The Carthage music ensembles are not only exceptional performance ensembles; they are also interactive “learning laboratories” for our music students. Vocal and instrumental students hone their performance skills. Music education students have opportunities to conduct and rehearse the bands, and receive guidance and feedback from the conductor and ensemble members. Rehearsals are structured to lend insight into not only how to make music, but how to teach music.

The ensembles allow students to perform in a variety of styles and venues, both on campus and off. Workshops and clinics are arranged so ensembles can also provide educational support for regional schools.

Choral Ensembles

This 50-member choir is the College’s flagship vocal ensemble. It has recently appeared at WMEA, WCDA, and Carnegie Hall. The choir tours regionally, nationally, and internationally (England and Germany 2006; Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, and Hungary 2009; Ireland and Scotland 2012; Spain 2015; in preparation: Hungary, Slovenia, and Italy, 2018). Membership by audition.

Director: Professor Maggie Burk

Learn more about the Carthage Choir

Read about the Carthage Choir Tour

A 65-voice ensemble welcoming singers of all backgrounds. Performs at campus worship services and events, and at worship services in other churches in the region. The choir does a short regional tour every year. Membership by audition.

Director: Professor Peter Dennee

Learn more about the Carthage Chorale

A group of 14-16 singers who perform sacred and secular works appropriate for a chamber ensemble. The group performs for special events on campus. 

The Lincoln Singers is a highly collaborative chamber ensemble that focuses on a cappella chamber music of the Renaissance and Baroque eras.

Director: Professor Gregory Berg

A group of 50-60 performers who sing music from all genres of choral music for female voices. It has recently appeared at WMEA, and NCACDA and performs on and off campus. The group tours regionally, nationally, and internationally (Central Europe 2007; China 2015). Membership by audition.

Director: Professor Peter Dennee

Learn more about the Treble Choir


Instrumental Ensembles

The Carthage College Band, one of the oldest college bands in the United States, was established as a brass band in 1873 under the leadership of Professor J. M. Helfrich. From its humble beginnings as a six-piece brass ensemble, the band has grown to now include three large ensembles — Wind Orchestra, Concert Band, and the chamber winds group AMATI.

Conductor: Professor James Ripley

Learn more about Wind Orchestra and Concert Band

The Philharmonic is a dynamic music ensemble that performs standard orchestral repertoire with additional opportunities for musicians to perform in small chamber ensembles, including string quartets and piano trios, under the guidance of studio faculty.

Conductor: Professor E. Edward Kawakami

Learn more about the Carthage Philharmonic

The Carthage College Jazz Ensemble offers students the opportunity to develop as jazz musicians and educators. It is open to any Carthage College student regardless of major and serves as the lab band for all music education majors interested in developing a thriving jazz culture throughout their career. This ensemble meets during the spring term and focuses on the performance of both traditional and contemporary jazz repertoire.

Jazz Combos are also a part of the larger Jazz Ensemble offering, and allow students to explore a wide range of jazz styles throughout the year.

Conductor: Professor James Ripley

The Carthage Pep Band is proud to be the driving force behind the game day experience at all home Football games, Basketball games, and special campus events. Comprised almost entirely of non-music majors, the Pep Band is a high-energy, powerful ensemble beloved by our teams and fans alike. Valued by our campus community, members of the Carthage College Pep Band are also eligible for stipends as performers. The Pep Band is conducted by select senior music education majors.

Conductor: Professor James Ripley