Choir Choices at CWU
Choral Area Information Fall 2020
Welcome to the CWU Choral area! The Choral team (Dr. W, Prof. Singh, and Dr. P) look forward to working with you, even if right now we can’t do our usual face-to-face rehearsing and making great choral music together.
Due to COVID-19, all four Choral ensembles will be using an online format. We realize this format is not ideal for choirs and literally goes against nearly everything we traditionally do in the choral idiom, but at this time the risks of large group ensemble singing are just too dangerous to validate meeting in person.
The CWU Choral Team is working hard to offer meaningful content and effective assignments. Our goal is to deliver material which will positively influence you, allow musical growth, and help expand your knowledge of choral music, musicianship, and ear-training. Note – all four choirs will include some kind of singing component. Should COVID-19 conditions and resources permit later in the quarter, some limited in-person rehearsing may occur.
These are unprecedented times. Please keep in mind that all things related to education are fluid and quickly evolving. This decision was reached after reviewing findings from multiple health organizations based on consistent scientific data. We also continue to look at current guidelines from the CDC, state of Washington, Kittitas County, and CWU to maximize a safe learning environment for all of the enrolled Choral students.
If you are new to CWU choirs, WELCOME! If you are returning to CWU choirs, WELCOME BACK! We look forward to working with you and hope to make great music in-person as soon as possible!
Your Choral Team - Dr. Weidenaar, Prof. Singh, and Dr. Peterson
Whether you are an accomplished choral singer or you want to develop and refine your abilities in a friendly environment, you can find a place in one of our choirs. All of our singers have one thing in common; a love of making music. Each ensemble has its own niche and performs a wide variety of quality repertoire at various levels of difficulty. Each choir performs concerts throughout the year and with at least once per quarter. Whether you plan to study Voice at CWU, are on a music education path, or simply want to be a member in one of CWU’s award-winning Choirs, when involved with Choral Music at Central, you'll find there's a place for you!
Each group is described below, along with meeting times, the group’s focus, usual size, and requirements for being in the group.
Chamber Choir, CWU’s premiere choral ensemble, is normally comprised of between 24 & 32 voices in an SATB voicing. Chamber Choir requires a rigorous audition for entrance along with a full school year commitment, The ensemble is only open to returning and transfer students at the sophomore level and above.
- Meets: M, W, Th, F - 2:00-3:15 (an additional one hour weekly sectional is required, usually Tues. 2-2:50 )
- Course #: MUS 268 (Soph.), MUS 468 (Jr. Sr.) MUS 568 (Graduate)
- Director: Dr. Gary Weidenaar
Vox Divina (formerly Women's Choir) is a non-auditioned soprano/alto voice treble choir, usually 30-50 voices singing music written for treble voices. It's designed for non-majors who like to sing, music education majors, and experienced singers who want to perform music just for soprano/alto voices. A wide variety of music chosen from the past 600 years is sung. If you haven't sung at CWU before, give Vox a try - come to a couple of rehearsals with no pressure - see how you like it!
- Meets: M, W, F 12:00-12:50
- Course #: MUS 211 (Fresh., Soph.), MUS 411 (Jr., Sr.)
- Director: Dr. Gary Weidenaar
University Chorale is the largest choir at CWU and is open to all students without audition. Vocal technique, music literacy, ear training, music education, and performance are emphasized. Chorale typically consists of 90-120 singers, one-half of which are music majors (many are instrumentalists who like to sing) and the other half come from all over campus in all disciplines.....this creates a unique and eclectic musical experience!
Chorale rehearses four hours weekly, one hour each from Monday to Thursday. Independent musicianship, knowledge about the voice, and high artistic standards are all important tenets of Professor Singh’s philosophy for the group.
- Meets: M, T, W, F – 11:00-11:50
- Course #: MUS 267 (Fresh., Soph.), MUS 467 (Jr., Sr.) MUS 567 (Grad)
NOTE: University Chorale is listed simply as “Choir” in the online catalog
- Director: Professor Vijay Singh
CWU’s Wildcat Chorus is one of the Department’s most energetic groups with no audition necessary. This Tenor/Bass Choir of between 40 and 60 voices is open to all who like to sing. It is designed for non-majors who like to sing, music education majors, and experienced singers who want to perform music just for tenor/bass voices. The group reflects the CWU Choirs’ stated philosophy that at Central there is a choir for anyone who likes to sing. Further, the Wildcat Chorus prides itself on maintaining a supportive, welcoming atmosphere to everyone from guys who have never sung to those guys majoring in voice performance. Its ranks typically include about half each of music and non-music majors. Though singing in any of our ensembles is fun, the Wildcat Chorus somehow manages to raise the "Fun Factor" up to unprecedented levels!
- Meets: M,W,F 12:00 - 12:50
- Course #: MUS 228 (Fresh., Soph.), MUS 428 (Jr., Sr.)
- Director: Dr. Scott Peterson
Vocal Jazz Groups
CWU offers two vocal jazz ensembles. Each of them is designed for the singer who wants to experience the thrill of close harmony singing in the jazz idiom.
- Vocal Jazz I is the premiere vocal jazz ensemble at CWU and has been acknowledged as one of the finest collegiate jazz vocal ensembles in the country with invitations to perform at IAJE, ACDA, and MENC national conventions. Vocal Jazz 1 consists of upper level students selected for their technical skills, musicality, stylistic diversity, jazz sophistication, and performance abilities.
- Vocal Jazz II focuses on building musicianship and repertoire through improvisation, ensemble skills, stylistically authentic performance practices, and jazz concepts. Repertoire focuses on custom arrangements by students, alumni, and other Northwest jazz luminaries. Students often gain experience and skills in Vocal Jazz 2 necessary to compete for spots in Vocal Jazz 1, creating a "feeder program" for the premiere ensemble.
Large Ensemble Requirement
Chamber Choir and University Chorale are considered "large ensembles" (this only matters for music majors). Up to six quarters of Wildcat Chorus and Vox Divina can be substituted for large ensemble credits.
For more information about Choral Ensembles, contact Director of Choral Studies, Dr. Gary Weidenaar at 963-1616 or e-mail at Gary.Weidenaar@cwu.edu