EMU Choir

Choir Biography

The internationally acclaimed Eastern Michigan University Choir is a highly select auditioned ensemble comprised of students from across the university, most of whom are music majors whose principal area is voice study. They maintain a rigorous rehearsal and performance schedule and focus predominantly on choral art music for advanced choral ensembles.

With its tradition spanning back to 1854, singing at EMU has a long tradition of musical excellence. Under the direction of Dr. Johnson recent activities have included two European Concert Tours, two performances with Grammy-nominated tenor, Andrea Bocelli, 2018 Carnegie Hall Performance, 2018 Central/ North Central American Choral Directors Association Conference, 2018 Michigan Music Conference, 2017 Michigan ACDA State Conference, finalist in the American Prize and the release of four recordings in the past six artistic seasons.

 

How To Join

EMU Choir requires an audition. When/if invited to the “Final Call-back,” students will meet, on the first day of class, with all students invited to the Auditioned Ensembles call-back to determine which section they will participate in for that year. Please sign up for an audition slot using this online scheduler. You can find the current CRN if you search the catalog for MUEN 131L, EMU Choir Section.

 

 

  • EMU Choir Mission

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    The Eastern Michigan University EMU Choir proudly commit to an unwavering pursuit of artistry and excellence in choral music. We foster an environment of care for each musician and we value commitment, consistency and perseverance; all of which lead to artistic achievement. Beyond technical facility, we believe that transformative musical experiences require a connection of the poetry and the composer’s expression to 21st century students.
  • Musicians

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    Soprano

    Salma Bawardi, 2022  Ann Arbor, MI- Music Performance

    Emily Beggs, 2024   Canton, MI- Music Education

    Hazel Biggers, 2024  St Joseph MI- Music Performance

    Juliette Harrison, 2025 Dexter, MI- Music Education

    Catherine Lietz, 2024  Buchanan, MI- Music Performance

    Alyssa Malbon, 2024  Canton, MI- Music Education

    Madelyn May, 2024  Sylvania, OH- Music Therapy 

    Clare McCloskey, 2022 Pinckney, MI- Music

    Myranda Nichter, 2022 Macomb, MI- Music Education

    Zoe Spencer, 2024  Escanaba, MI- Music Education

    Emily Spitza, 2022  Northville, MI- Music Education

    Zoe Zdrojewski, 2022  Farmington Hills, MI- Music Performance


    Alto

    Cara Berg, 2022  Shelby Township, MI- Music Therapy

    Jasmine Broton, 2022  Whitehall, MI- Music Education

    Dominique Cooper, 2022 Novi, MI- Music Performance

    A’Lyssia Dunnell, 2022 Detroit, MI- MM Conducting

    Grace Frielink, 2023   Sycamore, IL- Music Therapy

    Jeannette Houston, 2022 Saline, MI- Music

    Dineen Marshall, 2022 Centenial, CO- Music Education

    Nicole Mroczek, 2024  Mattawan, MI- Music

    Chidera Perry, 2024  Ypsilanti, MI- Music Education

    Nichole Sayer, 2022  Three Rivers, MI- Music Therapy

    Krista Shaft, 2022  Tecumseh, MI- Music Education

    Sydney Timmer, 2022  South Lyon, MI- Music Education

    Emma Willerup, 2024  Cockeysville, MD- Music Education


    Tenor

    Troy Birdsong, 2025  Ypsilanti, MI-Music

    Mavis Clawson, 2025  Parma, MI- Biology

    Matthew Cook, 2024   Martin, TN- Music

    Joshua Danielson, 2022 Midland, MI- Music Education

    Anthony Davis, 2023  Milford, MI- Music Education

    Jacob Fagerstrom, 2023 Clio MI- Biology

    David Garvey, 2023  Canton, MI- Music Education

    Justin Hatt, 2024  Lansing, MI- Music

    Thomas Larner, 2023  Grand Ledge, MI- Music Education

    Austin Neikirk, 2023  Dundee, MI- Music Education

    Brendan Pastor, 2023  Ann Arbor- Music Education

    Ravel Ray, 2024  Akron, OH- Neuroscience

    Luke Schleuning, 2025 Wyandotte, MI- Music Education

    Conor Waterman, 2025 Saline, MI- Recreational Therapy

     

