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Music Ensembles

Choral Ensembles

Waldorf Choir

Under the direction of Dr. Emilie Bertram, the Waldorf Choir is the second oldest collegiate a cappella choir in the United States. Founded in 1916 by Oscar Lyders, and strengthened under the long tenure of Odvin Hagen, the choir has maintained a professional standard for excellence throughout its history. An enthusiastic music critic praised the choir for a performance in which “…the singers, conductor, accompanist, and audience members all but danced in the pews.” Past seasons have included a wide variety of acapella repertoire, major works, spirituals, and performances that have included the Lincoln Center, the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and for university academic and festival ceremonies. The Choir has been recently invited to be a headliner at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Disney Hall in Los Angeles, while providing the voices for premiere performances of newly composed works. Scholarship assistance is available.

Chamber Ensembles

Schola Cantorum

Under the direction of Dr. Emilie Bertram, Schola Cantorum has been praised for their “joyous singing, remarkable delicacy and poise, impressive performances, and expressive fervor.” This advanced ensemble of 12-16 singers performs a wide variety of the finest a cappella repertoire encompassing many periods and styles of music. Performing several times throughout the year, which includes tours in the spring, the ensemble is open to all Waldorf Choir singers ‘by audition’.

Instrumental Ensembles

Wind Symphony

Under the direction of M. Cory Schmitt, the ensemble primarily performs standard wind band literature with an emphasis upon practical pedagogical foundations. In addition to regularly scheduled concerts each semester, the Wind Symphony performs for academic ceremonies and has also served as a special exhibition ensemble for premieres of newly composed and/or arranged works. It serves as an excellent laboratory ensemble for music education and performance students. Scholarship assistance is available.

Supplementary Ensembles

Jazz Singers

The Jazz Singers ensemble is a supplementary ensemble created to enhance the curriculum for music education students as well as re-introduce the community to the jazz standards. The ensemble of 10-16 vocalists and a 4-piece rhythm section, was founded by Timothy Schumacher and continues to be directed by Jamie Kelley. Students are introduced to improvisation skills, scatting, and tight harmonies that develop these novice singers into confident performers of a varied repertoire of jazz, jazz-influenced, and popular music emphasizing close vocal harmonies. This ensemble performs publically at least once a semester, but annually at Dinner and Jazz in the Spring. Membership is open to all Waldorf University students. 

Percussion Ensemble

The Waldorf University Percussion Ensemble was created in the Spring of 2018 by its director, Mark Dorr. The ensemble performs for special events on campus as well as presenting full-length recital performances. Students in the Percussion Ensemble program are guided and encouraged to discover their greatest musical potential and to develop life skills that can be applied within and outside the discipline of music. Students are expected to challenge themselves as instrumentalists, apply problem-solving skills during rehearsals, develop healthy working relationships with other ensemble members, and to exercise a growth mindset. Repertoire selected for performances provide members of the ensemble the opportunity to study and perform the variety of musical genres in existence today for the percussion family of instruments. This includes music from the Classic and Romantic historical eras plus ragtime, jazz, popular, avant-garde, and contemporary literature. Emphasis is also placed on the performance of authentic multi-national percussion music. Original compositions, transcriptions, arrangements, and modern works from major composers are typically represented during a Percussion Ensemble concert.

Jazz Ensemble

The Jazz Ensemble is a supplementary ensemble formed out of student interest and talent and continues to enhance the curriculum for music education students as well as re-introduce the community to the jazz standards. The ensemble brings back the legacy of the late Mike VanAuken through the direction of Timothy Schumacher (2018-2020) and Mike McInery (2020-present). Students are introduced to improvisation skills, new instruments, and style variations that are sure to influence well-rounded and confident musicians in their careers.