The Cuesta Music Department boasts three daytime vocal ensembles. The Cuesta Chamber Singers have toured Europe and performed at the CMEA convention. Cuesta Voce has performed at the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals, as well as several IAJE and ACDA National Conventions. Cuesta has two evening community choirs: the Cuesta Master Chorale (San Luis Obispo) and the North County Chorus (Paso Robles).
The Cuesta Chamber Singers, Cuesta College’s premier choral ensemble, performs a wide variety of choral works to excellent critical acclaim. Since its inception in 1997, the ensemble has toured extensively through the Western United States.
The Chamber Singers programs generally feature masterpieces dating back to the Renaissance, to intriguing contemporary African, gospel, and classical works. Recent concerts have featured outstanding performances of the Vivaldi Magnificat, Bach Motets and Cantatas, touching devotional songs, tour de force jazz arrangements, and lush works from the Romantic period. American works include traditional Gospel tunes and Spirituals, as well as works by contemporary American composers and arrangers such as Eric Whitacre, Daniel Pinkham, Morten Lauridsen, René Clausen, and Byron Smith.
Vocé is Cuesta College’s premier vocal jazz ensemble. Since its inception in 1981, the ensemble has toured extensively through the West Coast and has toured Europe seven times. On their most recent international tour, Vocé performed at the 2000 Montreux International Jazz Festival. Vocé has received numerous awards including an Outstanding Performance Award from Downbeat magazine, a First Place Award at the 1997 Reno Jazz Festival, and Second Place at the 2003 Reno Jazz Festival. Vocé has had the honor of being a featured perfomer at the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference in 1998 and 2003, and at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in 2005.
The Cuesta Concert Choir is open to all singers with a placement audition. The Concert Choir performs four concerts per year, while singers work on the fundamental techniques of quality choral performance: sight-reading and vocal production. The choir performs a wide variety of literature.
The Cuesta Concert Choir holds auditions at the beginning of each school term, in August and January. Auditions test range, pitch matching, musicianship, and sight singing. While a wide variety of ability and experience levels are accepted, each singer is chosen based on the fact that their voice will make a positive addition to the choral sound. For audition information contact the conductor, John Knutson, at 805-546-3100 Ext. 2667.
The North County Chorus
The North County Chorus is a College-Community choral ensemble. The choir performs a wide variety of music, including major choral works, selected choral music from all time periods, popular and jazz favorites, broadway tunes, and folk music.
The choir performs both on campus and in other performance venues in North County. The choir is made up of full-time and part-time Cuesta students as well as members of the community.
NCC holds auditions at the beginning of each school term, in August and January. Auditions test range, pitch matching, musicianship, and sight singing. While a wide variety of ability and experience levels are accepted, each singer is chosen based on the fact that their voice will make a positive addition to the choral sound. For audition information contact the conductor, Cassandra Tarantino, at 805-546-3936.