Vocal Ensembles

Ensembles are open to all students, regardless of major. Learn more about large ensemble auditions.

Concert Choir

The Northern Illinois University Concert Choir is a large select mixed choir that performs a wide span of choral works from the Western repertory to the rich array of global music traditions.

A demanding performance schedule includes concerts on and off campus.

On-campus events include Choral College Concerts, Choir Days, the Annual Holiday Concert and many collaborative performances with NIU's instrumental ensembles.

Off-campus events include invited appearances at conventions, high school tours, and the IL-ACDA Collegiate Choral Festival. Concert Choir has performed three times at, Lincoln Center, New York (2009, 2013, 2017). 

Representative performances of large-scale choral compositions include Verdi’s Requiem, J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Vaughan Williams's Dona nobis Pacem, Dvořák's Stabat Mater,  Berlioz's Te Deum and Haydn's Theresienmesse. 

Concert Choir also advances the choral arts by hosting guest artists and commissioning new compositions.  

Concert Choir is open to both music majors and non-majors. Auditions are held at the beginning of each semester.

For more information about singing in Concert Choir, please email Prof. Eric A. Johnson, Director of Choral Activities at ejohnsn@niu.edu

Chamber Choir

The NIU Chamber Choir is a select vocal ensemble whose membership is primarily comprised of vocal performance and music education majors at the graduate and undergraduate level. 

Chamber Choir has achieved an international reputation for artistic excellence and has received acclaim for their interpretation of contemporary repertoire. 

Chamber Choir has premiered new works by luminary composers such as Sir John Tavener and performed at national, regional, and state conventions of the National Collegiate Choral Organization, American Choral Directors Association, and the National Association for Music Education (formerly MENC).  

Under Prof. Johnson's leadership Chamber Choir has served as the resident chapel choir for both Canterbury and Worcester Cathedrals, England, and the choir has performed at international choral festivals in Sweden and Denmark, and Poland. 

Chamber Choir is open to both music majors and non-majors. Auditions are held at the beginning of each semester. For more information about singing in Concert Choir, please email Prof. Eric A. Johnson, Director of Choral Activities at ejohnsn@niu.edu.

University Chorus

The NIU University Chorus is a non-auditioned ensemble made up of both music majors and non-majors from every college on our campus. Undergraduates and graduate students, as well as any other members of the NIU community (faculty/staff) are welcome. Each semester’s repertoire is tailored to the group, and performances include those with other NIU choirs as well as guest ensembles. The University Chorus is the place for anyone who loves to sing, wants to learn how to sing healthily or wants to connect with others through music.   

For more information about singing in University Chorus, please email Prof. Mary Lynn Doherty, assistant director of the School of Music, associate professor and coordinator of music education, mdoherty@niu.edu.

Opera Theatre

Opera Theatre gives students an insight into the process of opera production and role preparation for the live and online professional operatic stage. The repertoire featured aims to give students a grounding in both historical and contemporary practices of operatic performance, and provides a strong foundation in acting technique, movement, performance practice and audition technique.

Each year this select ensemble performs programs of scenes from operas, as well as one fully-staged production with orchestra.

The objective of this program is to enable students to become competent performers of opera, to equip them with the skills necessary to operate in the professional sphere, to connect them with other professional operatic institutions, and to present exciting and innovative public performances.

Contact Us

Music Building
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - noon
1 - 4:30 p.m.

Austyn V. Menk
Music Admissions Coordinator

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