The Singing Statesmen
Women's Concert Chorale
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire choirs feature more than 400 members performing in its seven ensembles. The program has achieved a distinguished reputation for outstanding and innovative performance, including nine performances at state, regional, and national meetings of the American Choral Director's Association. Several ensembles are annually heard in regional concert tours and the Concert Choir, The Singing Statesmen and Women's Concert Chorale also perform internationally.
In addition to on- and off-campus concerts, the UW-Eau Claire Choral Area offers many members the opportunity to participate in Cabaret, an annual mid-winter variety show featuring large and small fully-staged performances. The Choral Area hosts Choral Festival and also performs in special concerts during the holiday season. Diversity is a hallmark of the UW-Eau Claire choirs with ensembles emphasizing the total spectrum of the rich and varied 500-year choral tradition. Due to the popularity of the choral program at UW-Eau Claire, the campus has been recognized as “Wisconsin’s Singing University.”
The following choral ensembles are open to all UW-Eau Claire students by audition.
Dr. Gary Schwartzhoff, Conductor
The Concert Choir, Gary R. Schwartzhoff, conductor, is one of seven ensembles at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. In 1992, the choir appeared at the Wisconsin Music Educators Convention. In 1996, the choir performed at the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association Convention and at the ACDA North Central Division Convention in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Concert Choir appeared at the 1997 National ACDA Convention in the premiere performance of Jacob’s Prayer by Gian Carlo Menotti. The choir was invited to perform at the ACDA Divisional Convention in March 1998 during the Millennium Feast in Minneapolis. Concert Choir also performed at the 1999 Wisconsin Music Educators Convention in Madison.
Chamber ChoirDr. Gary Schwartzhoff, Conductor
The Chamber Choir is comprised of sixteen students who share an interest in the madrigal tradition of the Elizabethan era. Each December, the ensemble prepares and performs "Ye Olde Madrigale Dinner" in the Council Fire Room of Davies University Center.
Due to its popularity, the dinner is performed twice during each holiday season. In Renaissance period costumes, the choir members recreate lords and ladies, dukes and duchesses, counts and countesses, and even a king and queen. Throughout the evening, these "Royal Court Singers" not only perform music from the madrigal tradition but also sing the songs of the holiday season and conclude the festivities with a short play. At "Ye Olde Madrigale Dinner" patrons enjoy an authentic renaissance feast and are even encouraged to come dressed in period costume.
The Singing StatesmenDr. Gary Schwartzhoff, Conductor
The Singing Statesmen is an all male choral ensemble from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Started in 1967 by Morris Hayes, the Statesmen is comprised of 57 students from various academic backgrounds and is currently under the direction of Dr. Gary R. Schwartzhoff. Because The Singing Statesmen promise to deliver songs with utmost musicality, they enjoy a healthy attendance at each concert they perform. Annually, the Statesmen participate in the Homecoming Varsity Show, and the Viennese Ball. As the years progress, the choir continues to release new albums while offering a new variety of music at each performance.
Symphonic ChoirDr. Alan Rieck, Conductor
The Symphonic Choir specializes in the study and performance of music composed for chorus and orchestra. The group is comprised of students from many scholastic disciplines within the University as well as interested singers from the communities of Eau Claire and the greater Chippewa Valley. Two major concerts are presented each year with the University Symphony Orchestra. Recent works performed include J.S. Bach’s “Magnificat,” Mozart’s “Requiem,” Mendelssohn’s “Elijah,” and Rutter’s “Requiem.” This ensemble also performs in the annual Holiday Concert in Zorn Arena.
Women's Chorus consists of 70 ladies from all academic disciplines on the Eau Claire campus. Membership is through audition with the conductor or with Dr. Gary Schwartzhoff, Director of Choral Activities at the university. The ensemble presents a concert each semester in Gantner Concert Hall as well as performances in Eau Claire during the year.
Women's Concert ChoraleDr. Alan Rieck, Conductor
The Women’s Concert Chorale specializes in the study and performance of music written specifically for treble ensembles. The group is comprised of female students from many scholastic disciplines within the University. In addition to regular concerts during the school year, the group tours annually, performing significant works from the breadth of music’s historical periods. Friendship in the study of literature written specifically for the uniquely beautiful sound of female voices and excellence in performance characterize the work and long tradition of the Women’s Concert Chorale. (See link to related news article - Women's Concert Chorale Performance Tour of South Africa)