Dr. Erin Colwitz,
NMU Director of Choral Activities
DMA, University of Southern California
Dr. Erin Colwitz comes to NMU from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where she has been Director of Choral Activities since 2008. At UAH she conducted the Chamber Choir and Concert Choir, taught music history, conducting, choral education methods, and supervised student teachers. She is an active member of ACDA, MENC, the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO), International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM), and many other professional groups. She has also maintained a very active career in sacred choral conducting.
Dr. Colwitz holds the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Minnesota and the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Music degrees from the University of Southern California. She studied conducting with William Dehning, David Wilson, Magen Solomon, and Claire McCoy. At USC, she was awarded a full teaching assistantship as conductor of the Thornton Oriana Choir, the University’s only women’s chorus, a post she held for three years. At USC, Dr. Colwitz performed under William Dehning in the award-winning Thornton Chamber Choir, touring France and Belgium in 2003 and East Asia in 2006.
Dr. Colwitz’ public school teaching experience includes Centennial Middle and High School in Lino Lakes, Minnesota, where she conducted four choirs, taught general music, and gave private voice instruction. Among her extensive credits as professional chorister, Dr. Colwitz was a member of the acclaimed Dale Warland Singers, performing with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra under the direction of Robert Shaw, Edo de Waart, and Hugh Wolff. The DWS were nominated for a Grammy for their recording of Dominick Argento pieces, Walden Pond (2003); Dr. Colwitz’s doctoral treatise is a critical analysis of Argento’s, A Toccata of Galuppi’s, a twelve-tone work found on that recording.
Dr. Colwitz has been a frequent guest conductor, lecturer, adjudicator and choral clinician throughout the southeast. She brings extensive experience related to professional choral organizations, highlight of which include: chair of the Repertoire & Standards for Youth and Student Activities, Alabama ACDA; national board chair for NCCO, representing Alabama; frequent guest lectures at state conferences; performances by her choirs at state conventions; guest conductor and clinician at a 2014 international collegiate choral festival in Bangkok and Chiangmai, Thailand, under the auspices of the US Embassy.
A native of the Green Bay area, Dr. Colwitz is no stranger to northern winters. Her husband, Dr. William Dehning, a renowned choral conductor, USC emeritus professor, and author, was the founding conductor of the Marquette Choral Society in 1971.