North Central College - Naperville, IL

Dr. Ramona Wis

Dr. Ramona Wis is the Mimi Rolland Distinguished Professor in the Fine Arts at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, where she is Founder/Conductor of the Women’s Chorale and Chair of the Department of Music. Her teaching duties include methods and conducting courses, and a course in Servant Leadership. She also serves as Coordinator of the Music Education program.

Dr. Wis holds degrees from the University of Illinois, Northern Illinois University, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. An active festival conductor, clinician, writer, and public speaker, Dr. Wis is a specialist in the areas of rehearsal techniques and teaching, gesture as metaphor, and leadership. She has presented workshops around the country, including presentations for the International Conference of the Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership, the Tennessee Arts Academy, Alabama ACDA, and the Illinois Music Educators Association. Her book, The Conductor as Leader: Principles of Leadership Applied to Life on the Podium was recently released by GIA Publications, Inc. Dr. Wis has written for The Choral Journal, Music Educators Journal, and Teaching Music and is a contributing author to Strategies for Teaching: Guide for Music Methods Classes and Toward a Description of Musical Experience, edited by Bennett Reimer and Jeffrey Wright.

Prior to joining the faculty of North Central College, Dr. Wis taught at Northern Illinois University, conducting the 80-voice University Chorus, The Women’s Chorale, and the Northern Lights Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Her ensembles were chosen to perform at ACDA state and regional conferences and under her direction, the Northern Lights was selected to open for Dave Brubeck in concert. At Northwestern University, Dr. Wis taught the graduate course in philosophy of music education following the retirement of Bennett Reimer. While a doctoral student at Northwestern, Dr. Wis studied extensively with Dr. Reimer, who was also her dissertation advisor and mentor. In addition to her college and university teaching experience, Dr. Wis taught for several years in the public schools.

At North Central College, Dr. Wis’ primary conducting responsibility is the premier Women’s Chorale who recently performed at the 2007 All-State Conference of the Illinois Music Educators Association. She has served as president of the American Choral Directors Association in Illinois and on both ACDA and IMEA executive boards. Dr. Wis has sung under Robert Shaw, James Levine and Margaret Hillis, and has conducted and performed in professional, theatrical, community, and academic settings for more than 25 years.