The internationally acclaimed Wartburg Choir performs sacred music from all historical periods and styles and often features premiere works of contemporary composers, including Morten Lauridsen, Ola Gjeilo, Ben Allaway, Stacey V. Gibbs, Stanford Scriven, and Connor Koppin ’13. Choir members are chosen by audition and represent most academic disciplines on campus. The choir makes annual concert tours throughout the United States and travels abroad every three years during the college’s one-month May Term. For more than 75 years the choir has toured domestically and internationally visiting 38 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and performed in 21 European countries, Scandinavia, South Africa, and three Canadian provinces. The Wartburg Choir is the select a cappella choir, one of five choirs offered through the music department.
The Wartburg Choir performed at the 2012 and 2014 North Central division of the American Choral Directors Association (NCACDA) conferences. The choir has performed two other times at the NCACDA and twice at National American Choral Director Association conventions. In 2011, the choir was invited to perform at the White House and Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
In 2004, the choir performed with opera star and Wartburg faculty member Simon Estes at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis; Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.; and Lincoln Center, New York. The Wartburg Choir made its debut at Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center in Chicago in an April 2006 concert that also featured Estes. He and the choir performed two concerts with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in Prague in December 2006.The choir has appeared at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York in 1985 and 2004 and performed solo concerts at Carnegie Hall in 1989 and 1993. A 1999 Iowa Public Television production of the Wartburg Choir at the Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Germany, was broadcast on public television stations throughout the United States. It marked the first performance ever taped for television at the historic castle, where Martin Luther took refuge for 10 months during the stormy days of the Protestant Reformation.