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OP Singers seek new talent

The sounds of the OP Singers have been a beloved part of holiday merriment at UCOP for 34 years.

Willie Archie has directed the OP Singers for nearly all of those 34 years. He retired earlier this year after 40 years of service at UCOP as university research security manager. He’s coming out of retirement to conduct the OP Singers for the 2010 season.

And the OP Singers are looking for carolers! They welcome more singers this year – their 35th – especially sopranos.

Be a part of UCOP’s holiday tradition and join this harmonious group. Contact Charlotte Strem, interim director, Physical and Environmental Planning, at (510) 987-0113 or, for details or to book the group for your office holiday party this year. Rehearsals are Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. in the Franklin Building, Room 6113 (except Thanksgiving week, when practice is on Monday, Nov 22).

More about the OP Singers

The UCOP singers are folks who simply love to sing. It’s fun to sing together, and it’s a fun way to get to know folks in other units, says Strem, who’s been with the OP Singers for a number of years.

“Out of our silos, into four-part harmony!”

Archie and Betty Kerley formed the group in the mid ‘70s. Some members are current UCOP employees and some are former UCOP and UC employees. Like Archie, retirees Sandra Douglas, who retired when OP was still in Berkeley, and Sue Taylor, also continue to sing with the OP Singers.

Sarah Goodheart joined the melodious assemblage last year when she was a newcomer at OP. Goodheart enjoys the rehearsals and is excited about their expanded repertoire this season.

During the 2009 season, they had performances in the Kaiser lobby at lunch and sang people in to work in the Franklin lobby. They also perform at the UCOP holiday party every year. Historically it’s their last performance of the season.

The OP Singers also perform for a local civic group, Lake Merritt Breakfast Club. Singing at the Lake Merritt Breakfast Club is a true test of dedication as they have breakfast at 7:00 a.m., says Strem. But they are our most appreciative audience so it’s worth it. They sing along on all the sing-along songs, and give us a standing ovation every time, she says.

They’ve sung in just about every configuration and office party arrangement – floor to floor at the former UCOP location at University Hall on the UC Berkeley campus, on the top floor of the Kaiser Building when all of UCOP was located there, in crowded hallways in the Franklin Building, in the Rotunda Building and even with a view in the Treasurer’s Office.

The OP Singers also sing for office parties. “Feed us, we’ll come,” Strem says.

2010 Rehearsal Schedule

Rehearsals are in the Franklin Building, Room 6113, from noon to 1 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 27
  • Wednesday, Nov. 3
  • Wednesday, Nov. 10
  • Wednesday, Nov. 17
  • Monday, Nov. 22 (Thanksgiving week)
  • Wednesday, Dec. 1 – tentative, may be rescheduled
  • Wednesday, Dec. 8

Read more about the UCOP Singers in a past issue of Link.

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