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Music Ensembles

Waldorf Choir

Under the direction of nationally recognized conductor Joel Everist, 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 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. Membership is ‘by audition’ to undergraduate music and non-music majors. Scholarship assistance is available to students who meet academic and performance requirements at the time of their audition.

Schola Cantorum

Under the direction of Joel Everist, Schola Cantorum has been praised for their “joyous singing, remarkable delicacy and poise, impressive performances, and expressive fervor.” This advanced ensemble of 20-32 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 singers ‘by audition’ to undergraduate music and non-music majors. Scholarship assistance is available to students who meet academic and performance requirements at the time of their audition.

Wind Symphony

The Wind Symphony is open to music and non-music majors who successfully audition into the ensemble. 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. In 2018, the Wind Symphony will join with TRN Music Publisher, Inc. and Dan Goeller Music Publishing to record numerous catalogued wind band repertoire holdings. It serves as an excellent laboratory ensemble for undergraduate conducting and composition students, rehearsing and recording student compositions throughout the year. Performance in the group can satisfy requisite ensemble requirements for scholarship and non-scholarship students. Scholarship assistance is available to students who meet academic and performance requirements at the time of their audition.

Symphony Orchestra (2018)

The newly formed Symphony Orchestra is comprised of undergraduate majors and non-music string and wind performers, performing a variety of standard and film-based symphonic orchestral repertoire. Under the direction of Frederick Umar, the ensemble seeks to train music majors to become professional performers and educators while introducing non-music majors to a high level of musical performance practice. The final concert of each season features the student winners from the All-State Solo Piano Competition. The ensemble is open to all instrumentalists ‘by audition.’  Scholarship assistance is available to students who meet academic and performance requirements at the time of their audition.

Chamber Ensemble

The newly formed Chamber Ensemble is open to undergraduate majors and non-music majors who wish to perform a variety of repertoire written for small ensemble settings. Under the direction of various faculty within the Department of Music, students in the ensemble are introduced to a variety of performance practice styles and fundamentals of orchestral, chamber and solo performance practices that broaden performance acuity and musical knowledge. Readings of additional repertoire not covered during the concert season facilitate sight-reading skills and further exposure to conductor technique and repertoire. The ensemble is open to all instrumentalists ‘by audition.’ Scholarship assistance is available to students who meet academic and performance requirements at the time of their audition.

Percussion Ensemble

Under the direction of Mark Dorr, the Percussion Ensemble is a performance ensemble utilizes all pitched and non-pitched percussive instrumentation available to symphonic wind and string ensembles. Students gain a comprehensive knowledge of percussion ensemble literature and related rehearsal and performance techniques. Some focus is placed upon ethnic and Brazilian music, junk percussion and other invented instruments suitable for 20th-century style music. Students learn the techniques, music and related terminology to the various styles of percussive music and performance practices, while engaged in public venues throughout the year. The ensemble is open to all instrumentalists ‘by audition.’ Scholarship assistance is available to students who meet academic and performance requirements at the time of their audition.

North Iowa Youth Symphony

Beginning in January of 2018, the North Iowa Youth Symphony is a 65-70-member youth orchestra comprised of students from northern Iowa and southern Minnesota. Led by Jason Ahiquist, the ensemble is open to all students ages 8 to 18 years, regardless of proficiency or level of experience. The ensemble performs all levels of standard orchestral repertoire, while teaching and educating students on the performance practices of the symphony orchestra. Students may enter the ensemble throughout the school year, and receive college-level credit for participation for a nominal fee. No musician is refused entry because of finances. Rehearsals are weekly on Sunday afternoons at 4 p.m. in the Odvin Hagen Music Building Rehearsal Room. A series of concerts are presented throughout the academic year.

North Iowa Honor Choir

Under the direction of Joel Everist, the North Iowa Honor Choir is an amazing opportunity for high school aged (or, equivalent) students from around northern Iowa and southern Minnesota to sing high-level repertoire for performance and recordings at venues across the United States. Homeschooled, public and private school students combine through personal application or referral from their choral director, and as many as 300 students from 72 area schools are encouraged to participate. Students may enter the ensemble throughout the school year, and receive college-level credit for participation for a nominal fee. No musician is refused entry because of finances. Rehearsals are weekly on Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. in the Odvin Hagen Music Building Recital Hall. Its purpose is to instill in youth the joy of working together to make something beautiful through song, the powerful process of performance and the life-changing experiences of a collective attitude toward musical and personal success.