• Hannah Singing with choir

    Student soloist sings a movement from Elijah with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

  • Choral Christmas
  • University Chorale at Milwood United Methodist Church

    University Chorale performance at Milwood United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo. 

  • Choral Christmas Performance

The choral program at Western Michigan University is dedicated to music as an art form that elevates the lives of all who experience it; that embraces and transcends the entire range of human emotion, expression, and community; that addresses real problems and encourages meaningful change.

As part of the Irving S. Gilmore School of Music, the choral studies program is a home for choral endeavors, including the following:

  • Graduate studies in choral conducting leading to the Master of Music
  • Bachelor of Music programs in choral music education, voice performance, music therapy, jazz studies, and multimedia arts technology
  • Eight choral ensembles representing a variety of genres, including classical, symphonic, jazz, early music, opera, chamber, treble, and tenor-bass ensembles
  • Vibrant and active schedule of guest artists and visiting ensembles that give masterclasses and presentations to current students. Recent guest ensemble residencies include The Crossing (2022), Roomful of Teeth, Chanticleer, Border CrosSing, The Rose Ensemble, Heinavanker, and Voces8.  Recent guest conductors and teachers include Alice Parker, Eph Ely, Simon Carrington, Rollo Dilworth, Francisco Núñez, Andrew Megill, Andrew Clark, Mollie Stone, Ellen Hargis, Samuel Ramey, Richard Danielpour, Jake Runestad, Beverly Taylor, and Scot Hanna-Weir.
  • Internationally recognized choral ensembles that regularly compete and perform throughout the world.  Conference appearances include American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Regional Conferences (2015, 2012), ACDA State Conferences (2017, 2014, 2011), ACDA National Conferences (2006, 2011), National Collegiate Choral Organization Conferences (2008, 2011, 2021), and the Michigan Music Conference (2012, 2015, 2018)
  • Collaborations between WMU ensembles and local institutions, like the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, and Michigan Sacred Music Festival
  • The Southwestern Michigan Vocal Festival, which brings nationally recognized guest conductors to work with 1000+ high school students in Miller Auditorium
  • An active student chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.  WMU-ACDA hosts conducting and teaching masterclasses, lectures, and guest speakers for their weekly meetings.  WMU-ACDA also creates opportunities for students to get podium time in their annual recital and during repertoire reading sessions