    Bass

    Simeon Berger, 2023  Adrian, MI- Music Therapy

    Merrick Breckler, 2025 Farmer, OH- Music Education

    Troy Dawson, 2024  Farmington Hills, MI- Music Education

    Bryan Gilbey, 2023  Tecumseh, MI- MM Music Education

    Nicolas Guzman, 2025 Clinton Township, MI- Music Performance

    Austin Hadwick, 2022  Ann Arbor, MI- MM Conducting

    Isaiah Meriweather, 2024 Dearborn Heights, MI- Digital Media Productions

    Trevor Miner, 2022  Ann Arbor, MI- Music Education

    Zach Moorhaus,   Woodhaven, MI- Music

    Charlie Moynihan, 2022 Toledo, OH- Music Education

    Reilly Nietering, 2024  Grand Rapids, MI- Music Education

    Sean Ryan, 2025  Northport, NY- Exploratory

    Phillip Solis, 2024  Harper Woods, MI- Computer Science

    James Wohlfert, 2022  Fowler, MI- Theatre Arts

  • Conductor

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    Biography
    Dr. Brandon Johnson is the Director of Choral Activities at Eastern Michigan University and is one of the nation's most flexible choral artists. He has conducted choral ensembles in every facet of the profession and takes pride in pursuing excellence in the choral art to enrich and affirm musicians of all ages. Professional appointments have included: The Director of Choral Activities appointments at Eastern Michigan University and Houghton College in New York, Founder and Artistic Director of the semi-professional vocal ensemble of Vox Lumine, Artistic Director of the Detroit Performing Artists, the Conductor of the Symphonic Choir at the University of Arizona, the Director of Choirs at Duluth East High School and Springfield Public Schools, and multiple sacred music appointments.

    Choirs under his direction have been invited to perform for multiple state and regional American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and National Association for Music Education (NAFME) conferences. He has performed in the most prestigious concert halls across the country, including Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the renowned Carnegie Hall. International performance tours and guest appearances have taken him to Austria, England, Estonia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Scotland, South Korea, Spain, and Wales.

     He has led honor choirs and held master classes in Europe and throughout the U.S., including Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Iowa, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. At home in Michigan, he has collaborated with thousands of high school singers across the state during dozens of choral events, including Michigan's first Sing for Justice concert held in 2017, choral festivals with renowned composers, and hundreds of concerts supporting local music educators.

    Dr. Johnson's choral-orchestral training includes study with German conductor Helmuth Rilling and American conductors Neil Varon and Dr. Bruce Chamberlain. In addition to his work with university orchestras at EMU and Houghton, he has received invitations to conduct the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus, Buffalo Choral Artists, Continuo Arts Orchestra of New York, Michigan Sinfonietta, Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, and Orchestra, Rochester Oratorio Society, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony, Cordancia, and The Southern Tier Symphony on collaborative projects.

    ​Respected by his faculty colleagues, he has been awarded multiple teaching and artistic awards. At Eastern Michigan University, he was selected to receive the Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Creative Activity Award, the highest honor the University presents to an individual faculty member. At Houghton College, he accepted both the Excellence in Teaching Award and was the inaugural recipient of the first fully endowed chair at Houghton College, the Horne-Blanchard.

     

    Scholarly and creative interests include choral composition, twenty-first-century choral program development, and the use of virtual reality technology as a tool for training

  • Touring Program

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    The Eastern Michigan University Choir embarks on performance tours each season. In recent years, the EMU Choir toured throughout the U.S. and Austria, England, Germany, Czechia, Poland, Scotland & Wales. Many times, the ensemble collaborates with high schools and offers a masterclass as well as a joint concert to provide a collegiate level experience to high school students.

    EMU Choir Touring Schedule

    • 2021-2022 Alaska Tour
    • 2020-2021 Canceled due to COVID
    • 2019-2020 West Coast Tour
    • 2018–19 Great Lakes and International Tour (Austria, Czechia, Germany & Poland)
    • 2017–18 Carnegie Hall, ACDA Regional, ACDA State, Michigan Music Conference
    • 2016–17 South East
    • 2015-2016 Midwest & International (England, Scotland, Wales)
    • 2014-2015 Eastern USA

    Please visit our Choir Touring Page for the most up-to-date concert information.

  • Available Recordings and Media Material

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    To purchase recordings, download pictures, videos, press-releases, past concert programs, and recording information, please visit our Press & Media Page.
  • Candlelight Concert

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    The signature Holiday Concert at EMU is the EMU Candlelight Concert. For more detailed information on this event please visit the EMU Candlelight Concert webpage.

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