Valparaiso University Chorale upholds the highest standard of choral art through performance of the greatest choral literature of all eras.
The Chorale is among the top Lutheran collegiate choirs in the United States and is dedicated to performing works that celebrate the University’s Lutheran heritage. The choir is also noted for the performance of significant contemporary works in their original languages and for the performance of music expressing multicultural perspectives.
Under the direction of Christopher M. Cock, the 48-voice ensemble maintains an active annual schedule of touring, performing, and recording.
The Chorale has served four residencies at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany — making it the only collegiate American choir to enjoy such a strong relationship with the church of Johann Sebastian Bach. The Chorale returned in June 2012 for their fourth residency, marking the 800th anniversary of the St. Thomas Church and its choir, the Thomanerchor.
Reviews of the Chorale
The Thüringer Allegemine reviewed the Chorale’s concert in 2007: “a first-class ensemble … such a high degree of tonal unity, such sure intonation in the most complex and dissonant groups of chords, and such a precise feeling of dynamic shading … “
In 2010, the Schwarzwälder Bote exclaimed, “Their heavenly and virtuosic performance enthused the audience,” and the Schwäbisches Tagblatt hailed their performance as “masterful.”
The Chorale’s recordings include:
- Star Still Guiding (2011)
- O My Soul (2010)
- amazing day (2008)
- As it is in Heaven (2006)
- In Paradisum (2003)
- Christ Child: Songs of the Nativity (2001)
- The Lutheran Chorale with Paul Manz (2000)
- Traditions: Hymns, Motets and Folk Songs (1998)
These recordings are available for purchase. Browse the online store »
During the last decade, Valparaiso University has developed a strong relationship with St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany, and the Chorale is the only collegiate American choir to serve four residencies at the church. Because of the close partnership between the two institutions, Valpo offers a rare opportunity for music enthusiasts in the Midwest region to see the choir of Johann Sebastian Bach’s home church.
Throughout its history, the church and its St. Thomas Boys’ Choir have played a significant role in shaping Lutheran church music. In 1723, Bach was installed as St. Thomas’ director of music, a position he served for 27 years.
In June 2012, to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the church, the Valparaiso University Chorale and University President Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., visited Leipzig for the annual Bach fest celebration. During this visit, President Heckler signed an agreement with the church resolving to continue the cultural, educational, and theological exchanges for many years to come. As part of this agreement, the Chorale will continue to perform at the St. Thomas Church, the Bach Institute at Valparaiso University will conduct scholarly endeavors in Leipzig, and St. Thomas clergy and cantors will contribute theologically and musically to Valpo’s campus.