The Waldorf Choir is the second oldest collegiate a cappella choir in the United States and is the premier choral ensemble at Waldorf University. Founded in 1916 by Oscar Lyders and strengthened under the long tenure of Odvin Hagen, the choir has maintained the standard of excellence of the Lutheran choral tradition throughout its history. Waldorf Choir is directed by Joel Everist.
The Waldorf Choir’s tours have brought its artistry and message to national and international audiences. Recent tours have taken the choir across the United States and to Europe, performing institutions such as Lincoln Center in New York City and at conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. This rich choral culture cultivated at Waldorf University during the last 100 years is presently augmented by two additional vocal ensembles: Sangkor, a Waldorf student and faculty and Forest City community choir; and the Schola Cantorum, a chamber ensemble of mixed voices.
Meaning literally, “song-choir” in Norwegian, Sangkor is the women’s ensemble at Waldorf. Drawing its members from all majors on campus, Sangkor presents its own concerts, sings for a variety of campus events and performs in the annual Christmas With Waldorf concert. Sankor is directed by Travis Beck.
The Schola Cantorum, which means “singing school” in Latin, represents the entire student body of Waldorf. Made up of both music majors and non-majors, Schola Cantorum presents a wide variety of music ranging from Renaissance polyphony to world music to jazz. Schola Cantorum presents its own concerts, performs in the annual Christmas With Waldorf concert and sings at community events throughout the year. Joel Everist is the conductor for Schola Cantorum.
The Waldorf Wind Ensemble, established as the Waldorf Band after the end of World War II, has won a reputation for excellence, especially in recent years. The Wind Ensemble performs literature typical of top collegiate wind groups, from British band classics to the works of newer American, African and Asian composers.
Select members of the Waldorf Wind Ensemble form smaller ensembles, such as the Ambassador Brass Quintet and the Ambassador Woodwind Quintet, which frequent local churches and schools. Ensemble members also rally as a pep band for football and basketball games. David Rutt is the conductor for Waldorf Wind Ensemble.
Waldorf University Jazz Band, re-formed in the fall of 2004, is a thriving ensemble that is fast becoming a favorite within Waldorf’s music program. They perform everything from classic studio charts and big band numbers to hard hitting contemporary tunes. Membership is by audition at the beginning of each school year. The Waldorf University Jazz Band rounds out the spectrum of instrumental music with jazz coffeehouse presentations in the Atrium. Glen Wegge is the director of Jazz Band.
Members of the Wind Ensemble form a boisterous pep band which provides enhanced enthusiasm in the stands at football and basketball games. Their motto: “We cut ourselves a little slack. We paint our faces purple and black, we yell, we scream...and we rock!”