The choral music program at the University of Colorado Boulder, under the guidance of Dr. Gregory Gentry, honors the legacy and tradition of the 20th century, while moving toward a vision for 21st-century innovation. The CU choral area, founded in 1938 by Warner Imig, was the first formal area of study in the College of Music, and CU Boulder later became one of the first universities in the nation to offer a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting, in the 1960s. With Gregory Gentry as Director of Choral Studies, assisted by Elizabeth Swanson as Associate Director of Choral Studies, the department continues to mentor great students from across the university, while preparing and performing everything from new works to jazz to traditional masterworks through regular collaborations with the CU University Symphony Orchestra and CU Wind Symphony, as well as the Boulder Philharmonic.
Gregory Gentry administers the doctoral, masters and undergraduate choral programs, and oversees all choral ensembles—from madrigal to symphonic choirs to vocal jazz. Since Dr. Gentry's arrival at CU Boulder in 2012, the Choral Department has hosted more than 35 guest clinicians to work with students in conducting, scholarship and performance preparation, and led CU Boulder's annual Madrigal Festival (900+ students) and High School Choral Leadership Festival (300+ students).
Dr. Gentry's collegiate choirs have performed for the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO), Music Educators National Conference (NAfME), Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA), Arizona Music Educators Association (AMEA), Society for American Music (SAM) and the College Music Society (CMS). He has also been honored as a music educator and conductor by the Colorado State Legislature and the Mexican Consulate for the State of Arizona. Read Dr. Gentry's full bio.
Dr. Swanson serves as conductor of the CU Treble Chorus (formerly the Women's Chorus) and the University Choir, which was founded in 1938 by Warner Imig. A passionate educator, Swanson also teaches courses in conducting at the undergraduate level, applied lessons in conducting at the graduate level, and serves on master’s and doctoral committees. Her conducting students have reached the final round in ACDA student conducting competitions and have been hired at leading universities upon graduation.
Swanson maintains an active schedule as guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States with upcoming festivals within the state of Colorado and an upcoming conducting appearance at Carnegie Hall in March 2022. Nationally, Swanson is Vice President of the Executive Board of the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO). She oversees the organization's National Board and chairs the Mission and Vision in Governance Committee, whose primary purpose is to uphold principles of equity, diversity and inclusivity within the NCCO. Read Dr. Swanson's full bio.
Students from many majors and interest areas sing in the CU Boulder choirs—not only music majors! Join a choir ... and sing!
University Singers (mixed chamber choir)—Directed by Dr. Gregory Gentry
University Choir (advanced mixed choir)—Directed by Dr. Elizabeth Swanson
CU Festival Chorus (large mixed undergraduate choir)—Directed by Dr. Gentry and Dr. Swanson
CU Treble Chorus (SSAA choir)—Directed by Dr. Elizabeth Swanson
Madrigal Singers—Directed by staff instructors