Letter to Students Interested in Choirs

Dear New Cal Poly Student,

Welcome to Cal Poly! I want to let you know how glad I am that you have chosen Cal Poly for your college experience.  From your studies to the various clubs and activities you have to choose from, there is much at Cal Poly to keep you busy. We hope that you choose choir to be among them! And, there is much to enjoy on the Central Coast.

The choral program at Cal Poly is strong and exciting. We have four choirs from which to choose:

  • PolyPhonics: This select group is the most advanced choral ensemble on campus. PolyPhonics is a highly visible ensemble and a touring choir that represents the university in the community, across the nation and internationally. Recent and upcoming tours include the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, Carnegie Hall, England and France. 
    Rehearsals: Daily except Thursday, 11:10 a.m.–12 noon
  • The University Singers: This is a large mixed choir which performs works for women's and men's chorus, as well as works for large mixed chorus. Included in its repertoire are sacred and secular works in many styles including newly composed works, as well as multicultural selections.
    Rehearsals: Daily except Friday 4:10–5:00 p.m.
  • Chamber Choir: The group specializes in the performance of works from the Renaissance and Baroque, as well as modern chamber music. Members include instrumentalists as well as vocalists. Vocalists must be enrolled in at least one other vocal ensemble or enrolled in private lessons.
    Rehearsals: Daily except Friday 3:10–4:00 p.m.
  • Women’s Chorus: This select group is an advanced ensemble specializing in the performance of repertoire for soprano and alto voices. The ensemble performs a variety of repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to modern, jazz and other genres. The group also has travel opportunities including to Vienna and Salzburg, Austria, in December 2020.
    Rehearsals: Wednesdays 4:10-5 p.m., Fridays 10:10-11 a.m.

All singers who wish to participate in choir at Cal Poly must take a choral placement hearing. This is a low-stress time for me to hear you sing and gauge your experience level. These placement hearings will take place during Week of Welcome (WOW) and at the beginning of the quarter. Please check the Cal Poly Choirs website for details regarding this process. You can sign up online!

With the ongoing pandemic, we know that the immediate future for you is in many ways uncertain. In the choral area, we plan to include all singers in the fall who want to be a part of an ensemble. We hope to be able to offer socially distant, face-to-face rehearsals for those who are comfortable with the process and choose to be on campus. There will be virtual ways to participate should you not be on campus until later in the year. All ensembles will be auditioned and populated without consideration of whether or not you will be on campus in the fall, so you can feel free to proceed according to what is most comfortable for you and your family, and still fully participate in the ensemble that is best for you. In this unprecedented time, we are also taking steps to help make sure you feel connected to our program. We would like to invite you to a series of casual choir hangouts with both new and continuing members of the Cal Poly Choirs. Please drop in to any of the following you like … or all of them! No need to sign up, just click the link to join the zoom meeting at the listed time!

The Cal Poly choir program prides itself on a long tradition of excellence in choral music, but more importantly, as a means for students to feel free to be themselves and express themselves creatively through song. The experience is all about making beautiful choral art, lifelong friendships and changing the world through music.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. I look forward to meeting you in the fall.

Come join us!

Dr. Scott Glysson
Director of Choral Activities and Vocal Studies
(805) 756-1548