Choral Ensembles at GVSU
Grand Valley State University has a proud tradition of excellence and leadership in choral music in Michigan and across the United States. Choral ensembles at GVSU perform the finest in choral literature spanning various musical periods and a range of musical styles.
Ensembles are open to students from all majors and are selected by audition. Placement in ensembles is made according to level of experience and interest. Typically, singers are expected to make a year-long commitment to ensembles and many participate for several years and in multiple ensembles. Participation in a choral ensemble earns one academic credit each semester.
We invite you to learn more about the choral program, our upcoming activities and each of our ensembles by exploring this website. We enthusiastically invite you to join us! For more information on choral studies, please fill out our Interest Form.
Cantate Chamber Ensemble
The Cantate Chamber Ensemble is dedicated to the artistic performance of distinctive a cappella choral music for a small ensemble. This highly select vocal ensemble of 12 singers ( 6 men and 6 women) gave its premiere performance in October, 2007 in the Louis Armstrong Theatre in the Performing Arts Center on the Allendale Campus of Grand Valley State University. The goal of this chamber music ensemble is to rehearse a wide variety of sacred and secular music of the early periods of music through vocal jazz. The group performs without a conductor. Though the majority of the singers in Cantate Chamber Ensemble are music majors, the group is open to qualified singers from any discipline.
Select Women's Ensemble
The Select Women's Ensemble has earned a reputation for quality performances of challenging SSA and SSAA choral literature. Under the direction of Professor Shirley Lemon, this ensemble performs both accompanied and a cappella repertoire that is representative of a variety of musical periods and styles. In 2004 and 2005 the Select Women participated in the American Choral Directors Collegiate Women's Festival at Western Michigan University. In January, 2008, this ensemble participated in a reading session at the Michigan Music Conference, held in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
University Arts Chorale
The University Arts Chorale is a prestigious ensemble of thirty-five auditioned voices and maintains an active performance schedule presenting choral repertoire from all periods of music. In addition to concerts on campus, the Arts Chorale has collaborated with the Holland Chorale, the Muskegon Chamber Choir and the Grand Rapids Chamber Choir. The Chorale was selected to perform in Ann Arbor at the American Choral Directors Choral Hour as part of the Michigan Music Education In-Service Conference. The Arts Chorale has performed at the state convention of the American Choral Directors Association in 2004. The Chorale performed Mendelssohn's "Elijah", the "Mass in C minor" by Mozart and William Walton's "Belshazzar's Feast" with the Symphony Chorus and Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra under the direction of David Lockington. In January, 2008, the Arts Chorale performed in the opening concert of the Michigan Music Conference, held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Most recently, the Arts Chorale performed at the American Choral Directors Association Michigan Fall Conference in 2016.
"Please Stay" by Jake Runestad (*Content Warning: Self-harm/Suicide)
October 9, 2019
Under the direction of Shirley Lemon, this select SATB choir, University Singers, is comprised of students from all majors; over 90% of its members are non-music majors. Eager to improve their vocal skills, singers are hard-working individuals who understand the value of the Musical Arts in a well-rounded life and education. Music representing a wide variety of styles from both historical and modern eras is performed. Repertoire that engages and challenges students from all musical backgrounds is included. Two concerts are presented on campus each semester. No audition is necessary; prior choral experience is required.
Varsity Men is an all male ensemble directed by Dr. Charles Norris, and is composed of young men that represent a variety of musical backgrounds and academic disciplines. With every passing year the Varsity Men have grown in size and popularity each semester. The ensemble's challenging and diverse repertoire includes literature that spans from Gregorian chant to music of the 21st century. Rehearsing only twice weekly, the Men’s Chorus maintains an active performing schedule throughout the state of Michigan.
If you are interested in joining Varsity Men's Glee Club, contact Dr. Charles Norris: