Like many Memorial Day weekend travelers, members of the UC Chamber Chorus will hit the road in late May, but not for leisure.
The 28-member a capella ensemble will perform concerts with music by Latin American and Slavic composers during stops in Cambridge, Mass., New York City and Washington, D.C.
This tour will be the first for the Grammy-nominated group of singing students, faculty, staff and community members since 1999, when it performed at Vienna's St. Stephens Cathedral and the Kiev Conservatory in Ukraine.
"We are quite well-regarded locally -- it's good to share our music-making with another audience," said Marika Kuzma, chorus director and a UC Berkeley associate professor of music.
Kuzma said that while most college choirs focus on American and Western European music, the UC Chamber Chorus likes to venture into the music of other cultures as well. She has done extensive research on Ukrainian and Russian music and worked with colleagues across the country to develop the Latin American repertoire for the tour.
"Singing music from these cultures brings us closer to their sensibilities and makes their struggles and joys that much more real to us," Kuzma said.
The chorus has performed locally at such venues as Zellerbach and Hertz halls on campus, Oakland's Paramount Theater, and Grace Cathedral and Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco.
On the upcoming tour, the chorus's Cambridge program will be held at the First Church Congregational on May 25; the New York event will be at St. Michael's Church (99th and Amsterdam streets) on May 26; and the D.C. performances will be on the morning of May 28 at St. John's Lafayette Square, dubbed the "Church of the Presidents" because it's across from the White House, and on the afternoon of May 28 at the Church of the Epiphany on "H" Street.
More information about the UC Chamber Chorus is online at http://music.berkeley.edu/chchorus.html. For more information about the tour, contact Nancy Hall at email@example.com.