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Clubs and Organizations

Performance Groups

Carthage provides many avenues for students to release their creative energies. Be it stage or music, there is a spotlight waiting for you.

Sing: Vocal Ensembles

Carthage Chorale
Director: Peter Dennee
The Carthage Chorale is a mixed ensemble that welcomes singers of a wide range of ability and experience. The chorale provides music for Chapel services and other College-wide events and is also active as a concert ensemble. The Carthage Chorale has participated in the Christmas Festival, the Annual Weston Noble Concert, Family Weekend Worship Service, and other events. It is directed by Dr. Peter Dennee, Associate Professor of Music at Carthage. Approximately two-thirds of the ensemble consists of non-music majors. In its mission to reach out to every member of the Carthage community, the Carthage Chorale explores a diverse body of repertoire that ranges from the Western art music tradition to African-American spirituals to musical theatre. New members are welcome. To inquire about trying out for the Carthage Chorale, contact Dr. Dennee.

The Carthage Choir
Director: Eduardo García-Novelli
Carthage boasts the nation’s second oldest touring college choir. It has visited all corners of the continental United States and tours Europe every three years. 

The Carthage Women’s Ensemble
Director: Peter Dennee
The 40-voice Carthage Women’s Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Peter Dennee, sings music from all genres of choral music for female voices. The choir performs on and off campus and has performed in Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Bratislava; Dresden; Prague and Vienna.

The Lincoln Chamber Singers
Director: Gregory Berg
A select group of singers performing music suitable for a small performance ensemble, and in a wide variety of styles both classical and contemporary. 

The Carthacords
The Carthachords are the all female competing acapella group on campus. They perform a minimum of two solo concerts a year along with singing at fundraisers and competing throughout the Midwest.

Maximum Capacity
Faculty Advisor: Dimitri Shapovalov
Maximum Capacity is a student-run male a capella group that performs both on and off campus. The men of Maximum Capacity entertain their audiences with music ranging from Billy Joel, to Taio Cruz, and everything in between.

Play: Instrumental Ensembles

Handbell Choir
Faculty Advisor: Amy Haines
Handbell Choir performs for various campus events, and is open to all students.

Carthage Pep Band
Director: Shan Kazmi
This group furnishes the sounds of spirit at all home football and basketball games. It is a group of highly talented and energetic Carthaginians playing for fun. The Carthage Drumline (C-Line) is an entertainment-based student organization that provides Carthage College with a dynamic, highly energized ensemble of marching percussion. Comprised of 15 positions, it seeks to promote music excellence through teamwork.

The Carthage Philharmonic
Director: Dr. Edward Kawakami
The Carthage Philharmonic is a versatile music ensemble that performs standard repertoire written for string orchestra, as well as works for chamber orchestra. An exceptional opportunity also exists for musicians to perform in small chamber ensembles, including string quartets and piano trios, under the guidance of studio faculty.

Concert Band
Director: Dr. James Ripley
This group is the campus band, providing an opportunity for students to continue their love of music in a meaningful way.  The Concert Band performs several concerts each year, and is a central component of the annual Lakeside Band Festival. 

Jazz Ensemble
Director: David Ness
This ensemble performs a wide range of jazz selections. Members are also permitted to show their individual talents through improvisational selections.
Director: David Ness

Wind Orchestra
Director: Dr. James Ripley
This group is the college’s premier concert band, and as one of the oldest college bands in the United States, has a long and distinguished history of service to Carthage and the artistic life of the communities of Kenosha, Wis., and Carthage, Ill. The band also has maintained a rich tradition of touring the Midwest, with international opportunities in Japan. 


Iluzion is a hip-hop team at Carthage that started in 2006. The dance team performs a half time for Lady Reds and Red Men basketball games, at talent shows, and in any other opportunity that is presented. Tryouts are generally held in mid-October. Iluzion encourages anyone who has a passion for hip-hop or dance to come and try out no matter how much experience you may or may not have.

Carthage Red Hots Dance Team
The Red Hots dance team performs at halftime for all football and basketball games. We promote high spirit while dancing to the pep bands music throughout the games and we get the crowd excited. Going to small showcases and a competition throughout the year keeps us busy dancing almost all year round. We also enjoy putting on small camps for the kids in the area and performing with them. 

Ballroom Dance Club
Ballroom Dance Club teaches different styles of ballroom dance and has mini performances for each other each week. They also go to local dance events and spend the night dancing different styles.


Carthage Stand-up Comedy Club
Carthage Stand-up Comedy Club is an organization with one goal: making people laugh with jokes told in an intimate setting with a microphone. The club is also open to other things such as video comedy skits, emceeing, and providing general comedy advice.

Merely Players Improv Comedy
Merely Players is an improvisational comedy troupe that performs both on and off campus. Members utilize skits, games and creativity in their performances, which often take place in WOHs place.

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2018), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …