University of Chicago choirs
Under the direction of director of choral activities James Kallembach and assistant director Mollie Stone, the University of Chicago choral scene is thriving! Composers Augusta Read Thomas, Shulamit Ran, Marta Ptaszynska and their composition students in the Music Department write for the choirs, and there are regular choral concerts at both Bond and Rockefeller Chapels.
See the Quire & Place page for details of Rockefeller Chapel's signature concert series, featuring the Chapel Choir and the Decani—directed by James Kallembach—presenting the best of new choral music, including newly commissioned works, alongside beloved classics.
Below you will find the basics about the Chapel choir, the Decani, Motet Choir, the Women’s Choir, and the University Chorus, along with links to other choral ensembles.
The Chapel Choir
The Rockefeller Chapel choir, 24-30 voices strong, comprises graduate and undergraduate students. It is anchored by artists in residence Kaitlin Foley, Matthew Dean, and Keith Murphy, and by students who are appointed as choral scholars—this year, graduate students Chloe Blackshear and Chaz Lee and undergraudates Hannah Landes and Will Myers.
Auditions for the Chapel Choir are held in Orientation week and in the first days of the autumn quarter. Details are posted on the Music Department’s auditions page.
The Decani is the professional vocal ensemble of Rockefeller Chapel, twelve to sixteen solo voices who specialize in polyphonic music and sacred music suited to a chamber group.
As the premier undergraduate choral ensemble at the University of Chicago, Motet Choir accepts 24 to 30 students each year. Singing a cappella masterworks of all periods, this group frequently includes music of the Renaissance in its repertoire, as well as music as diverse as Gregorian Chant and Gospel standards. The group performs at least three concerts per year, and sings at University convocations.
The Women's Ensemble
The University Women's Ensemble, founded in 2009 and conducted by assistant conductor Mollie Stone, specializes in music for women's voices and also joins with other University ensembles to sing major concerts.
The University Chorus
Among the eighty members of the University Chorus are undergraduates, graduates, and singers from the Hyde Park and wider community, creating a wonderfully diverse group of backgrounds while offering an opportunity to sing with fellow students, coworkers, and neighbors. Directed by Mollie Stone, the group presents three or four masterworks per season, culminating in a festive year-end performance with the Performance Program’s other choirs and the University Symphony Orchestra.