Wayne State University Choral Ensembles
From the WSU website Wayne State University Department of Music is home to four outstanding choral ensembles and an opera workshop. The ensembles are open to all WSU students, faculty and staff. Each choral ensemble is taken for one credit hour, though some ensembles permit participation without enrollment by special arrangement with the conductor.
The Wayne State University Concert Chorale is the university's flagship choral ensemble and consists of 24 voices. Concert Chorale performs literature from the 15th to the 21st centuries, including frequent premieres of new works and collaborations with ensembles such as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The choir strives, through its diverse and demanding repertoire, to brings its audiences the best choral literature performed with the highest possible artistry and professionalism. Concert Chorale has performed and recorded internationally, including featured performances at festivals in Central and Eastern Europe. Admission is by audition with the conductor, and typically reserved for students in their second year of college or above.
Conducted by Dr. Noah Horn
The Choral Union, a mixed ensemble of over 50 voices, specializes in the finest repertoire from the Baroque through the twenty-first century, including distinctive choral works with orchestra, African-American literature, and compositions involving global and contemporary formats. Its major performance, the annual Salute to Detroit, has brought thousands of music lovers to concerts since its founding in 1967. The University Choral Union also performs as part of the WSU Symphonic Chorus in concerts throughout the Metropolitan Detroit community. The ensemble studies and performs exemplary repertoire, emphasizing artistic interpretation and comprehensive choral, vocal and musical development, in an enjoyable educational atmosphere. All students, faculty and staff are welcome and encouraged to participate!
Conducted by Dr. Arianne Abela
Men's Glee Club
The award-winning Men's Glee Club has enjoyed a well deserved and long-standing tradition of excellence since it was founded in 1945 by the late Professor Emeritus, Dr. Harry M. Langsford, who directed the ensemble for over 45 years. Under his direction, Glee Club singers embarked on concert tours of Europe no fewer than 9 times. On three occasions they were awarded first prize (1968, 1981, and 1985) at the International Musical Eisteddfod, in Llangollen, Wales, where they competed against choirs from all over the world. In addition they were awarded first prize in the nation 1985 at the music competition, the Johnny Mann Choral Festival. Over the years they have sung by invitation for many MENC, ACDA, MSVMA and IMC conferences and conventions nationwide. Truly an outstanding WSU legacy of which all can be proud!
Conducted by Dr. Noah Horn
Numbering 20 to 25 singers, the Women's Chorale enjoys performing exciting blends of music such as classical, jazz, pop, contemporary and world music. Performances occur locally and on campus. The ensemble nutures individual voices and skills as well as provides opportunities for members to bond with like-minded singers in the pursuit of technique and artistry.
Conducted by Dr. Arianne Abela
Revived in 1990, the Opera Workshop's first full production was Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, a rollicking tale of faithful and unfaithful lovers. When not in rehearsal, Opera Workshop students work on diction in several languages, study movement, and polish their vocal skills.
Conducted by Frances Brockington
Noah Horn directs the choral program at Wayne State University, where he conducts Concert Chorale and Men's Glee Club, supervises the master's program in choral conducting, and teaches music theory. He serves as artistic director of Audivi, a professional vocal ensemble with an extensive repertory, and Oakland Coral Society, a community choir and orchestra devoted to performing masterworks. He also directs the music program at Grosse Pointe Woods Presbyterian Church.
Dr. Horn holds the D.M.A. degree in choral conducting from Yale University. He has earned four additional music degrees from Yale and Oberlin College. He has served as interim Director of Choral Activities at Western Michigan University, conductor of the Wesleyan University Orchestra, director of the professional choirs at Christ Church, New Haven, and artistic director of The Madison Chorale. As a professional tenor, he has sung with Conspirare, Yale Choral Artists, Yale Schola Cantorum, sounding light, and several other nationally-recruited ensembles. As an organist he has given recitals across the US and in Germany. Venturing briefly into reality television, he appeared in the final rounds of America’s Got Talent 2013 with 3 Penny Chorus and Orchestra. He hails from Davenport, Iowa, and resides in Detroit.
