Kent State Choirs

Choral music has a longstanding tradition of excellence at Kent State University.

Open to music majors and non-music majors alike, our variety of six exciting ensembles offer you singing opportunities that match your skill and level of interest. Whether you aspire to a performing or teaching career, or simply have the desire to continue singing as a creative outlet, we have a place for you!

The Kent State Chorale is the flagship choral ensemble at KSU made up of singers from all majors

The Kent State Chorale works to perfect choral literature spanning Renaissance music to cutting-edge works by many of today’s dynamic composers.


The Chorale performs frequently on campus including fall and spring concerts, joint concerts of masterworks with the KSU Orchestra, as well as the annual Holiday Choral Collage.  


The Chorale tours each spring semester, both for recruitment outreach and concertizing, in ever-expanding areas and venues. In addition to traveling throughout the state of Ohio, recent tours have included New York City, Washington D.C. and Chicago.  


Monday through Friday, 3:20-4:20 p.m.


The Chorale is open to all KSU students by audition.
Learn more about joining


Dr. Scott MacPherson, Director of Choral Studies
330-672-2909 |

The Kent Chorus consists of approximately 100 singers, making it one of the largest choirs on campus


The Kent Chorus performs two concerts per year and regularly collaborates with the KSU Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, as well as other professional orchestras in northeast Ohio.


Kent Chorus rehearses Tuesday evenings from 7:15 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. The first rehearsal is on the first Tuesday of Fall and Spring Semesters.


  • No audition necessary to join!  
  • Membership is open to the broader NE Ohio community and Kent State University students, faculty, and staff who have previous choral experience.
  • Anyone interested in joining is invited to attend to the first rehearsal of each semester for a brief voice placement.
  • This choir may be taken for credit or non-credit.
    • Credit: Persons interested in registering for this choir for credit should register for the course number listed above.
    • Non-credit: Persons wishing to register for non-credit may do so by signing up at one of the first three rehearsals of the semester and paying a $30 fee.


Dr. Scott MacPherson, Director of Choral Studies
330-672-2909 |

Cantique (formerly Women's Chorus) achieves a high standard of excellence in the treble repertoire

Cantique welcomes all those who love to sing and enjoy the camaraderie that performing great music brings to its members. Music is selected from a variety of periods and musical styles. 


The chorus tours regularly, frequently collaborates with other KSU ensembles, and recently performed at the OMEA Professional Conference.  


Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 1:10 to 2 p.m.


  • Open to undergraduate and graduate students from across Kent State University.
  • New members are accepted every semester through a simple voice placement audition. 

Learn more about joining


Dr. Scott MacPherson, Director of Choral Studies
330-672-2909 |

Coro Cantare's (formerly Men's Chorus) explores many musical styles with special emphasis on the standards of tenor/bass choir literature. 


The choir performs regularly on and off-campus, tours and frequently collaborates with other KSU ensembles.


  • Coro Cantare welcomes students from across Kent State University who enjoy working together to perform the great body of tenor/bass choir repertoire, encompassing a wide range of styles spanning Renaissance to contemporary works. 
  • Open to all graduate and undergraduate students of Kent State.
  • New members are accepted every semester through a simple voice placement audition.

Learn more about joining


The choir meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:10 p.m. to 2 p.m.


Mr. Bryon Black II, Director
330-672-4802 |

The Kent State Nova Jazz Singers fuses the choral tradition with the power and innovation of jazz.



The Nova Jazz Singers was founded in 2012 by Dr. Christopher J. Venesile, Associate Professor of Choral Music Education, to bring the disciplines of advanced choral singing and the language of jazz together. As both a popular, contemporary music and a recognized world classical music, jazz reflects America's social and musical history.  In the 21st century, jazz has become a historical music as well as a continually evolving art, absorbing current style to keep the music spontaneous and fresh.

The ensemble performs annually at premier jazz clubs in Northeast Ohio, New York City jazz clubs, the Elmhurst Jazz Festival in Chicago, IL, and in 2020 will be featured at the Ohio Music Education Association State Professional Conference."

Who are the Nova Jazz singers  and what will you learn?

  • The Nova Jazz Singers provides our Kent State University students opportunities to study jazz and choral music in a compelling art form.
  • Our members are undergraduate and graduate students from majors across the university.
  • Rehearsals are held three times a week in the late afternoon in the Center for the Performing Arts.
  • Members learn techniques in solo and ensemble jazz arrangements of songs from the Great American Songbook and beyond. 
  • Jazz history, theory, and improvisation are also learned as well as self-accompaniment on piano. 

