Vocal Music at NWU

Contact Us

Professor Tom Trenney
Director, University Choir and Chamber Singers
(402) 465-2288
ttrenney [at] nebrwesleyan.edu (ttrenney[at]nebrwesleyan[dot]edu)

Professor Boyd Bacon
Director, Jazz Choir
(402) 465-2289
bbb [at] nebrwesleyan.edu (bbb[at]nebrwesleyan[dot]edu)

Professor Dawn Pawlewski Krogh
Director, NWU Opera
(402) 465-2270
dmp [at] nebrwesleyan.edu (dmp[at]nebrwesleyan[dot]edu)

Vocal Music at NWU

Nebraska Wesleyan University choirs stand on the belief that making beautiful music together can inspire us to become more compassionate, empathetic, expressive, mindful and caring people. All of our choral ensembles are open to students, regardless of major or class standing. These choirs are supportive, nurturing communities for our students as they face the rigors of college life.

University Choir

The Nebraska Wesleyan University Choir is an auditioned ensemble open to all students, regardless of major. Rehearsals take place Monday through Friday from 12-12:50 p.m.

The choir performs annually for NWU's Music Showcase Concert during homecoming weekend and for Christmas with Wesleyan. Both events feature the university's combined choirs.

In addition to annual regional tours, the University Choir has traveled abroad 10 times—most recently to Spain in 2019. The University Choir has been privileged to sing with many esteemed conductors and composers, including Anton Armstrong, Aaron Copland, Jake Runestad, Randall Thompson, Robert Shaw and Sir David Willcocks.

The choir has sung four times at Carnegie Hall and twice at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. It has performed frequently with the Lincoln and Omaha Symphonies. The ensemble has sung for conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, Nebraska Music Educators Association and the National Association for Music Education. In 2020, the choir was featured at the National Conference on Sacred Music in Charleston, S.C., culminating a concert tour in North and South Carolina.

Chamber Singers

Nebraska Wesleyan's Chamber Singers is a choral ensemble open to all students, regardless of major. No audition is required for participation. The ensemble rehearses Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11-11:50 a.m.

Chamber Singers offers, in part, a parallel glee club experience (for sopranos and altos beside tenors and basses) in addition to a collaborative mixed choir experience for everyone. The choir performs annually for NWU's Music Showcase Concert during homecoming weekend, Christmas with Wesleyan and a spring concert with guest choral ensembles.

Jazz Choir

Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Jazz Choir is an auditioned group open to all students regardless of major. Jazz Choir performs regularly both on campus and around the Lincoln community. An annual spring break tour is among the highlights of the season. The ensemble has performed and competed in jazz festivals held in Nebraska, Iowa and Colorado.

This auditioned ensemble meets three times per week and focuses on jazz repertoire.


Operatic performing opportunities have been offered at Nebraska Wesleyan University for more than 25 years. Opera and opera scenes are open to any student, regardless of major.

Each fall, two evenings of opera scenes are performed. Fully staged and costumed operas, with professional orchestra, are performed every spring.

When the students are not in rehearsal, they study additional topics such as acting, audition technique, movement, dance and directing. Students are actively involved in all aspects of opera production, including costuming, make-up, lighting, scenic design, props, choreography, musical direction and stage managing.

In the recent past, spring productions have included operas by Puccini, Mozart, Johann Strauss, Menotti, Haydn, Stravinsky and Humperdinck.