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New Chamber Music Society Teams Up with Vocal Chords for Winter Concerts

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Musicians from the Chamber Music Society perform at the Family House Thanksgiving Dinner. (Left to right) Hanna Retallack (MS1), Sherman Jia (R2), Catherine Chiu (MS2), Arnold Kim and Russell Coh.

By Sherman Jia and Jamie Wong
Contributing Writers

Music has an extraordinary ability to heal — it enriches the lives of both physicians and their patients. There is a large community of musicians at UCSF, but the opportunity to share their talents and love for music has been limited.

To remedy this, students and residents have established the Chamber Music Society at UCSF, an organization that provides opportunities for UCSF musicians to deliver chamber music performances, and to provide outreach concerts at local health care-related facilities.

The Society holds several sight-reading sessions each semester for musicians to meet one another and to form longitudinal chamber music groups. In just three months, the Society has created a network of over 50 musicians, composed of UCSF students, residents and staff.

“The fact that so many groups are jumping at the opportunity to perform speaks to how much talent exists at UCSF, and how much potential the Society has in the years to come,” said Catherine Chiu, a second-year medical student.

The Vocal Chords enjoying a last rehearsal before A Winter Concert.On December 7 and 14, the Chamber Music Society at UCSF will join Vocal Chords A Cappella in concert for two performances in Cole Hall at the Medical Sciences Building on Parnassus. These concerts will feature nine different chamber music ensembles, ranging from duets to quintets.

The Vocal Chords, UCSF’s co-ed a cappella group, comprised of students, researchers, post-docs, staff, faculty and affiliates, will share new renditions of classic, contemporary and pop hits.

Eight new members have joined Vocal Chords’ 14-member group this season, adding such talents as musical direction, undergraduate a cappella experience, musical theater, choreography and beat-boxing.

“I’ve never done this cappella before. I am so happy to be part of it this year, because it is a new musical challenge, and I’ve gotten to know new friends, the wonderful and talented members of VC,” said Jennifer Rakotomamonjy, a postdoctoral fellow of Physiology and former soul/R’nB songstress from France.

“Joining the Vocal Chords was one of the best decisions I’ve made at UCSF,” added seasoned member Nicole Wong, a junior research specialist in the Department of Bioengineering/Therapeutic Sciences. “They’re an outstanding group of people who have come together to share their passion for singing.”


Vocal Chords has entertained and inspired audiences ranging from their Spring Concerts to singing the national anthem at the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford University last summer.

A Winter Concert
Saturday, December 7 and 14
UCSF Cole Hall, Parnassus
3–5 p.m.
Free admission
Free food and drinks

Chamber Music Society
Visit us: https://www.facebook.com/UCSFChamberMusicSociety
Contact: cms@ucsf.edu


Vocal Chords
Visit us: https://www.facebook.com/VocalChordsUCSF
Contact: Jamie.Wong@ucsf.edu

Sherman Jia is a resident physician of Neurology and Jamie Wong is a third-year Physical Therapy student.


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