Campus Choir

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About

The Campus Choir, conducted by Dr. Joel Navarro, is the chapel choir of Calvin College. Supported by both the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and the Music Department, the Campus Choir performs at the annual Fall Music Festival, gives a Lessons and Carols advent service at LaGrave Christian Reformed Church, and presents a concert in the chapel each April.

Campus Choir rehearses Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3:30-4:20 p.m.

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Our History

Campus Choir's mission is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in song, lead Christian congregations in public worship, and study music from many times and places as an integral part of Calvin's liberal arts education. Mind and heart, study and song come together at the choir's rehearsals.

The Campus Choir, founded in 1974 by Professor Merle Mustert, represents all classes of Calvin students, as well as a large percentage of Calvin's 75 majors and programs. Unlike many touring choirs, the Campus Choir is not made up primarily of music majors. "We are here," said one choir member, "because we love to come from the biology lab, a philosophy colloquium, the art studio, and the athletic field in order to make music."

Every year the choir participates in worship services in local churches, and often leads worship at conferences on Calvin's campus. The choir's annual presentation of a Festival of Lessons and Carols is a musical landmark of the Christmas season in West Michigan. In the Spring of 1998 the choir toured the Southeastern United States, performing in churches and schools in North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

In 1997, John D. Witvliet was appointed director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and the Campus Choir. "My goal," says Witvliet, "is to build on the strength of the Calvin's choral tradition, and to focus our energy on exploring music that Christians use in public worship in many cultures and throughout the history of the church." The choir's 1998 Spring tour program was an outgrowth of that calling. The program involved congregational song, music of the world church, and liturgical texts from many cultural texts.

Dr. Pearl Shangkuan and Dr. John Witvliet were appointed co-conductors of the Campus Choir for the 2005-2006 school year. Sean Ivory, a Calvin alumnus, served as interim director of the Campus Choir from 2003-2005 and again from 2006-2008. In the fall of 2008, Dr. Joel Navarro was appointed as the choir's conductor.