North Central College - Naperville, IL

Women's Chorale

The Women’s Chorale was founded in 1994 by its conductor, Dr. Ramona M. Wis, and has earned a reputation for a warm, expressive women’s choral sound and innovative concert programming and staging. Members are chosen by audition and represent all academic degree programs and classes. The Chorale has sung with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra, professional choruses Bella Voce and Vox Caelestis, and toured Ireland in 2012 and France, Germany, and Austria in 2009. The Chorale regularly premiers new music  and has commissioned pieces by James Mulholland, James Falzone, and Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky. We encourage you sample our music.

Auditions for the Women's Chorale take place in winter term as part of the Audition Days program for incoming students. Interested women may audition at any time, though membership is typically for a full calendar year. Contact the Office of Admission at 800-411-1861 for Audition Days information or Dr. Ramona Wis at for auditions at other times of the year.

Dr. Wis is the Mimi Rolland Distinguished Professor in the Fine Arts at North Central College, where she teaches methods and conducting courses and is chair of the Department of Music, in addition to her conducting duties with the Women's Chorale, Concert Choir, and the Chamber Singers. Dr. Wis holds degrees from the University of Illinois, Northern Illinois University, a Ph.D. from Northwestern University and is active as a festival conductor, clinician, writer and public speaker, specifically in the areas of leadership and rehearsal techniques. Her book, The Conductor as Leader: Principles of Leadership Applied to Life on the Podium, is quickly becoming a classic in the fields of conducting and leadership. Prior to joining the North Central faculty, Dr. Wis taught at Northern Illinois University and Northwestern University, as well as in the public schools. 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, community and academic settings for more than 30 years.


Sample Excerpts

Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down, arr. Caldwell and Ivory

Jerusalem, arr. Michael McGlynn

Ireland Tour 2012

The Women's Chorale wowed Irish audiences in June 2012 with performances in Dublin, Galway, and Killarney as they embarked on their second tour abroad (their first being a European tour to France, Germany, and Austria in 2009). As part of their trip, the women visited the Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands, the Ring of Kerry, and the vibrant urban life of Dublin.

You may read about the 2012 tour on the Women's Chorale blog here:

Former London Symphony Orchestra member Gina Zagni said of the Women's Chorale June 2012 performance in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland:  "I was lucky enough to hear the Women's Chorale in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.They are an extraordinary group of young singers, who have lovely voices, individually, but who can sing as one  with great feeling. Their intonation is flawless, even though they were unaccompanied in most songs."