Disney is an iconic brand with classic traits as a company and a brand with whom many desire to work.
California Baptist University’s University Choir and Orchestra recorded tracks Jan. 12 for Disney’s live action “Beauty and the Beast”. Last semester, UCO recorded tracks for Disney’s “Moana.” Many of CBU’s faculty work with Disney for musical training and performing. However, this particular project was introduced by Rick Muchow, former worship leader at Saddleback Church.
Judd Bonner, associate professor of music, sees that any chance to work with Disney is an incredible opportunity to grow as a musician.
“Any time our students have the opportunity to perform in the professional world, it is an excellent chance to grow,” Bonner said. “In this case, our University Choir students had to perform at a high level of professionalism under extreme time constraints. We all enjoyed it, and the recording engineers and producers were overwhelmed with the quality of our choir and the individual students.”
Elise Winegarden, sophomore music education major, gave insight on how the recording process works.
“Disney usually contacts us and asks us if we’re available to record … but we don’t know the music until the day we record,” Winegarden said. “We have Disney music professionals helping us to make sure everything is Disney-level quality.”
Being a part of something bigger than oneself is a major reason why so many students are passionate about University Choir and Orchestra. Libby Rivera, freshman sociology major, found this apparent in the recent Disney track recordings.
“The fact that they sought us out to record speaks volumes about our music program and is a huge reminder how blessed I am to be a part of something so amazing,” Rivera said. “Recording is almost like a bonding experience … when we mess up and start laughing, it’s almost one of my favorite parts. Overall, I am so grateful for the opportunities that come along with being a part of UCO.”
According to Bonner, it is more than likely that the UCO will work with Disney again in the future.
“Based on the response from the producers who work for Disney … it is quite likely that we will do more work for Disney in the future,” Bonner said.