The Ohio State Chorale (formerly Symphonic Choir) is the flagship SATB chorus of the university. Under the direction of Dr. Robert Bode, the ensemble performs a wide and varied repertoire, ranging from masterworks by the greatest composers of the Western choral tradition to new works by living American composers. Chorale is open to all Ohio State students, regardless of major, through audition.
Undergraduate: MUSIC 2203.01–010 | Graduate: MUSIC 7203.01–010
Classes meet MWF 1:50–2:45 p.m. | Autumn 2021
Learn more about choral ensemble auditions.
Robert Bode, director
Robert Bode is a noted teacher, award-winning conductor and prize-winning poet. He is currently Visiting Professor of Choral Music at The Ohio State University. Prior to coming to Ohio State, Bode served on the music faculties of the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. Bode is also Artistic Director Emeritus of Choral Arts Northwest, a chamber chorus based in Seattle, WA. In 2010, Bode and Choral Arts Northwest were awarded the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence by Chorus America. Bode’s choirs have performed for regional and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association, Washington ACDA, Missouri ACDA, Missouri Music Educators Association, and Chorus America.
Bode is known throughout the United States for his dedication to the commissioning and performance of new choral music. He has commissioned over fifty works for chorus from American composers, including William Averitt, John David Earnest, Eric Barnum, Jake Heggie, Gwyneth Walker, Richard Hundley, John Muelheisen, Frank Ferko, Jake Runestad, Dominick DiOrio, Dale Trumbore, Shawn Kirchner, Kevin Siegfried, Jessica French and others.
He has written texts for over 100 choral works. His first volume of lyric poetry, “Crickets and Commas,” is published by Walton Music.
Bode lives on a 4-acre farm outside of Columbus, Ohio with his husband, pianist/coach Lee Thompson.
Graduate Student Conductors
XIN SU (DMA student, conducting, 2022) — Originally from Xiamen, China, Su Xin is a second-year doctoral student in conducting. Xin assists Chorale during rehearsals and leads the mini-choir Virtual Virtuoso. To support the singing community, Xin has served as the audio and video producer for Chorale's virtual choir projects during the pandemic. Xin is also the Artistic Director of the Clintonville Community Choir and Music Director for Ohio Afternoon, an a cappella group.
COLIN KNOTH (DMA student, conducting, 2023) is a graduate teaching associate for the Men’s Glee Club, University Chorus and Chorale, in which he conducts the mini-choir, Best of Knoth Worlds. Colin holds degrees in Music Education and Choral Conducting from Evangel University and the University of Missouri–Columbia, respectively. After receiving his master’s degree, Colin remained in Columbia and taught 6th–12th grade choirs (four years), conducted the Columbia Chamber Choir (three years) and served as Director of Music at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church (two years).
BRAM WAYMAN (DMA student, conducting, 2023) conducts the Chorale’s mini-choir, the Quarantones. Before coming to Ohio State, Bram taught for three years at Watkinson School in Hartford, Connecticut. Prior to his move to Connecticut, Bram served a year-long appointment as conducting apprentice to Kent Tritle, assisting with the Oratorio Society of New York, Musica Sacra, and the ensembles of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. Bram holds master’s degrees from UT–Austin and the University of Missouri–Kansas City, and his undergraduate degree from Yale.
"Why Singing is Important to Me"
Listen to some of our members share the role that choral singing plays in their lives.
Zach Irwin (5th year, BM performance, bass trombone — Wheelersburg, OH)
Singing is important to my life. It allows me to connect and interact with others who share the same passion for music. Video
Anna Bonavita (4th year, music education and psychology, voice — Springfield, VA)
Singing for me is the place and time when I feel most human. Video
Grayson Abend (3rd year, BME, choral music, voice — Plain City, OH)
I want to impact others with music in the same way that music has impacted my life. It’s not work, when you are doing what you love. Video
Brenna Kitchen (2nd year, BME, voice — Springfield, OH)
Singing lets me feel my emotions and show my vulnerabilities. It is good times spent with friends and family. It is the sound of human connection. Video
Enjoy samples from recent performances. Most can be found on the Ohio State School of Music YouTube Channel.
The Ohio State Chorale (formerly Symphonic Choir), Nov. 24, 2019 program notes
- Salutation — Eriks Ešenvalds
The Ohio State Chorale (formerly Symphonic Choir), Feb. 23, 2020 program with Britten text
- Rejoice in the Lamb — Benjamin Britten
Virtual Performances, 2020–2021