UT CHORAL ENSEMBLES
What is the University of Toledo Women’s Chorus?UT Women’s Chorus is a class that meets at 11:00 AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 1 hour of credit. The choir will usually sing two performances each semester as a part of the Choral Department Concerts Series with Concert Chorale and Men’s Chorus. The three choirs will tour for one or two days during one semester a year. If special performances are scheduled, extra rehearsals may be scheduled some evenings or weekends. This will only be done with the approval of the chorus.
Membership is open to all UT women regardless of major. No audition is required; however, basic musicianship and pitch matching ability are checked.
Who directs the Women’s Chorus?
The director of the U.T. Women’s Chorus is Denise Ritter-Bernardini, assistant professor of voice. She recently joined the UT Department of Music faculty (Fall 2011). Ms. Ritter Bernardini, who replaces the recently retired Dr. Barbara Rondelli Perry, comes to UT from the voice faculty of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. In addition, she has also served on the faculties of Oklahoma City University and the University of Oklahoma. She received a Bachelor’s degree from East Central University, a Master of Music from Texas Christian University and her DMA from the University of Oklahoma.
A lyric soprano she has extensive Oratorio experience with performances under the batons of world-renowned conductors such as Robert Shaw and John Rutter. Her operatic roles include her recently performed “La Traviata” in Charlottesville, Virginia as Violetta as well as with Master Works Festival. After receiving rave reviews, she was asked to return as Gilda in Verdi’s “Rigoletto” with the Oratorio Society of Charlottesville, Virginia. Other leading roles in opera include Hanna in “The Merry Widow,” ChoChoka in “The Cunning Little Vixen,” Yum Yum in “The Mikado” and Rosalinda in “Die Fledermaus.”
Ms. Ritter Bernardini has been a soloist in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops as well as the Actor’s Club in New York. She has received several prominent awards, some of which are from the Metropolitan Opera, American Traditions Competition and the Benton- Schmidtt Contest and the National Federation of Music Clubs.
What is the repertoire performed by the choir?
Repertoire is chosen from the greatest music composed for women’s chorus over the past 600 years. A wide variety of music is chosen from both the sacred and secular representing composers from J. S. Bach to Gwyneth Walker. Some works recently performed include: ‘Kyrie’ from Missa Brevis in c minor by Imant Raminsh, ‘Ching-A-Ring-Chaw by Aaron Copland, and ‘Duet For Two Cats’ by Gioacchino Rossini.
Are there solo opportunities?
Is special concert dress required?Yes. A special dress is required. The cost is around $100.00. Dresses may be ordered from Stage Accents, 234 Industrial Parkway, Northvale, NJ 07647. The phone number is 800-631-1611. The dress – ‘Dahlia’ #8864. Cost - $55.00 plus shipping. See the dress.
If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Ritter-Bernardini. The Women’s Chorus is growing in both size and stature. Please consider being a part of it!
UT Choirs CD "When Music Sounds"