The Wartburg Ritterchor was founded in 1997 and follows Wartburg’s rich German Lutheran tradition of choral singing. Translated from German to English, Ritterchor means “Knights Choir.” In connection with Wartburg’s heritage Ritterchor seeks to honor the Wartburg Castle, where Martin Luther once lived disguised as a knight.

The goal of the Ritterchor is to provide students with the opportunity to further develop their musical gifts and talents. Ritterchor is open to all male students at Wartburg College. The group performs a variety of literature for events on and off campus. While working in a fun and friendly environment, Ritterchor members seek to produce a sound distinct and unique to a superior men’s choir.

The Ritterchor has been invited to be the featured choir at various festivals and concerts throughout the Midwest. The Ritterchor has also combined forces with other performing ensembles to present masterwork concerts, including J. S. Bach’s Magnificat, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Faure’s Requiem. In 2017, members of the group performed a sold out show called The Glory of Freedom, with Dr. Lee Nelson as director, at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The Ritterchor also performs in Wartburg’s annual holiday concert, Christmas with Wartburg. The Ritterchor has produced seven compact disc recordings.

Ritterchor at Carnegie Hall

Ritterchor and Festival Chorus at Carnegie Hall


2016-17 MEMBERS

Tenor 1
Jack Aagesen, Des Moines
Tim Baird, Denver, Colo.
Jesse Bless, St. Ansgar
Mark Fakler, West Bend
Travone Gray, Minneapolis, Minn.
Bryan Grubb, Des Moines
Brian Hamilton, Cedar Falls
Alex Hohensee, Broomfield, CO
Justin Ladage, Tripoli
Logan Merley, Ashton
Ethan Pruisman, Mason City
Blake Shipman, Rock Falls, Ill.

Bass 1
Garrett Arensdorf, Asbury
Juan Astiazaran, Phoenix, AZ
Spencer Barton, Davenport
Zach Bridgman, Bloomfield
Jacob Folkers, Garner
Jami Goetz, Buffalo Center
Chris Hale, San Antonio, Texas
Jake Hamilton, Algona
Noah Hickman, Sheldon
Jake Huntley, Dodge Center, Minn.
Matthew Jacobson, Naperville, Ill.
Gabriel Jeronimo, Posen, Ill.
Tyler Johnsrud, Orono, Minn.
Paul Jordan, Waukesha, Wis.
Weston Krug, Dysart
Trevor Krug, Dysart
Jacob Lamb, Saint Peter, Minn.
Nathan Lange, Stewartville, Minn.
Colten Langfitt, Clarion
Dakota Moore, Elgin
Sakhi Mphahlele, Johannesburg, South Africa
Michael Nelson, Des Moines
Austin Pauling, La Porte City
Tony Rex, Oelwein
Andrew Richlen, Ankeny
Bryce Shutt, Grimes
Tristen Sima, Cambridge, Minn.
Greg Sloan, Cedar Rapids
Elliott Stern, Eagan, Minn.
Cole Svestka, Decorah
Jordan Swaney, Charles City
Ethan VanderWoude, Pipestone, Minn.
Daniel Volkmann, Pheonix, Ariz.
Michael Zhang, Avondale, Ariz.

Tenor 2
Riley Anderson, Cedar Rapids
Justin Beals, Indianola
Matthew Beebe, Independence
Mitchell Bluml, Marion
Cory Brannaman, Mount Vernon
Samuel Engelken, Manchester
Chad Keitel, Oxford
Matt Kerns, Des Moines
Ben Klooster, West Des Moines
Dylan Lampman, Bondurant
Evan Larson, St. Peter, Minn.
Ben Mason, Clear Lake
Hasan Muhammad, Baghdad, Iraq
Bryce Origer, Cummings
Zachary Rider, Prairie du Chein, Wis.
Eric Rix, Sioux Rapids
Hart Shelton-Davies, River Falls, Wis.
Spencer Snodgrass,  Cedar Falls
Jared Torgeson, Ogilvie, Minn.
Joel Zimmerman, Anamosa

Bass 2
Tyler Amick, Austin, Minn.
Braden Bowden, Cedar Falls
Dalton Bunnell, Oskaloosa
Michael Etler, Spencer
Brett Guy, Ankeny
Alex Hesselman, Storm Lake
Naoya Kawaida, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa Japan
John Krull, Hampton
Caleb Maughan, Albia
Evan Meester, Meservey
Jon Mohwinkle, Aplington
Chris Nicolet, Clive
Kai Oelschlager, Wanamingo, Minn.
Carter Shaull, Dyersville
Landon Stalzer, Story City
Zane Strawser, Grinnell
Cameron Trupe, Owatonna, Minn.

Holly Koffron, accompanist


Lee Nelson

Professor of Music / Zahn Chair in Choral Conducting