Cornell University Chorus

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Cornell University Chorus
Origin Cornell University in Ithaca, New York
Genres Choral, classical, etc.
Years active 1921–present
Associated acts Cornell University Glee Club, After Eight
Members Director
Robert Isaacs

The Cornell University Chorus was founded in 1921, initially as the Cornell Women's Glee Club.[1] The Chorus is a sixty-member chorus for female voices, with repertoire including masses, motets, spirituals, classical, folk, 20th-century music, and traditional Cornell songs. Aside from its constantly changing and increasing selection of for women's voices, the Chorus also performs major works with the Cornell University Glee Club such as Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Handel's Messiah, and Bach's Mass in B Minor.

The Chorus performs annually during Convocation, Family Weekend, Senior Week, Commencement, and Reunions Weekend. In addition to the concerts on campus, the Chorus also has experience in professional settings, working under the baton of Nadia Boulanger, Eugene Ormandy, Erich Leinsdorf, Michael Tilson Thomas, Julius Rudel, and Karel Husa on the stages of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Philadelphia Academy of Music, and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. The Chorus has also been featured on two nationwide broadcasts: a special half-hour on CBS radio, and an appearance on PBS's MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour as part of an artistic feature on former director Susan Davenny Wyner. The Chorus has collaborated with world musician Samite of Uganda, participated in a production of Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light with Anonymous 4, and performed several major works with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, including most recently Bach's Mass in B Minor and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Cornell Symphony Orchestra.[citation needed]

Commissioning Project[edit]

In 2003, the Cornell University Chorus launched a commissioning project known informally as "No Whining, No Flowers".[2] The goal of the project is to expand the contemporary repertoire for women's choirs by commissioning pieces from women composers using text from women writers. Furthermore, these texts are intended to explore topics that differ from the traditional women's repertoire themes of lost love and scenery admiration - hence the title of the project. Commissioning projects to date include:

This list is complete and up-to-date as of February 2016.

Domestic and International Tours[edit]

In addition to these extended trips, the Chorus also travels to other universities for competitions and festivals. In the past, the women have performed at Harvard for the Centennial Celebration of the Radcliffe Choral Society as well as joint concerts with the Toronto Women's Chorus, the Penn State Glee Club, and the Wellesley Chorus.


This list is complete and up-to-date as of February 2016.
  • 1921–1942: Eric Sydney Dudley
  • 1942–1945: John Marinus Kuypers
  • 1945–1946: Paul John Weaver
  • 1946–1957: Thomas Brodhead Tracy (Under Tracy's direction, the Chorus disbanded. In 1957, Sokol re-established the Chorus.)
  • 1957–1986: Thomas Andrew Sokol
  • 1986-1991: Susan Davenny Wyner
  • 1991-1995: Ron Schiller
  • 1995–2012: Scott Arthur Tucker
  • 2012–2013: John Rowehl
  • 2013–present: Robert Isaacs

A Cappella Subsets[edit]

After Eight (1991-present)[edit]

After Eight, formed in 1991, is the official all-female a cappella subset of the Cornell University Chorus. After Eight regularly performs contemporary repertoire arranged for a cappella by current members and alumnae of the group. They additionally perform selections from the Chorus repertoire on occasion, as well as traditional Cornell songs. After Eight has two major on-campus concerts every semester, one in the Fall (Witching Hour) and one in the Spring (Evening Affair). They also perform around campus at student and alumni events throughout the year.

Earlier subset history[edit]

Nothing But Treble (1976-1990) formed as a subset of the Chorus in 1976. In 1990, the group disassociated from the Chorus. They are still an active a cappella group on campus.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]