Image of choral performance

WEST CHESTER UNIVERSITY
CHORAL PROGRAM

The choral program at West Chester has a long and proud tradition. We are an important part of the University's cultural life, with 250 or more students enrolled each semester in one of eight ensembles, performing more than a dozen concerts annually for large and appreciative audiences. Each year, thousands of people hear a West Chester choir—not only on campus but through off-campus performances in Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, throughout Pennsylvania, and in California, Florida, the desert Southwest, and Europe, as well as at professional conferences. Concert Choir and Mastersingers have performed several times at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. Together, WCU choirs sing an amazing range of repertory: large choral masterworks with orchestra (both the WCU Symphony Orchestra and professional ensembles like the Philadelphia Classical Symphony), shorter classical pieces, spirituals and folk songs, world music, choruses from opera and musical theatre, and vocal jazz.

Beyond concerts, we regularly bring to campus internationally renowned guest composers and clinicians, have an active ACDA student chapter, and offer educational workshops for teachers and high school students and a graduate M.M. degree in choral conducting. Most importantly, those involved in the WCU choral program find community—a place where singing abounds, where artistry flourishes, and where lifelong relationships begin.

On this web page, learn more about our choirs, hear from our students about their experiences, read about our repertory, and learn about our clinics and workshops. See our concert calendar for upcoming events and "like" our Facebook page. Whether you are a high school student intending to study music, a teacher interested in continuing education, or a community member who loves choral music, we hope you will be in touch with us and come hear us sing!

The Sea Hath Its Pearls: Romantic American Choral Music," ACDA interest session by Dr. DeVenney and the WCU Concert Choir

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MEET THE FACULTY

David P. DeVenney
David P. DeVenney
Director of Choral Activities
Professor of Music

Ryan Kelly
Ryan Kelly
Associate Director of Choral Activities
Professor of Music

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Master of Music in Performance - Choral Conducting

The M.M. in Choral Conducting is intended for serious students who want to further their musical knowledge and their gestural abilities on the podium. The core program of study includes intensive score analysis and instruction in advanced conducting techniques. Class and private conducting study, ensemble participation, coursework in choral literature and related topics, and supervised podium time with University choirs allows each student to grow to his or her full potential. Students who enter the M.M. degree will add to the depth of their knowledge about choral music, its style and performance practice, and the application of these in effective choral rehearsals and performances. Guidelines for application to the M.M. in choral conducting may be found on the Wells School of Music website. Applicants are expected to have experience conducting public school, church, and/or community choirs prior to application. Graduate fellowships and assistantships for M.M. choral conducting candidates are available.

Further Information:
Dr. David DeVenney

Summer Choral Symposium July 17-20, 2024

VOC 536: VOCAL-CHORAL MUSIC WORKSHOP (3 CR.) – In-person
David P. DeVenney and Ryan Kelly, Host Clinicians

Dr. William Weinert
Dr. William Weinert, Eastman School of Music, Guest Clinician

The West Chester University Summer Choral Symposium is designed to sharpen podium gestures and communication skills, enhance knowledge of repertoire, and deepen score study and analysis techniques. It is designed for working conductors in public schools, churches, and community choirs. Conductors may participate in two ways: as Conducting Participants, who will get ample podium time with master teachers; or as Observers, who will be engaged in all activities but who will not conduct. All sessions will be video recorded and given to participating conductors. A workshop fee is required in addition to tuition.

2024 Choral Symposium  2024 Choral Symposium Registration

Opportunities for High School Students and Teachers

HIGH SCHOOL SUMMER MUSIC INSTITUTE
We are pleased to offer a much-expanded summer choral camp will be offered for high school students as part of the WCU High School Summer Music Institute. Highlights will include a week of rehearsal on music leading to a public performance; voice lessons; and, for those interested, conducting lessons. Students are housed in University dormitories and eat in the University dining hall. The workshop is hosted and led by the WCU choral and voice faculty.

Further Information:
Dr. Ryan Kelly
(610) 436-2854


HIGH SCHOOL HONORS CHOIR
The next High School Honor Choir will be held on Friday, September 28, 2018, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. in Swope Music Building. High school teachers are invited to send a mixed quartet of their best students to participate in this event. The one-day workshop includes an intensive rehearsal of several pieces of music for performance later in the day. (Music will be provided in advance of the day). Participants will also receive a small-group voice lesson from one of the Wells School of Music's voice faculty. At 2:30 p.m., the Honor Choir will give a brief public performance, followed by a chance to hear a short concert from the WCU Concert Choir. Participants will also have the opportunity to meet and chat with current WCU music students during lunch in the University dining hall. For their teachers, the WCU choral faculty will offer a reading session of new music suitable for high school choirs..

Further Information:
Dr. David DeVenney

WCU CHORAL ENSEMBLES