St. Elizabeth Chorale


The Wartburg College St. Elizabeth Chorale, a 70-voice women's choir, is primarily comprised of first-year students. The group performs a variety of treble literature from different historical periods in music, singing both accompanied and acappella selections for events on and off campus and hosts an annual High Tea, where guests enjoy tea and refreshments while listening to the singers perform. Although there are records of women's choirs previously, the group as it stands now was founded in 1997 with professor Matthew Armstrong as the conductor. Since 2001 Dr. Jane Andrews has taken the group to new heights. In 2004, the chorale was a featured group at the North Central Division of the Music Educators National Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.

The St. Elizabeth Chorale takes its name from a famous resident of the college's namesake, the Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Germany. Elizabeth (1207-1231) lived at the castle as the wife of a Thuringian landgrave. Inspired by the teachings of her contemporary, St. Francis, she left the castle after her husband's death and became Germany's first female Franciscan. She was canonized in 1235.

During St. Elizabeth's time at the castle, she carried on an active ministry to the less fortunate. According to legend, she smuggled bread from the castle kitchen for the poor. Because the practice was forbidden, she hid the food in her robe. On one such trip, suspicious courtiers accosted Elizabeth and demanded that she open her robe. When she complied, roses had appeared in place of the bread. Today, Wartburg College hosts a service week dedicated to her memory, and roses are a college symbol of service and faith.