Chamber Singers is an ensemble of 16-20 students selected from the University Singers. Dr. Stanley R. Wold directs the Chamber Singers, continuing a tradition of largely non-conducted performances to enhance the students' experience of true chamber music. Chamber Singers has been the featured guest ensemble at the Minnesota American Choral Directors Association Chamber Choir Festival at Concordia College, St. Paul, and (in winter of 1997) participated in the ACDA Regional Convention's Millennial Feast. The ensemble provides its more intimate sounds and distinctive literature in almost every departmental choral concert and as part of University Singers tour appearances (see University Singers for a list of international tours). More locally, Chamber Singers has been a favorite group to perform at holiday luncheons and Chancellor receptions, and has had special performance projects such as: a cantata for the Baeumler-Kaplan Holocaust observance; motets for a mass at Holy Rosary Cathedral; chorus for a Baroque opera; and performance of a Haitian Mass with the Chamber Orchestra and soprano.
The UMD Concert Chorale, directed by Tina Thielen-Gaffey, is an open enrollment mixed ensemble of 80 voices, comprised of a variety of majors. The Chorale performs regularly at UMD choral concerts, in opera productions, for high school choral festivals, and in combined symphonic works. No previous chorus experience is necessary for membership.
The University of Minnesota Duluth Opera Studio, serves both the graduate and undergraduate vocal studies majors and other qualified singers. The Opera Studio presents two major performances a year – an Opera Scenes program in Weber Recital Hall and a mainstage opera. All performances are done in the original language with supertitles. In 2009, we presented an extremely successful production of Verdi's comic opera Falstaff. In 2010, we presented an evening of verismo in the double bill of Suor Angelica and Pagliacci. In 2011, we are presenting Humperdinck's fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel.
University Singers is the most select large choral ensemble within the Music Department. The group is open to students from any discipline on the campus. Presently under its second director, Dr. Stanley R. Wold, University Singers was founded in 1972 by Professor Vernon H. Opheim. Since that time, the organization has completed nine concert tours of Europe (1994: Bavaria and Austria; 2005 Netherlands and Paris; 2007 Turkey; 2010 Germany); Kenya and Tanzania (1997-98), and Costa Rica (2002).
University Singers maintains a very active performing schedule. With UMD's Symphony Orchestra (Rudy Perrault, director), it has performed Bach's B-Minor Mass, Mozart's Grand Mass in c, Saygun's oratorio Yunus Emre (sung in Turkish, with Concert Chorale) and Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem (also with Concert Chorale). The choir has performed for state and regional conferences of both ACDA and MMEA/MENC, and has joined the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra in spring performances (such as Gounod's Faust and Mahler's Resurrection Symphony). Additional annual activities typically include two Honor Choir festivals, the Weber Memorial Concert, Sounds of the Season, and mid-winter concerts.
In addition to the international tours already mentioned, the following competitive invitations have been accepted by the choir: Minnesota ACDA (St. Paul, 1995); Minnesota MEA (Minneapolis, 1996); Regional MENC (Peoria, IL, 1997); Regional ACDA (Minneapolis: "The Millennial Feast," 1998), Minnesota ACDA (Duluth, 2007), and Collegiate Choir Festival of MN ACDA (Bethel University, 2009). The choir has hosted and performed under conductors from Stockholm, Sweden; Eger, Hungary; and Petrozavodsk, Russia. In the spring of 1994, University Singers performed in the American premiere of the contemporary opera "Solitaire" (Bjorn Hallman) in collaboration with members of the Royal Swedish Opera. Click here to go the the University Singers Website.
Vocal Jazz Ensemble
UMD Vocal Jazz Ensembles, Lake Effect and Chill Factor, under the direction of Tina Thielen-Gaffey, are a pioneering vocal jazz force in Minnesota. Both ensembles are selected after highly competitive auditions in the fall of each year. The students are music majors and non-music majors of varying ages and musical backgrounds. The ensembles perform three on-campus concerts a year, including the annual themed Cabaret Show, held in mid-spring. Most recently, Lake Effect and Chill Factor toured the Mid-West and East Coast, where they received high praise from vocal jazz guru, Roger Treece. They perform annually at the Western Michigan Gold Company Vocal Jazz Invitational, where both ensembles have received Outstanding Performance Awards. Lake Effect was the featured vocal jazz ensemble at the Minnesota Star of the North Vocal Jazz Festival in March of 2006 and was also selected for the Outstanding Collegiate Performance Award, sponsored by DownBeat Magazine. Lake Effect was selected for the 2006 ACDA state convention and for the 2007 MMEA Midwinter Clinic. Click here for more information on Jazz @ UMD.
For Information about music department programs and upcoming concerts, please call 218-726-8877