I sang in choir, worked for the music department, and had roles in two operas with Opera Workshop and Players Theatre. â€Ś Wartburg is a campus community where you have an opportunity to get involved everywhere and anywhere. Anna Javellana â€™10 Cedar Falls, Iowa
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Make music, make friends Wartburg’s three touring music ensembles schedule international tours every three years during the four-week May Term. The tours offer course credit as well as travel. U .S. tours during the other years travel throughout the country with appearances in many of the great concert halls. W artburg musicians perform with guest artists and Dr. Simon Estes, renowned opera star and Wartburg artist-in-residence. A ll ensembles are open to music and non-music majors and students of any class year. Depending on rehearsal schedules, it’s possible to participate in more than one ensemble. Some groups rehearse daily, others less frequently. Most groups require auditions, but some welcome all participants. S tudents can enjoy the interaction of a smaller group through a variety of brass, woodwind, and string ensembles and a structured Chamber Music Ensemble course.
Touring groups Wartburg Choir A mixed a cappella ensemble under the direction of Dr. Lee Nelson, the choir has performed in Europe, South Africa, Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, and Symphony Center in Chicago. The choir was invited to join the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in Prague for a Christmas concert in 2006.
Castle Singers Directed by Dr. Jane Andrews, the Castle Singers perform vocal jazz, both a cappella and with a rhythm section, in styles ranging from swing and blues to avant-garde and classical repertoire. Called one of the “crown jewels of the Cedar Valley,” the group has traveled to Europe, Australia, Fiji, the Caribbean Islands, and Brazil. The Castle Singers played the historic Blue Room in Kansas City, Dazzle in Denver, and the Jazz Club in Eisenach, Germany.
Wind Ensemble The college’s top wind and percussion players perform in the Wartburg College Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Craig A. Hancock. The Wind Ensemble became the first Wartburg music group to perform in Japan (with a stop in Hawaii). Its European tours have included performances at St. George’s Church in Eisenach, Germany, home of the Wartburg Castle and birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach. The Wind Ensemble also has performed in Austria, the Czech Republic, England, and at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.
One really distinctive thing about Wartburg is that we are the only Lutheran college in the nation with a jazz choir (Castle Singers). I have been a member of this group since my freshman year. I also feel the Ritterchor, the men’s chorus on campus, is very distinct, because we do several charity fundraisers throughout the year. Jordan LeClere ’11 Manchester, Iowa
Other instrumental ensembles Symphonic Band Dr. Craig A. Hancock directs the Symphonic Band, which is open to all students and performs on and off campus during the year.
Wartburg Community Symphony This semi-professional orchestra conducted by Dr. Janice Wade performs standard literature and features guest soloists of world renown in a four-concert season ranging from pops to premieres. Membership includes Wartburg students, area residents, and professional musicians.
Knightliters Jazz Band Allan Jacobson directs the Knightlighters Jazz Band, which plays the finest jazz and rock charts during campus concerts and in Cedar Valley appearances.
Handbell Ensemble The Handbell Ensemble uses a five-octave set of handbells during annual fall and spring concerts with the Chapel Choir and at the annual Christmas Candlelight Service.
Ninth Street Jazz A student directs this group, which frequently performs with the Knightliters Jazz Band.
Pep Band Pep Band, led by a student director, provides music at Wartburg athletic events.
The three things that I think set Wartburgâ€™s music program apart are the ability to participate in any of the ensembles, regardless of your major; a wide range of opportunities for musical involvement, including private lessons, chamber groups, and large ensembles; and the opportunity to travel both locally and abroad as part of a touring ensemble. Kristine Smith â€™10 Indianola, Iowa
Christmas with Wartburg Christmas with Wartburg highlights the talents of the Wartburg Choir, Castle Singers, and Wind Ensemble as well as the Ritterchor and St. Elizabeth Chorale â€” a cast of nearly 350 musicians. The acclaimed holiday performance, which began in 1947, attracts an audience of more than 7,000 to its four concerts in Waverly and Des Moines. It has been featured on Iowa Public Television and other public broadcasting stations around the nation. As artistic director of the program, Wartburg choir director Dr. Lee Nelson has introduced enhanced staging and innovative programming.
Other vocal ensembles St. Elizabeth Chorale Directed by Dr. Jane Andrews, this women’s choir performs a variety of choral literature for events on and off campus, including an annual High Tea. It is named for St. Elizabeth, a noblewoman who lived at the Wartburg Castle and was canonized for her work with the poor and sick.
Ritterchor Ritterchor (Knights Choir) is a men’s ensemble named in honor of the Wartburg Castle, where Martin Luther once lived disguised as a knight. Under the direction of Dr. Lee Nelson, the group performs literature of various styles at events on and off campus.
Chapel Choir Chapel Choir, conducted by Dr. Karen Black, is a mixed ensemble that provides leadership for campus worship, sings for the annual Christmas Candlelight Service, performs with the Handbell Ensemble in an annual spring concert, and appears at other events on and off campus. The group performs a wide variety of sacred music.
Gospel Choir Open to all students, Gospel Choir performs traditional and contemporary gospel music at a variety of events, including the college’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration. A student directs the group.
As a freshman, I had the opportunity to travel with the Wartburg Choir to Europe and South Africa. Being able to bring our gifts of music all across the world, while being ambassadors for Wartburg College, the state of Iowa, and the United States is an experience that will stay with me for a lifetime. Trevor Carolan ’11 Charles City
Facilities Wartburg offers fine equipment and facilities for rehearsal and practice, including 50 grand and upright pianos, five pipe organs, 22 practice rooms, and 16 music studios. The Presser Music Technology classroom in Bachman Fine Arts Center is equipped with computer equipment, MIDI keyboards, and software for composition, music theory, and ear training. Music education and music therapy programs have a special classroom suite with an observation lab.
Music Scholarships Many students in Wartburg music ensembles qualify for Meistersinger Music Scholarships. Awarded on the basis of audition, these scholarships offer up to $6,000 per year. Competition is open to music and non-music majors. To maintain the scholarship, students must participate in an ensemble and maintain a B grade in music lessons each term.
The Wartburg music department has helped me to grow as a musician. But, more importantly, the music department has helped me to grow as a person.
319-352-8264 or 1-800-772-2085 email@example.com www.wartburg.edu Wartburg College is a selective liberal arts college of the Lutheran Church (ELCA), nationally recognized for community engagement.
Staci Speer ’11 Janesville , Wis.