AU Traditions: Chorale

 BY JACEY CRAWFORD WILLIAMS ’21

 2 MIN. READ

In its 76-year history, the Anderson University Chorale — formerly known as the Anderson College Choir — has seen thousands of members who have had the pleasure of performing in hundreds of events all across the world. Formed in 1945, the choir has toured nearly every corner of the continental United States, from New York to California, as well Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, and Russia.

The singing group was founded by Dr. Robert Nicholson, who served as the chair of the music department at the time. Nicholson went on to become the vice president for Academic Affairs, and later became president of the university.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Wright, dean of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, the Anderson College Choir/Anderson University Chorale has long embraced the highest levels of choral singing, distinguishing the group as one of the premiere collegiate choral ensembles in the nation.

“As with any musical ensemble, the students who perform in it are deeply transformed by the experience,” said Wright. “It takes a great deal of work and a deep level of trust to sing together with musical integrity, and the people who do this on a consistent basis are forever changed.”

Wright explained that when students graduate from AU, they often say the most memorable part of their AU experience is singing with the Chorale. One such graduate is Theo Hicks ’10. 

Hicks, who will be taking over as AU’s director of Chorale activities and voice coordinator this fall, was a member of the Chorale during all four years as an AU student. Hicks said the impact the musical group had on him is something he’ll never forget.

“I truly believe that our choral music is a crucial part of the fabric of Anderson University.” 

From its beginnings in the early days of Anderson College, Chorale likely has the largest alumni connection in AU history — and, Hicks argues, the most passionate.

For Hicks, his time spent in Chorale was time spent learning, growing, and enjoying musical experiences with close friends. He explained that the group is about more than just hitting the right notes — it’s about building community through music-making.

“That’s the power of singing,” Hicks said. “Everyone should sing!”

Hicks is not alone in his deep appreciation for Chorale. Musical theatre and journalism student Gillian Lintz ’22 explained that Chorale has played a major role in her AU experience.

“AU’s Chorale is unique in so many ways,” she said. “I’ve met people and made new friends I otherwise never would’ve crossed paths with, and the music that’s chosen for us to learn is chosen to aid in the growth of both our education and our faith.”

For three-quarters of a century, AU’s Chorale has done just that — provided students with not only the opportunity to learn, but also to deepen their faith through the power of making music.

AC Chorale students

Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.

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