• Students playing trumpets in concert band
  • Fine Arts building sign



UNK Choruses

UNK Choir Europe Tour. Group shot in front of Bach SculptureDr. Bauer conducts four choirs that are active on the campus of the UNK: The Choraleers (Concert Choir), Vocal Collegium, (Chamber Choir), Caelestis Cantores (Women’s Choir), and The Statesmen (Men’s Choir). The repertoire for these choirs explore all genres of music and all eras of music history. They are open to the entire university community via placement audition.

Caelestis Cantores and The Statesmen are choirs devoted to the development of the treble voice and the male voice respectively. These two choirs present one major concert per semester, while singing the National Anthem for six UNK athletic events during the year (three in the fall: soccer, volleyball, and football; three in the spring: men’s and women’s basketball, and wrestling). They may also sing the anthem for Storm Hockey.

Choraleers is an auditioned concert choir devoted to performing choral repertoire that represents all eras and genres of choral literature….from the 15th c. to present day. This choir is for university students of any major who exhibit exceptional vocal and musicianship skill; i.e., sight-reading, rhythmic accuracy, and commitment to the exploration of all generes of repertoire for concert choirs. The choir's most recent major work was the February 27, 2014 performance of the Mozart Requiem, utilizing student soloists throughout. The Choraleers has been selected to perform on the annual NMEA State Convention numerous times throughout the years. They have received national acclaim following performances in Carnegie Hall (New York), the Mormon Tabernacle, and International acclaim following choir performance tours in Argentina & Uruguay, Italy, and, most recently, their 2013 tour of Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, and Austria. The Choraleers have sung with the Omaha Symphony (John Adams, Harmonium, Mozart Requiem and Beethoven Choral Fantasie), the Lincoln Symphony (Advent and Bach St. Matthew Passion), and with the Kearney Area Symphony. They have been the guest of the Lincoln Plymouth Congregational Concert Series (The English Experience and Mendelssohn’s Elijah). The choir has presented The Blue Grass Mass and The Holocaust Cantata during the past three years, in addition to a plethora of great choral works. The Choraleers participate in a brief choir tour of Nebraska High Schools each semester.

The UNK Vocal Collegium is our Chamber Choir. Members of this ensemble must achieve the Choraleers prior to consideration for admittance. Placement interview/auditions are held during the first week of the Fall semester, and during the first day of second semester. This choir is for university students of any major who exhibit exceptional vocal and musicianship skill. Members of the Vocal Collegium may be asked to sing the National Anthem for Athletic events during the year.

JOIN ONE of our CHOIRS! For more information, please contact Dr. Bauer (bauerd@unk.edu). His office telephone is: 308-865-8609.


October 1: Choral Arts Workshop – 8:30 a.m – 2:00 p.m.
October 13: Dr. David Childs, composer/conductor, will conduct a performance of nine of his compositions with the Choraleers and three area high school choirs: Holdrege, Kearney, Lexington - Fine Arts Recital Hall, UNK - 7:30 p.m.
October 27: High School Men’s Ensemble Workshop - 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
November 23: Men’s & Women’s Choir Concert - Fine Arts Recital Hall, UNK - 3:00 p.m.
December 7: Platte River Singers Performance with Lincoln Symphony - Lied Center, Lincoln - 5:00 p.m.
December 9: Choraleers and Kearney High School Chorale performance with Kearney Symphony Orchestra Sunrise Mass, Ola Gjeilo - Fine Arts Recital Hall, UNK - 7:30 p.m.
December 18: Vocal Collegium Advent Concert – 8:30 p.m.
December 19: Choraleers sings for UNK Fall Commencement - Health & Sports Center, UNK - 9:15 a.m.
January 26th Honor Choirs Festival (3 Choirs)
February 17: High School Women’s Ensemble Workshop - 8:30 – 2:00 p.m.
March 8: UNK Choirs Concert - St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 2304 2nd Ave, Kearney, NE 68847 - 3:00 p.m.
April 26: UNK Choirs Spring Concert - Fine Arts Recital Hall, UNK - 7:30 p.m.

Please contact Dr. David Bauer for further information about any of the above events. Registration for all workshops may be completed on-line.

UNK Bands

UNK offers several diverse opportunities for participation; our bands are Wind Ensemble, the Symphonic Band, the Pride of the Plains Marching Band, and the Pep Band. Membership in Marching Band and Symphonic Band is open to all UNK students; membership in Wind Ensemble is by audition only. The Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band are regularly invited performers for the Nebraska Music Educators Association Conventions, and the Pride of the Plains Marching Band has performed three times for Rome's New Year's Day Parade (2006, 2009 and 2012) and for President Bill Clinton in 1998. For more information, contact Duane Bierman.

Jazz/Rock Ensemble

The UNK Jazz/Rock Ensemble, one of the top performing and touring groups on campus, serves as a laboratory for music students to hone their jazz performance skills and as a small ensemble for university students who want to play big band jazz. The instrumentation consists of five saxophones, four trombones, five trumpets, two keyboard players who double on synthesizers, electric bass, electric guitar and two percussionists. All university students are eligible to audition. The ensemble rehearses on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 to 12:15, and each section rehearses individually once each week. During Fall semester, the band prepares a December concert and during the Spring semester, an April concert. Occasionally, the Ensemble participates in national festivals such as the University of Northern Colorado's Greeley Jazz Festival. For more information, contact Tim Farrell.

Kearney Symphony Orchestra

For over a century, music lovers from all parts of Nebraska have gathered in Kearney to join in the camaraderie of playing and listening to great symphony orchestra literature, as well as popular favorites. Central Nebraska's premier symphonic Orchestra is composed of enthusiastic music lovers from North Platte to Grand Island, and from Alma to Dunning. The body also serves as the student orchestra of UNK. The orchestra rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 7:00-9:30, and usually presents four concerts each season (October, December, March and April). On occasion, community chamber-music concerts are presented in conjunction with the regular season concerts. For more information, contact Deborah Freedman.

Thornton String Quartet

Formed during the fall semester of 2004, the Thornton String Quartet is UNK's principal scholarship chamber ensemble. Literature includes the standard string quartet literature of the eighteenth century to the present. Members of the Thornton String Quartet rehearse twice a week and perform in the Kearney Symphony Orchestra, which rehearses one evening per week. Each semester the quartet performs in recital and in other community/university service settings. In addition, the quartet is available for other performance events allowing for added income for each quartet member. For more information, contact Ting-Lan Chen.


The Nebraskats is a 14-voice show choir comprised of full-time students at UNK who represent many areas of study as well as most areas in the state. The Nebraskats are selected by competitive auditions each spring from the 50-75 students who audition each year. The music performed by the Nebraskats includes Broadway show tunes, medleys of songs by various composers, and popular music from the 30s to the 21st Century. The singers are accompanied by a small band. Highlights of past years have included performance tours of Japan, China, Germany, England, Austria, Australia, the Czech Republic, and Washington, D.C. For more information, contact Andrew White.