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Choral Music

The choral music program performs a broad range musical styles to engage singers of all levels. Our singers regularly perform choral masterworks with orchestra, an experience that few other liberal arts universities can offer.

University Chorus and Chamber Singers

About the University Chorus
Conducted by Dr. Ryan Endris, the University Chorus is a large, mixed-voice ensemble that performs a broad range of traditional choral literature, often with an accompanying orchestra comprised of professional instrumentalists from the faculty and regional orchestras. Singing in the University Chorus is a wonderful way to meet new people, to represent your university, and to perform some of the greatest works of all time! The University Chorus performs one major concert each semester.

About the Chamber Singers
The Chamber Singers is a select student choral ensemble that specializes in the performance of a cappella choral music at the highest level. The Chamber Singers, which numbers between 12 and 24 singers, are all members of the University Chorus. This chamber choir also performs a broad range of musical repertoire, from music of the Renaissance, to African-American spirituals, to music composed in the 21st century. In addition to performing in concert, the Chamber Singers perform at several university functions, including the annual Lessons & Carols service in December.
Spring Choral Concert
Sunday, April 19, 2015, 3:30pm
Colgate Memorial Chapel

The Chamber Singers will perform the sacred music of Johannes Brahms (Two Motets, op.74), Franz Liszt (Ave Verum Corpus), Arvo Pärt (Magnificat), and Josef Rheinberger (Abendlied). The Colgate University Chorus will join them in singing music of American composers William Dawson (Ain’a That Good News), Moses Hogan (Elijah Rock), and Stephen Paulus (Pilgrim’s Hymn). The highlight of the concert will be the Colgate University Chorus and guest orchestra’s presentation of Antonín Dvořák’s Mass in D major, op. 86.

Central Europe Concert Tour
May 18-27, 2015
The Colgate University choral ensembles will embark on a concert tour of Central Europe, with performances in the cities of Prague, Bratislava, Vienna, and Budapest. The University Chorus and Chamber Singers will present a concert of sacred repertoire that features the music of Czech composer Antonín Dvořák and Hungarian composer Franz Liszt. The European concert tour is generously supported by the Helen Persson Fund for the Performing Arts, the Office of the President, and the Department of Music.
Click below for more details:

Students eating pizza
Who can join the choral ensembles?
The University Chorus is open to all students, faculty, staff, and community members after passing a brief, simple audition. It is a community for those who love music and wish to participate in a choral ensemble. Participation in the Chamber Singers is limited to current Colgate students who have demonstrated both musical ability and dedication to the choral art.
When do the choral ensembles rehearse?
The University Chorus rehearses on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. in the Memorial Chapel. The Chamber Singers rehearses on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:45 – 8:00 p.m. Additionally, one or two dress rehearsals are scheduled prior to each concert.
What if I have a scheduling conflict with the rehearsal times?
Regular attendance at rehearsal in all choral ensembles is expected (see above for rehearsal times); however, we know that students at Colgate are engaged in a variety of activities, and so there is some flexibility in working around occasional conflicts with rehearsals.
Can I receive academic credit (and a grade) for singing in the University Chorus?
Yes, students who participate in the University Chorus for two consecutive semesters can earn one full credit and a grade, and this credit may be earned a maximum of two times. Students register for the credit in their second semester of participation, and students’ grades are based on attendance, professionalism, and musicianship in rehearsal and performance in both semesters.
I’m involved in another singing or music group on campus. Can I still participate in the university choral ensembles?
Absolutely! In fact, we encourage our students to be involved a variety of music ensembles to have a well-rounded college music experience. Members of other singing groups and ensembles are most welcome in the choral ensembles, and there is some flexibility for accommodating scheduling conflicts.

Joining the University Chorus

Auditions for spring 2015 (by appointment)
  • Monday, January 19
  • Tuesday, January 20
Auditions for the University Chorus are open to all student, faculty, staff, and community members who have an interest in singing in a large, mixed-voice choir that performs a broad range of music. Singers of all levels and experiences are welcome in the University Chorus; however, some singers might benefit from private voice lessons before joining the University Chorus.

A simple, brief audition is required to participate in the University Chorus for purposes of vocal placement in the ensemble and for the director to get to know each singer vocally. No prepared material is necessary for the audition, which takes place privately in Dana 106. For the audition, each singer will sing through simple vocal exercises and sight-sing a brief musical excerpt. Those students interested in being considered for the Chamber Singers should indicate this on their audition forms; no separate audition is held for this choir.

To schedule an audition time or for more information, please contact Dr. Ryan Endris, director of choral and vocal activities, at rendris@colgate.edu.