Choral and Vocal Performance

Crane Chorus

Conductor, Dr. Jeff Francom

This chorus is the large festival chorus of The Crane School. This prestigious group was founded by Dr. Helen Hosmer in 1931 and performs the major vocal repertoire with the symphony orchestra in the Spring Festival Concert each year, and the televised Candlelight Concert each December. Crane Chorus has performed under guest conductors such as Aaron Copland, Howard Hanson, Nadia Boulanger, Brock McElheran, and Robert Shaw, and has represented Crane at events such as the rededication of The Statue of Liberty. Recent guest conductors have included Ann Howard Jones, Christof Perick, Larry Rachleff and Joseph Flummerfelt. In 2012 the Crane Symphony Orchestra and the Crane Chorus took the stage at the Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, performing Verdi’s Requiem. Crane Chorus is comprised of all Crane voice students.

Click here to view a complete history of the Crane Chorus.

Crane Concert Choir

Conductor: Dr. Rebecca Reames

The Crane Concert Choir, a select, auditioned mixed ensemble, has performed for the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Eastern Division Conference in New York City (2006), for the MENC Eastern Division Conference in Baltimore (2005), for a festival at St. Bartholomew's Church, NYC (2005), and for schools and churches in Gettysburg, Binghamton, Syracuse, Long Island, and New York City. In 2007, members of Concert Choir toured the People's Republic of China and performed at the International Choral Festival in Beijing, and in 2013, members of the choir toured Europe.  Each year the choir presents several on and off-campus concerts and hosts the annual “Adopt A Choir” (a choral music education public school project).

Hosmer Choir

Conductor: Dr. Heather Eyerly

Hosmer Choir is one of two select mixed voice (SATB) choral ensembles offered at SUNY Potsdam. The Hosmer Choir is predominantly comprised of sophomore and junior level Crane vocal principals, but remains open for audition to any singer enrolled at SUNY Potsdam or the Associated Colleges. Repertoire spans a wide spectrum from before Bach to Rock, with a special commitment to explore the music of diverse cultures. Commitment for both fall and spring semesters is expected.

Phoenix Club

Conductor: Dr. Rebecca Reames 

Phoenix Club, the oldest choral ensemble on campus, founded in 1894, and is a non-auditioned women's choir comprised of SUNY Potsdam students who are involved in a variety of majors. First-year female voice students are an essential part of this group. Phoenix Club gives women an opportunity to: 1) perform wonderful treble choir literature from many genres; 2) learn about women's voicing and blending within a women's choir; 3) sing with and learn from upperclassmen and their choral experiences; 4) develop beginning leadership experiences by leading sectionals and choral warm-ups, and; 5) grow musically and professionally with their female colleagues. Phoenix Club singers are involved each semester in two or more concerts. In addition to performing as an independent ensemble, singers have combined musical experiences with other Crane choral and instrumental ensembles.

Men's Ensemble

Conductor, Dr. Jeff Francom

Men's Ensemble is a non-auditioned chorus. It is the primary choir for all incoming freshman male voice students. In addition, there are a significant number of instrumentalists, and liberal arts majors. This Men's Chorus was selected by competitive audition to perform at the December NYSSMA Conference in Rochester, 2007.

Potsdam Community Chorus

Conductor: Tammara Madeja

Potsdam Community Chorus is a large chorus that is comprised equally of students and community members.  Membership in the Potsdam Community Chorus is open to all through a voice placement audition. If you are interested in joining the chorus, please contact Mrs. Tammara Madeja (315-267-2948). The Potsdam Community Chorus meets Monday evenings from 7:00 - 9:30pm.

Opera Ensemble

Director: Dr. Carleen Graham
Website:Crane Opera Ensemble

The award-winning Crane Opera Ensemble is a significant source for opera and music theatre in the North Country region of New York State. The ensemble provides exciting opportunities for students to experience all facets of opera performance and production through rehearsals, coachings and classes related to performance practices and production techniques.

Two fully-staged productions are produced each year (one with orchestra and one with a chamber instrumental group or piano). In addition, an Opera Scenes Workshop provides students the opportunity to study a partial role and perform it in an informal venue. The ensemble enjoys a collaborative relationship with the Department of Theatre & Dance, producing a musical theatre production every three years.

The Crane Opera Ensemble is proud of its opera education outreach program. North Country school children experience opera and engage in post-performance workshops with cast members and faculty. To date, over 4,000 children have participated, many experiencing opera for the first time.

In 2014, Crane presented scenes from three contemporary operas as part of the first ever Domenic J. Pellicciotti Opera Composition Prize, with all six composers and librettists in residence. The Crane Opera Ensemble was the first place winner of the 2011 American Prize in Operatic Performance Competition  and the first-place winner of the 2009 National Opera Association's Division 2 Collegiate Production Competition.