Music ensembles at Northwestern College perform a wide variety of musical styles. Each ensemble has a unique personality that will move, encourage and entertain their audiences. Ensemble concerts and recitals are listed on the music Events Calendar.
To be a member of any ensemble in the Northwestern College Department of Music, you do not have to be a music major, but you must participate in an audition. Selective auditions, required for the College Choir, Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, Chamber Singers, and Chamber Ensembles, determine your admittance into the ensemble. Placement auditions, required for the Varsity Men’s Chorus and Women’s Chorale, determine where you will be within the ensemble.
Ensemble auditions take place during fall orientation. Incoming students will receive additional ensemble audition sign-up information along with their Student Orientation packet. See ensemble audition requirements.
Contact the Music Office at 651-631-5218 or 888-878-5514 to schedule an audition and receive additional audition instructions.
Conducted by Timothy Sawyer, the College Choir is among the leading college choirs in the United States, a competitively select ensemble of 70–80 students, primarily sophomores, juniors and seniors. The choir performs mostly sacred a cappella music of all style periods and including foreign languages, and periodically presents major choral-orchestral works with the NWC Orchestra.
Conducted by David Kozamchak, the Orchestra is a full orchestra consisting of strings, winds, brass and percussion. The orchestra plays a variety of orchestral literature ranging from Baroque to contemporary as well as jazz and film music. The orchestra offers local performances throughout the year and has gone on national and international tours.
The Symphonic Band performs the best band literature available with excellence. The band tours annually throughout the United States, and every fourth year, overseas. Most recently, the band went to Tasmania and Australia.
Conducted by Timothy Sawyer, the Varsity Men's Chorus is comprised of about 40–50 mostly first-year students. The VMC is an enthusiastic and elegant "singing fraternity" of college men whose repertoire ranges from doo-wop and barbershop to sacred classics for men's voices. In addition, spiritual formation and fun and energetic camaraderie are special features of the life of this group.
Conducted by Mary Kay Geston, D.M.A., the Women's Chorale is a non-select ensemble open to all female Northwestern College students pursuing any major area of study. The choir is comprised of 70–80 women and performs sacred and secular music for treble voices ranging from the Western classical tradition to multicultural music from around the world
The Jazz Ensemble performs the best stage band literature available. Each year the ensemble performs several concerts, including a concert with a prominent jazz artist in the spring. The Jazz Ensemble pursues both musical excellence and godliness, within the environment of a Christian liberal arts education. The 20-member group demonstrates the ability to rise to the high demands of this challenging art form
Opera Workshop is offered each year, with an annual performance (usually in the spring) and a class in movement, staging and character research each semester. This course is specifically designed to enhance and advance the development of the music department’s singers and actors. Directed and produced by Doreen Hutchings, the yearly production culminates in a fully staged and costumed opera.
The Chamber Singers is a small select vocal ensemble drawn primarily from the College Choir roster and occasionally from other campus choral ensembles. The Chamber Singers perform sacred and secular music ranging from medieval chant to vocal jazz.
Chamber Ensembles at Northwestern College are for the musician seeking to increase their musicianship, technical dexterity and listening skills in a small group setting. While in a chamber ensemble, students have the opportunity to delve into a wide variety of repertoire, expanding their existing knowledge of composers, genres, and styles, working with other highly motivated students under the guidance of Department of Music faculty.
3003 SneLling Avenue North | ST. Paul, Mn | 55113-1598 | 651-631-5100 or 800-692-4020