Early and modern choral music at the University of Texas at Austin
An independent and extracurricular chorus at the University of Texas, Collegium Musicum is committed to bringing outstanding choral music to audiences both on and beyond our campus. We are one of only a few independent student-run choirs at UT, and offer one of the widest ranges of repertoire of any of the university's ensembles, spanning music from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century.
Unlike the curricular choruses, whose membership depends on class schedules and choice of major (and on tuition!), Collegium is open to singers all across campus, regardless of major. Our singers are undergraduates and graduates, studying the humanities, the sciences, business, medicine, and of course, music. Collegium is committed to excellence in performance, and sets a high standard in its audition process. In this way, we are able to offer a professional choral opportunity outside the confines of UT's Butler School of Music. Singers in Collegium Musicum may keep their membership indefinitely once they join, and most stay with the ensemble year after year.
A mixed (satb) a cappella chorus of about twenty-eight to thirty-two singers, Collegium Musicum focuses on chamber choral repertoire of particular historical or musical significance. A portion of each concert program is dedicated to early music: we have sung, among many others, the works of Monteverdi, Busnois, Tomkins, Finck, and music from as early as the twelfth century. From more recent periods, our repertoire encompasses secular works, motets, folk songs, spirituals, and glees by luminaries such as Schütz, Elgar, Homilius, Rheinberger, and Michael Haydn. Collegium proudly performs a wide variety of twentieth and twenty-first century choral music, including works by Kodály, Gjeilo, Polifrone, Quick, and P.D.Q. Bach. The choir performed a world premiere by the eminent young composer Caroline Mallonée in 2012. In addition, Collegium sponsors the New Choral Music Initiative, a competition for the composition of new choral music by students at the University of Texas at Austin, performing one new work each year.
Collegium rehearses Thursday and Sunday evenings, from 6:00 to 8:30 pm, in the Music School's choral rehearsal room (mbe 2.106, part of mrh). We perform at least two concerts each year, sometimes in collaboration with other performance groups on campus.
Collegium Musicum was founded in 2010 by Bram Wayman, its first director and a graduate student in music composition, and Corinne McLeod. Originally the Renaissance Collegium Musicum, the chorus grew out of the sec's Madrigal Dinner Committee, which has performed an annual madrigal dinner at ut since the late 1970s. After its first year under the umbrella of the sec, the chorus became its own student organization in Fall 2011.
These recordings of Collegium Musicum represent our typical repertoire. We hope you enjoy them! If you like what you hear, please subscribe to our public mailing list by sending us an email with the subject line "Subcribe".
Also, check our our YouTube page!
Here you can read about the audition process. If you'd like to be notified when auditions open, Email us and ask to be put on the audition mailing list.
We welcome any ut student who is interested in choral singing to audition for Collegium Musicum. Auditions are held at the beginning of each academic year. The audition, which lasts ten minutes, consists of:
Collegium Musicum holds auditions at the beginning of each academic year and occasionally at the beginning of the Spring semester. Membership is offered indefinitely if you are admitted. To read more about membership in Collegium, please see our About section.
Auditions are scheduled in ten-minute slots over the course of a few days. Time slots are claimed on a first-come, first-serve basis. You may sign up by:
If you cannot make any of the audition times but are still interested in trying out, please email us using the link above and describe your situation. Collegium Musicum guarantees an audition to every interested singer.
Please arrive for your audition at least ten minutes early. Outside the audition room, there will be an information card for you to fill out prior to your audition.
Collegium Musicum auditions and rehearses in the Butler School of Music. Signs will be posted to help you find the audition room, and there is a large building map posted in the main atrium on the ground floor, to the left of the Music Services Center.
If you would like to know more about the audition process, membership in Collegium, etc., please Email us.
Rachel Davis, of New Orleans, is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Texas at Austin. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music Education from Southeastern Louisiana University, as well as a Teaching Certificate in the State of Louisiana. She taught private voice and piano for 7 years before pursuing her true passion: conducting. Rachel has had the honor of conducting the Southeastern Louisiana University Concert Choir and University Chorus, and well as the University of Texas at Austin Concert Chorale and Chamber Singers. She currently serves as the Director of Music at First Baptist Church in Austin, Texas. Rachel, an active soprano, has performed roles such as Desireé Armfeldt in Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music, Susanna in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, and Yum-Yum in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. She has also been featured as soprano soloist on performances such as: Vivaldi's Gloria, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, and Walton's Façade.
James J. Hall (Assistant Conductor) is a pianist, bassist, and verdi baritone from San Antonio, Texas, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin. He has performed solo piano for 15 years and has been singing for 5. He studied piano and music theory under many instructors, the most notable being Dr. Elizabeth Gutierrez. He currently studies voice under Nikita Storojev. He has performed in several recitals for both voice and piano throughout his life. This will be his 4th year singing with Collegium Musicum as well as his second year as Assistant Conductor. James will graduate in May of 2019, so this will be his last year with Collegium Musicum.
The New Choral Music Initiative is an annual contest, sponsored by Collegium Musicum, for the composition of new choral music. It is open to all students at ut. The contest is held each winter, and the winning piece is placed on Collegium's spring repertoire.
In the new music world, the opportunity for a composer's work to be put in a concert repertoire is extremely rare. Collegium believes strongly in the fostering of new choral music, however, and is dedicated to committing the same amount of rehearsal time and focus to new pieces as to any other music. Likewise, winning composers should expect to see their piece placed in the same performance context as the other pieces on the program. Winning composers will have their piece rehearsed thoroughly and professionally, and it will be performed on every concert Collegium gives that season.