Indiana University Bloomington

 

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History of the Singing Hoosiers

The Grammy-nominated Indiana University Singing Hoosiers have a long and storied tradition of excellence in the contemporary vocal arts, performing popular contemporary vocal music ranging from The Great American Songbook, jazz, Broadway, to the hits of today. Dazzling choreography and a fun, energetic and entertaining program that appeals to all audiences and all ages are a part of a Singing Hoosier performance. The ensemble averages 85 student singers and instrumentalists from the IU Jacobs School of Music as well as students from throughout the university. Smaller, more select groups exist from within the larger ensemble, such as a vocal jazz ensemble, a capella group, and a selection of advanced dancers. Auditions for The Singing Hoosiers take place at the start of the school year in the fall, and are open at any Indiana University student, regardless of major.

As Indiana University's ambassadors of song, the Singing Hoosiers continue more than half a century of tradition. In the early 1950s, the Men's Concert Choir was one of only three choral ensembles in the fledgling IU Jacobs School of Music, and had 50 members. After a performance at a football rally, an announcer said: "With a basketball team like the Hurryin' Hoosiers, a football team like the Fighting Hoosiers, we oughta call these guys the Singing Hoosiers!"


The name stuck. Soon, female voices were added and the ensemble has steadily grown. The Singing Hoosiers have entertained millions in 18 states and more than 26 countries, including Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Caribbean, and have collaborated with notable guests including Sylvia McNair, Tim Noble, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Pops under the direction of Erich Kunzel. 


Annually, the Singing Hoosiers perform several concerts touring "on the road" and also at home on the campus of IU Bloomington, including the Chimes of Christmas concert at the IU Auditorium in December and the Annual Spring Concert in April. The ensemble also frequently sings at Big 10 athletic events.