Lyric theater separates from UD Choral classes

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The University of Dallas Music Department recently held auditions for the Lyric Theater Spring Performance: Operatic Vignettes.

This semester, Lyric Theater is a separate class from UD Chorale, differing from previous semesters when the two courses were combined.  

Freshman Biology major Isabela Lima says six people, including herself, are participating in Lyric Theater this semester. The other singers “are mainly upperclassmen,” Lima said. She suggested providing “more promotion” for the class of Lyric Theater to encourage more participation from all classes. 

She auditioned and registered for the class in December. Both Lyric Theater and UD Chorale are offered for one credit for a pass or fail grade, but they can also count as an extracurricular instead of a class. Adjunct professors Brian Bentley and Sharon Gross direct the UD Chorale and Lyric Theater, respectively, but were unavailable to comment.

“It was spontaneous,” Lima said about her audition for Lyric Theater. She sang throughout high school, so she wanted “to see what musical opportunities they have” in the University of Dallas Music Department. Lima is deciding between a French or Music concentration to add to her Biology degree. 

The Music concentration requires at least 12 academic credits of music theory, history and electives along with at least six credits of applied music,private or ensembled, according to the requirements of undergraduate programs in the 2019-2020 UD Bulletin. Voice or instrumental lessons and ensembles such as UD Chorale, Gregorian Chant with UD Schola or Lyric Theater qualify as applied music courses. Students often participate in UD Chorale in the Fall, then later join Lyric Theater in the spring, so they may receive two credits of applied music in a single year. 

Lima registered for both Lyric Theater and UD Chorale this semester as two separate courses. 

However, she understands how other students can find devoting six to seven hours to music each week “a little intimidating” if the classes are combined. She estimates that 25 people are participating in the UD Chorale this semester. 

“There are advantages and disadvantages to both separate and combined classes, but ultimately, my goal as director of the Music Department is to create opportunities for our many talented students to experience music in a variety of settings,” Director of the Music Department Kristin Van Cleve said.  

Van Cleve explained in an email that “the Lyric Theater and the UD Chorale were combined” last spring in order “to facilitate the presentation of the musical ‘South Pacific,’ which required a number of soloists as well as a full chorus.” 

Previous spring performances by Lyric Theater include “South Pacific” in 2019, select scenes from “Kiss Me, Kate” in 2018 and “Follies” in 2017.  This semester, the main performance in May will be an assortment of acts from comic operas. 

Lyric Theater, UD Chorale and the UD Schola are unique musical courses which can strengthen each student’s musical skill and passion for music.   

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