CSULB Choirs Take their Music on the Road

Bob Cole Conservatory of Music - Choir Travel Update

At the beginning of June, the Bob Cole Chamber Choir returned from a spectacular 12-day tour of Northern Italy and Slovenia.  This trip was CSULB’s top choir’s 9th international tour with their conductor, Dr. Jonathan Talberg. When asked to describe the trip, Talberg said, “This was one of them most beautiful tours we’ve ever taken. The weather was magnificent and our performance venues in Cremona, Padua, and Ljubljana were absolutely spectacular. We were met with full, appreciative audiences everywhere we sang, and we had the opportunity to experience extraordinary cultural landmarks like a private boat cruise and the Doge’s Palace in Venice, the Stradivarius museum in Cremona, and the great castle in Ljubljana. Students enjoyed a day off at the alpine resort town of Bled where they did stand up paddle boards, rented row boats, and swam. We also had wonderful group meals to experience the fantastic food culture throughout the trip.”

Chamber Choir performing in European church under the direction of Jonathan Talberg

This tour was CSULB’s third choir trip this year; the Chamber Choir had already travelled to Cincinnati, Ohio to represent California at the American Choral Directors Association, and the University Choir spent half of their spring break in Hawaii participating in the celebrations for Prince Kuhio day in Honolulu. “This semester was the first we’ve been able to travel since the Covid epidemic and we took full advantage of the opportunity for our students to experience different cultures and acoustical spaces. We’re looking forward to a California recruiting tour in January of 2024. I’m excited to bring these extraordinary singers into high schools and community college auditoriums throughout out state.” 


Bob Cole Chamber Choir Wows at the American Choral Directors Association Conference in Cincinnati

The CSULB Bob Cole Chamber Choir was one of only six college and university choirs invited to perform at the 2023 American Choral Directors Association Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, the largest professional gathering for choir directors in the nation. The set of songs performed by the Chamber Choir included music by four living composers, including "Champa Battambang," a deeply popular and classic song in Cambodia. CSULB master's candidate Darita Seth arranged the song for the choir and performed as soloist; when they sung it on stage at the conference it was the first time Khmer lyrics were shared in song by a choir in the national convention's history. The choir received two standing ovations as part of their set. Video of the choir performing Champa Battambang is available on YouTube.

Bob Cole Chamber Choir onstage at the American Choral Directors Conference during their performance


The CSULB University Choir Traveled to Hawai'i During Spring Break

The CSULB University Choir spent Spring Break in Hawai'i, traveling to several different venues in order to perform their eclectic repertoire and to share and exchange choral performances with island choirs. In addition to enjoying the surf and sand, the choir visited the Arizona Memorial, enjoyed hula dancing lessonswith the Hawai'i Children's Chorus and sang at the festival to celebrate Prince Kuhio at Honolulu's Kawaiaha'o Church.

University Choir members standing on a dock in and around small boats.