UNI choirs: Music to our ears

Being in a UNI choir is like joining a family. Some of the members of the Varsity Men's Glee Club would go out to eat every Wednesday for a group dinner. Women's Chorus has been known to leave voicemails singing "Happy Birthday" to friends and relatives. Lindsey Tosch, a participant in two of UNI's choirs says, "Being in choir is a nice stress reliever."

Varsity Men's Glee Club
The UNI Varsity Men's Glee Club 2012 Christmas Variety Show.

Tosch also says, "The people are what I like best about choir. You make a lot of really good friends throughout the semester. Working with the professors is great too."

Choral instructor Dyan Meyer says, "The choruses at UNI stand out because of their variety." UNI Singers and Concert Chorale are both mixed ensembles; Women's Chorus and Varsity Men's Glee Club are both gender choirs; finally there is Cantorei and the Opera program. There are 300 to 325 members in the choral programs at UNI.

Women's Chorus is the oldest choral group on campus; Varsity Men's Glee Club has sold out more performances in the GBPAC Great Hall than any other UNI sponsored group; and UNI Singers is the largest mixed-ensemble in the School of Music. Tosch says, "The size of the choir helps with the fullness and balance of the sound. Each director works to balance each choir no matter how many people are in it."

Non-music majors can participate in all choirs at UNI. Freshmen who want to participate have to audition, although they have to be at least a sophomore to be eligible for Concert Chorale and Cantorei. Students only have to try out once, except for UNI Singers; members re-audition every year. Men's Glee Club doesn't require tryouts.

UNI choirs have traveled the world. Every other year the Men's Glee Club goes to Europe, and every four years Concert Chorale goes abroad the week of spring break. Concert Chorale has toured England and the Czech Republic, and Carnegie Hall in New York, where they premiered well-known composer David Childs's "Festival Te Deum," to mention a few.

For more information about joining a choir at UNI, visit www.uni.edu/music/ensembles/auditions/index.html.