UPDATE: We've received a positive response and have been in communication with Dean Chris Waterman of the UCLA School of Arts & Architecture and Professor Michael Dean, Chair of the Music Department. We are still hoping for a response from the Chancellor, and as such would like to keep our petition open so that we can continue to garner support and raise awareness about UCLA Choral Activities.
UCLA CHORAL MUSIC in GRAVE PERIL: A Call to Action
Our names are Kanwal Sumnani and Stephanie Sybert. We are the president and vice president of UCLA’s chapter of the American Choral Director’s Association. We are writing to share both a recent triumph and a matter of grave concern. Last Saturday, June 7, we had the most spectacular concert in two decades: Donald Neuen’s retirement concert. Alumni around the world joined us, and over 300 performers filled the stage! This was the culmination of the world-class choral legacy Neuen has built.
Grave Peril: You should know, that the future of choral music at UCLA is in jeopardy. We have been informed that with the retirement of Prof. Neuen, the current plans for next year will shrink choral music to one quarter of what it has been, and unless we find a multi-million dollar donor to endow a chair, choral music may cease to exist in 2015-2016. To take one of the nation’s leading choral programs and destroy it at the retirement of its great conductor is a crime to all future UCLA students and an embarrassment in the academic and music worlds.
We would be the only UC school not to have a choral music program. Even two-year colleges across the nation without music departments have choral programs. Choral music serves the entire campus, the entire community, and it is so important to us.
We would like to appeal to the chancellor and Board of Regents to take a closer and more thoughtful look at what is happening to choral music at UCLA.
We know you value choral music at UCLA. You have either performed with us, attended our concerts, or known someone whose life has been touched by choral activities. We invite you to join your voice to ours to keep Prof. Neuen’s legacy alive through the continuation of choral music at UCLA.
Please take a moment to sign the petition, and if you feel passionately about preserving choral music at UCLA, as we do, you may also write a note to the Chancellor, Dean, President of the university and/or Board of Regents.
Chancellor Gene Block: firstname.lastname@example.org
UC Board of Regents: email@example.com
Thank you for all you have done to support Choral Activities at UCLA! Please help us save this program!
Kanwal Sumnani and Stephanie Sybert,
President and Vice President, CEA @ UCLA