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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

The University Chorus and guest orchestra in final preparation for their November 2013 performance of the Mozart Requiem
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. This year’s fall concert is scheduled for Sunday, November 16, 2014 at 3:30pm in the Colgate University Memorial Chapel. The Colgate University Chorus and guest orchestra will present Joseph Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, a choral-orchestral masterpiece composed during the Napoleonic wars, along with music of American composers John Corigliano (Fern Hill) and Samuel Barber (Knoxville: Summer of 1915).

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.

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 fall 2014 (by appointment)
  • Wednesday, August 27, 1:00–5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 28, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
  • Friday, August 29, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
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.