Joining Nova Jazz Singers

  • Selection of all members is based on competitive musical skills and take place during the first week of classes.
  • To audition as a vocalist or a member of the band (piano, bass, drums, horns), send an email to Dr. Venesile.
  • Vocal Audition: 
    • Perform a prepared piece of your choice that fits your voice the best. Pop or jazz standards would be most appropriate, but sing what you sound best on.
    • A sight-reading and aural training example.  Popular music requires musicians to rely on both their reading skills AND their ear.  These will adequately reveal your base skills in these areas.
    • An accompanist will be provided but please have your song of choice as a lead sheet (melody, lyrics and chords symbols). You can also bring your own accompanist, accompany yourself or bring a pre-recorded CD/MP3. If none of that is possible or available, you can sing acapella as a last resort. 
  • Instrumental Audition:
    • Instrumentalists should prepare a piece in a contemporary style and be able to sight-read very well.
  • Please bring a completed and signed audition form with you to your audition time. 

Download an audition form


Chris Venesile | 330-672-2485

The Nova Jazz Singers is also available to perform at events, please contact Chris for booking information. 

The Kent State Gospel Choir is a diverse and welcoming ensemble for people of all backgrounds and beliefs. 

Members of the group represent different ages, ethnicities, races, majors, sexual orientations and religious beliefs, making the Kent State University Gospel Choir one of the most diverse organizations and/or ensemble on campus. The choir was founded in 1996 by KSU emerita faculty member Dr. Linda B. Angotti and is now directed by Kent State alumnus Mr. Bryon Black II. 


The Kent State University Gospel Choir enjoys an excellent local, regional, national and international reputation. The choir has performed in Europe and the Bahamas, was invited to perform for two Kent State University presidential inaugurations (2007, 2015) and performs regularly for diverse campus-wide events. The choir performs at various conferences, festivals and churches across the country.

Joining the Choir

  • No formal audition required! Join through a simple voice placement by coming to the first rehearsal of the semester.
  • Open to Kent State University students, faculty, staff, alumni as well as members of the greater NE Ohio community.
  • To enroll, undergraduate students need to register for MUS 45151 and graduate students in MUS 55151
  • Faculty, staff, and community members interested in joining, please email Bryon Black, Director, at

Learn more about joining


Every Monday,  5:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m. during the academic year. 


Mr. Bryon Black II, Director
330-672-4802 |

Support the Kent State University Gospel Choir

If you would like to support our scholarships or travel funds, kindly send your donation to:

Kent State University Gospel Choir
c/o Kent State University Foundation
350 S. Lincoln Street
P.O. Box 5190
Kent, Ohio 44242-0001

Choral Ensembles Auditions

KSU Choral Ensembles are open to undergraduate and graduate students of any major.

KSU Choral Reception

Learn more about the choral program and auditions from directors Dr. Scott MacPherson, Dr. Chris Venesile, Mr. Jesse Reed and Mr. Bryon Black II. 

  • When: Wed., Aug. 26, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Where: Kent State Student Center Kiva.
  • Who should attend?
    • All KSU students who would be new to participating in the choral program at Kent State.

Fall 2020 Semester Auditions

Chorale, Coro Cantare, Cantique

KSU Gospel Choir

  • When: First day of rehearsal on Mon., Aug. 31.
  • Where: Virtually.
  • Contact: Bryon Black II to receive specific details at

Nova Jazz Singers and Nova Jazz Workshop Ensemble

  • Auditions will be held virtually with Dr. Chris Venesile. Email him at for more details. 
  • For more information about these ensemble, please visit their page.

Kent Chorus

  • This ensemble will not meet this semester.
  • Please consider auditioning for a different choir that works with you schedule.

Voice placement audition Information


What does the placement audition consist of for Chorale, Coro Cantare and Cantique?

  • Vocalizing to assess tone quality and range
  • Aural skills exercises such as pitch matching and melodic memory
  • Rhythm reading
  • Sight-reading
  • No need to bring a prepared song!

Placement materials for KSU Gospel Choir and Nova Jazz will be communicated by the directors of each ensemble. 

Audition Advice


  • Don’t stop singing over the summer, keep using your voice!
  • Do the vocal exercises you’ve done with previous choirs.
  • Practice pitch matching. Play three notes and match each.
  • Play a four-note melody and sing it back.
  • Practice sight-reading and rhythm skills.
  • A little bit of practice will go a long way!

Audition Day

  • WARM UP! It is important that your voice is warmed up before you audition.
  • Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes early to fill out an audition form.
  • If you need to change your audition, please remove your reserved time on the online form and then set a new time.
  • Placement audition results will be emailed to you by Wednesday at 5 p.m.


  • Leave room in your schedule for the choir of your choice.
  • Please register after the placement results are announced. Information will be provided.