Arianne Abela currently directs the Women's Chorale and Choral Union at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI and serves as the Director of Music at Bethlehem UCC in Ann Arbor, MI. Arianne is the founder and conductor of 3 Penny Chorus and Orchestra, a volunteer orchestra and chorus of 60 that was recently featured in the quarter finals of America's Got Talent(Season 8) at Radio City Music Hall. The ensemble has performed for various charities and fundraisers, was featured on NBC's Today Show, and can be heard on the soundtrack of the film Walk of Shame. Arianne has a doctorate from the University of Michigan under the tutelage of Jerry Blackstone, and a master’s degree in conducting from the Yale School of Music under Marguerite Brooks, Jeffrey Douma, and Simon Carrington. Abela was selected as one of ten to participate in the Dallas Opera's inaugural Women's Conductor Institute, and was recently appointed music director of Canadian-based opera company, Naissance Opera. She has also been invited to guest conduct upcoming productions of Falstaff and Don Giovanni for the Detroit-based opera company, OperaMODO. Abela has served as Director of the University of Michigan Residential College singers, Chorus Master for the University of Michigan Opera productions under the direction of Martin Katz, Assistant Conductor for University Musical Society's Choral Union, and Assistant Conductor for the University of Michigan Chamber Choir. She has conducted choirs at Yale University, served as assistant conductor for the Yale Alumni Chorus on tours to Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. While based in Connecticut, she served on faculty at Wesleyan University, Notre Dame High School, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, and The Westover School for Girls. As a professional singer, she has appeared with Yale Choral Artists, sounding light, Yale Schola Cantorum, Audivi. Originally from the San Francisco, California, Arianne sang as a member of the San Francisco Girls Chorus for many years.
Frances N. Brockington, soprano, is a native Detroiter and favorite to area audiences.
In 2005, Miss Brockington received the prestigious Msgr. Daniel Ryan Award as Outstanding Former Faculty from Sacred Heart Major Seminary College. In 2000, she was named Outstanding Classical Vocalist of the Year by the Detroit Music Awards.
Miss Brockington has appeared with a number of Metropolitan Detroit musical organizations; among them The Cathedral Cultural Series, the Brazeal Dennard Chorale, Rackham Symphony Choir, Cantata Academy, Michigan Opera Theatre, Great Lakes Lyric Opera, Orchestra Detroit, and the Detroit Symphony to name a few. She has also appeared as soloist nationally and internationally. Miss Brockington is equally at home as an operatic specialist, and as an actress.
Her operatic repertoire includes “A Bayou Legend” by William Grant Still [aired on Cablevision to critical acclaim 2004 – 2006], La Traviata by Verdi, La Boheme by Puciini, Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart, Candide by Bernstein, I Capuleti ed I Montecchi by Bellini, and Emperor Jones by Gruenberg to name a few. Recent years have found her as soloist in Elijah by Mendelssohn, Requiems by Mozart, Faure, Verdi, and Rutter, Messiah by Handel, and the Great Mass in C by Mozart; again to name a few.
Miss Brockington, Associate Professor of Voice in the Department of Music at Wayne State University, maintains an active private studio and performing schedule in addition to her duties at WSU. She is director of music at St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church. After a long association with the National Association of Pastoral Musicians and the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, she remains a valued advisor to both organizations. Miss Brockington has served on the National Steering Committee for Cantor Certification sponsored by the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. Formerly, she was the Director of the Cantor Certification Program for the Archdiocese of Detroit, one of the first formally organized programs in the country. She has also appeared as clinician, keynote speaker, and Master teacher for these organizations. Miss Brockington holds the designation of Master Teacher and is in frequent demand as an adjudicator regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Education and community service has always been of importance to Miss Brockington. She serves as President of the Board of Directors for Joy Preparatory Academy [K-8 charter school academy] and President of the Board of Directors for Artspectrum [a fine arts organization].
She is author of A Troubleshooter’s Voice Manual and Singers On The Move both published by Oregon Catholic Press. She co-wrote and performed in “Music Tells it Like it Is” and “All About Our Voices” both children’s operas currently being utilized by a number of education departments within national opera companies.
Miss Brockington, always a champion of contemporary music, has been fortunate to premiere works by 20th and 21st century artists. In October 2008, Miss Brockington had the honor of premiering “Instructions for Elijah” music by James Hansen and libretto by Myra Sklarew for soprano, chorus, and orchestra. During this same performance, “Let There Be Music” and “The Urge” music by Michael Bryce was also premiered. Miss Brockington commissioned these works by Messrs. Hansen and Bryce and wrote the lyrics for “Let There Be Music”.