Soprano 1
Nicole Heaston
Angela Brown
Kearstin Piper
Read More: LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING: Black Opera Singers Raise Their Voices in Remembrance and Triumph

UCI Vocal Arts students pay tribute to the lives lost to Covid-19

On June 6, 2020, the UCI Chamber Singers released a virtual choral performance of “Unclouded Day,” an old American folk song, newly arranged by renowned composer Shawn Kirchner. Dr. Irene Messoloras, Choir Director at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, conducted the virtual performance, featuring 30 UCI students and Kirchner on piano. The song, a gospel favorite, demonstrated the extraordinary range of UCI vocal students and paid tribute to the lives lost to Covid-19.

The UCI Department of Music strives to offer students unparalleled experiences with stellar musicians, whose career trajectories are model examples of professional success. Therefore, it was quite a windfall to have Shawn Kirchner share his composition and accompaniment with the UCI Chamber Singers, especially at a time when musical instruction faces unprecedented challenges.

Kirchner is active in Los Angeles’s professional music scene. He is a member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and regularly
Read More: UCI Vocal Arts students pay tribute to the lives lost to Covid-19

Chiisana Omatsuri by Kei Akagi

Jazz pianist and head of the Jazz Studies program at UCI, Prof. Kei Akagi, was recently invited by Bay Area artists Brenda Wong Aoki and Marl Izu to be part of Earth Dance 2020: First Voice Earth Day, Offerings to Mother Earth.

"Many traditions believe everything and everyone is part of a living, loving earth. Today we know our beautiful planet is actually quite small and we humans are fragile. Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, First Voice proudly presents a series of artist videos, all made during shelter in place, from the First Voice family of artists and healers. We are also sharing videos of past works we have done in collaboration with many of these artists. With these offerings, we radiate healing energy, and resonate in new and ancient ways with Mother Earth, so we can re-member how to love and care for Her and one another." - Brenda Wong Aoki and Marl Izu

Kei Akagi performs
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Saints and Anteaters together in Music during COVID-19

2020 was going to be the year that the annual combined concert, comprised of the UCI Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Ana High School (SAHS) Symphony Orchestra, "went bigger" and became the "Triple Jubilee." The ensembles were poised to perform in the Downtown Santa Ana Arts District on the 2nd Street Promenade. The faculty and students were going to have the opportunity to connect with the City of Santa Ana and local businesses. They were going to be able to share their talents with the broader community. But how do musicians rehearse together when they can't BE together? How do educators keep young musicians engaged in music when they can't practice at home?

On March 17, 2020, one day after UCI's campus-wide work from home operations began, the Santa Ana High School Music Partnership team met via Zoom.

"What began as a simple check-in with our longtime partners to see how everyone was doing on a human level, quickly became a planning meeting to discuss how to
Read More: Saints and Anteaters together in Music during COVID-19

A New Cultural Paradigm at the UC Irvine School of the Arts

“Performance is the golden thread of connection among living bodies,” said Stephen Barker Ph.D., Dean, UC Irvine Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA), during a recent Zoom interview. “It captures the essence of the human experience.”


Read More: A New Cultural Paradigm at the UC Irvine School of the Arts

Art and soul

#UCIArtsAnywhere encourages people to post photos or videos of themselves engaging with the arts on social media.


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Changing Tides II - A Telematic Translocational Concert

Changing Tides II
A Telematic Translocational Concert

A simultaneous performance, different time zones.

Stream Now

In February 2020, Prof. Michael Dessen, along with a group of intercultural artists, presented Changing Tides II – an intercultural music collaboration responding to the climate crisis. The unique performance was an extension of a previous 2016 audio-visual collaboration and took place simultaneously in two different venues and different time zones.

The production, utilizing cutting-edge technologies, featured renowned musical improvisers in Seoul and San Diego. The concert simultaneously blended a live collaborative performance, pre-recorded materials, visualizations of climate data, and original compositions integrating Korean music and jazz. Overall, the performance linked 11 musicians in a stunning scenic
Read More: Changing Tides II - A Telematic Translocational Concert

#UCIArtsAnywhere

As our faculty, students, and staff prepare for an unusual spring quarter of remote teaching and learning, the lyrics to Barbra Streisand’s “People” keep swimming through my mind. “People, people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world.” In a world facing an international pandemic, it seems that now is the time when we need to rely on our people, and we are lucky to have the incredible connection of people through the UCI Arts community. Connection can be a phone call, a virtual meeting, a solo performance, a shared piece of art, or a fun social media post. It means staying connected in a virtual world during this period of isolation.

This week the Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA) launched #UCIArtsAnywhere, a social media campaign responding to restrictions and changes in the face of COVID-19. The goal is to keep our UCI Arts community connected and to share the ongoing creative and academic work happening at CTSA.
Read More: #UCIArtsAnywhere

An important update from Dean Barker

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, we want to keep you, our valued supporters and community members, updated on how the Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA) in collaboration with the greater UCI community are responding. We are working diligently to quickly adapt to the rapidly developing circumstances in order to protect our students, staff, faculty, patrons, and the world-class academic and creative work we do at CTSA.

Below are some courses of action we are currently implementing;

  • All CTSA courses will be taught online for the spring quarter; including studio, laboratory, seminar, and larger classes.
  • All performances, exhibitions, and events have been postponed, canceled, or will be reimagined in virtual ways.
  • All CTSA staff and faculty are working remotely, for the next few weeks or until further notice.

Even though our efforts are temporarily shifting to a remote and digital platform, our community of
Read More: An important update from Dean Barker

UCI Campus Virtual Reality Tour

Even though we cannot host our future students on campus at this time, it is no reason for you to not be able to take a tour! Learn more about UCI here. (Hosted through You Visit)


Read More: UCI Campus Virtual Reality Tour

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