NMC Music Department
NMC Performance Ensembles include:
Canticum Novum is one of three choral ensembles at Northwestern Michigan College. This auditioned community choir began six years ago under the umbrella of the NMC Music Department as an answer to local singers’ clamoring for another choral opportunity. The singers of Canticum Novum come from varied backgrounds and professions, but all bring to the group their vast experience in symphonic, university, and church choruses. Canticum Novum has appeared on stage with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra and performs regularly around the Northern Michigan area. Canticum Novum has also performed at state-wide music conference, and in 2017 was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall. With a focus on new choral works, as well as favorites from the choral repertoire, Canticum Novum is building a reputation for exciting programming, a variety of challenging repertoire, and performance excellence.
The NMC Chamber Singers is a mixed (SATB) choral ensemble that presents concerts on the College campus and off-campus when performing choral/orchestral compositions. Membership is comprised primarily of music majors. Other members of Chamber Singers include college students representing the various disciplines across campus, and community members serious about choral performance and continued vocal study. The primary focus of this ensemble is choral chamber music, with an emphasis on newer works. The Chamber Singers regularly performs throughout the Grand Traverse Area, and has performed at various state-level conferences and festivals.
GRAND TRAVERSE CHORALE
The Grand Traverse Chorale is a large mixed choral ensemble that presents concerts on the College campus and off-campus when performing choral/ orchestral compositions. Membership is comprised primarily of community members and also includes music majors, and college students representing the various disciplines across campus. The primary focus of this ensemble is large works and classics of the choral repertoire. The Grand Traverse Chorale also regularly performs with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra. Performances include major works by Brahms, Beethoven, Haydn and others, and performing on the TSO’s popular “Home for the Holidays” concert.
VOCAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE
The Northwestern Michigan College Vocal Jazz Ensemble began in 1994 under the leadership of Mike Hunter. With jazz booming in Traverse City, vocal jazz was a perfect fit. The Vocal Jazz Ensemble is a relatively small group of 8 to 12 members. It is comprised of community members and college students who desire to perfect their vocal jazz skills. The group’s diverse and challenging repertoire is comprised of a wide variety of jazz styles ranging from traditional swing standards to Latin jazz, as well as the newest cutting edge vocal jazz charts. The ensemble is backed in performances by a rhythm section of some of the areas best professional jazz musicians. This small ensemble of men’s and women’s voices can be heard in the spring and fall scheduled college performances and also at various area venues that offer jazz music.
JAZZ LAB BAND and JAZZ BIG BAND
The NMC Jazz Bands are instrumental groups dedicated to the study and performance of the large jazz ensemble repertoire. This includes composers and arrangers from the Swing Era (circa 1930’s and 1940s) and from every decade there after, up to the present, current writers. The NMC jazz bands are comprised of a mix of college students and community members of all ages. The first large jazz ensemble at NMC was formed in 1979 by Mike Davis, following two years of jazz combos at the school, under his direction. Subsequent directors included Chris Bickley, Pete Asch, Laurie Sears and Mike Hunter, who expanded the program into two large jazz bands and a vocal jazz ensemble. Laurie Sears has directed the NMC Jazz Bands since 2014.
The Northwestern Michigan College Concert Band is an adult musical organization supported by the College and is made up of members of the community as well as NMC students. Since its inception, 37 years ago, it has grown from a small group of musicians to an ensemble of 100 + artists. The band operates on the academic calendar of the College. Rehearsals are held in Milliken Auditorium each Tuesday of the semester. There are four performances during the academic year that are performed in Milliken Auditorium. During the Summer months, the band generally performs four concerts throughout the community.
The NMC Dance Department, under the direction of Dorothy Eisenstein, provides numerous educational opportunities through academic courses and public performances. Many dance events and performances occur in collaboration with the NMC Music Department and the Dennos Museum Center. Students explore the creative process through movement by participating in choreography directed by students, faculty, and guest artists.
NMC CHILDREN’S CHOIR
The Northwestern Michigan College Children’s Choir is a program of exemplary choral music performance that develops high levels of artistic, expressive singing for students in Kindergarten through grade nine in the Greater Grand Traverse Area. The Children’s Choir exists to artistically enrich the lives of the children, their families, and the community.