Dr. Ramona Wis, Conductor
The Women’s Chorale has earned a reputation for a warm, expressive 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.
Women’s Chorale Headed to New York City and Carnegie Hall
In celebration of its 25th year and with gratitude for a generous gift by Dr. Myron Wentz, the Women’s Chorale will be touring and presenting performances in New York City during spring break, March 14 through March 18. The 39-member ensemble, accompanied by faculty Dr. Ramona Wis (Founder/Conductor), Barbara Shiffler ’71 Vanderwall (Accompanist and Head of Piano Studies), and Linda Ogden ’71 Hagen (Head of Vocal Studies) will present performances at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and at Carnegie Hall. The tour will also include visits to memorable sites such as the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and attendance at the Broadway musical Kiss Me, Kate.
The North Central College Women’s Chorale was founded in 1994 by its conductor, Dr. Ramona Wis, and has earned a reputation for warm, expressive women’s choral sound and innovative concert programming and staging. Members are chosen by audition, represent all academic degree programs, and range in age from freshman through senior. The Chorale has performed orchestral works of Debussy, Vaughan Williams, and Poulenc with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra and has performed with professional choruses Bella Voce and Vox Caelestis. Committed to new music, the Chorale has commissioned works by composers James Mulholland, Gwyneth Walker, Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, and James Falzone.The Chorale was a selected performing ensemble at the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Conference and the GIA Fall Institute Conference in Chicago.The Chorale has taken two international tours—in 2009, to France, Germany, and Austria and in 2012, to Ireland, with concerts in Galway, Killarney, Bray, and Dublin.
Founder/Conductor Dr. Ramona Wis is the Mimi Rolland Endowed Professor in the Fine Arts, Professor of Music, and Director of Choral Activities at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. She conducts the Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and Women’s Chorale and teaches courses in conducting, music methods, and servant leadership.
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 has presented workshops across the country and in Canada, including presentations for the British Columbia Music Educators Association, the International Conference of the Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, GALA Choruses, the Tennessee Arts Academy, the Illinois and Ohio Music Educators Associations, and in 2016, was the keynote speaker and session presenter for the ACDA North Central Division conference.
Dr. Wis’s book, The Conductor as Leader: Principles of Leadership Applied to Life on the Podium has quickly become a leadership classic among conductors and music teachers, as well as those interested in leadership outside the music profession. She has written for The Choral Journal, Music Educators Journal, Teaching Music and the China Europe International Business School Review, and is a contributing author to Toward a Description of Musical Experience and The Musical Experience: Rethinking Music Teaching and Learning, written by doctoral faculty and fellows of Northwestern University.
Dr. Wis has served as President of the American Choral Directors Association in Illinois and on both ACDA and ILMEA executive boards. She 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 35 years. Dr. Wis holds the 200-hour yoga teacher certification (CYT/RYT) and is currently in the 500-hour teacher certification program at Prairie Yoga Institute. Her additional work in biomechanics and anatomy continues her study of the body-mind connection in choral music and conducting.
"Radiant Sister of the Day" by David Brunner
"Gloria" by Ola Gjeilo