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The Drake University choral program provides opportunities for over 250 singers in four ensembles including both auditioned and non-auditioned choirs.  You need not be a music major to sing in a University ensemble. Our four choirs consists of singers with a wide range of skill and experience levels. Each of the choirs is open to all Drake students and the Drake University/Community Chorus is open to all interested singers, both students and non-students

Drake’s four choruses include:

Drake Choir

This ensemble of 70 singers is the University’s select touring ensemble, performing four on-campus concerts each year, touring regionally on an annual basis, and internationally every four years.  In May 2016 the Drake Choir performed in Latvia, Estonia, and Finland (to view photos and read student blogs of this tour, see the “2016 Drake Choir International Tour” pull-down heading) and the ensemble has sung in major venues in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Ireland, and Wales, as well as in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.  The ensemble regularly collaborates with the Des Moines Symphony and will so in September 2016, singing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  Drake Choir has been featured on  the conference program of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).

Auditions for returning students take place in April and for new students during the weekend preceding the start of the fall semester.  The ensemble rehearses Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 3:30-5:00, and is conducted by Dr. Aimee Beckmann-Collier, Director of Choral Studies and the Ellis and Nelle Levitt Distinguished Professor of Conducting.

Chamber Choir

This ensemble is drawn from the membership of the Drake Choir.  In addition to performing on each choral concert, the Chamber Choir is the featured ensemble for Drake’s annual madrigal dinners.  The ensemble tours regionally each spring and internationally every four years.  In January 2014 the ensemble sang in England, appearing in some of that country’s most prestigious venues, including the cathedrals of Coventry, Gloucester, and Ely, the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and in St. Paul’s Cathedral and St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London.  Chamber Choir has recently performed on the conference program of the American Choral Directors Association.  Dr. Aimee Beckmann-Collier is the conductor of the Chamber Choir.

Auditions for returning students take place in April and for new students during the weekend preceding the start of the fall semester.  The ensemble rehearses Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30-1:45.

Drake Chorale

A select women’s chorus, this ensemble presents four on-campus performances per year and, like the Drake Choir, has collaborated with the Des Moines Symphony .  Other recent collaborations include those with Andrea Ramsey, Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory, Mark Sirett, Anonymous 4, Z. Randall Stroope, and the Seoul Women’s Chorus of South Korea.

Auditions for returning students take place in April and for new students during the weekend preceding the start of the fall semester.  The ensembles rehearses Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30-5:00.  The Chorale is conducted by Linda Vanderpool.

Drake University/Community Chorus

A non-auditioned ensemble, this chorus is open to all Drake students, faculty, and staff, as well as any interested singers in the Des Moines area.  The ensemble typically consists of 125+ singers and rehearses weekly on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.  There is no fee for membership, although all singers must purchase their own music.  The Chorus performs at the end of each semester and sings both major choral/orchestral works and a variety of small works of many styles.  Dr. Aimee Beckmann-Collier is the conductor of DUCC.

The first rehearsal of the 2016 fall semester will take place on Tuesday, August 30, 6:30-8:00 p.m. in Monroe Hall (lower level of the Harmon Fine Arts Center).  The ensemble will rehearse each Tuesday (with the exception of October 18) to prepare for the November 20 (3:00) Cavalcade of Choirs concert.

Since this is a non-select ensemble, singers may join the chorus simply by coming to the first rehearsal.  Please purchase the music (listed under MUS 149, CRN 1541) at University Bookstore, NOW LOCATED

IN THE OLMSTED CENTER ON DRAKE’S CAMPUS.  The Olmsted Center is located on the north side of University Avenue at 29th Street. Short-term parking spots are available in the Olmsted lot.

Bring the music and pencil to the first rehearsal.

The Drake choruses offer frequent opportunities for collaboration with other musicians, as well as participation in comprehensive learning projects that take both singers and audiences deeper into the exploration of important topics.  The Drake choral program performs a major choral/orchestral work annually and also provides singers with the opportunity to perform choral works with instrumental chamber ensembles.