University Chorus and Chamber Singers

About the University Chorus

Conducted by Professor 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 comprising professional instrumentalists from the faculty and regional orchestras. Singing in the University Chorus is a wonderful way to meet new people, to represent Colgate off campus, and to perform some of the greatest musical 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. Members of the Chamber Singers, which number between 12 and 24, are all members of the University Chorus. This chamber choir performs a broad musical repertoire, from music of the Renaissance, to African American spirituals, to music composed in the 21st century. In addition to performing in concert with the University Chorus, the Chamber Singers performs in concert on its own, including at the annual Lessons & Carols service each December and at Colgate athletic events. The Chamber Singers has collaborated with Grammy-nominated ensembles such as NY Polyphony and The Crossing and have also performed as an opening act for celebrities and dignitaries, including Aretha Franklin and Vice President Joe Biden.

Joining the University Chorus

Auditions for the University Chorus are open to all students, faculty members, 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 M02 (office between 1st and 2nd floors). 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 Professor Ryan Endris at rendris@colgate.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

The University Chorus is open to all students, faculty members, 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. Members of the community must be at least 18 years of age and post–high school. Participation in the Chamber Singers is limited to current Colgate students who have demonstrated both musical ability and dedication to the choral art.

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.

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, so there is some flexibility in working around occasional conflicts with rehearsals.

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.

Absolutely. Students are encouraged to be involved in 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.