Vocal Jazz Ensemble

Dominick DiOrio

Assistant Professor of Music and Conductor, NOTUS: IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble

Meet the Full Choral Faculty

notus - IU Comtemporary Vocal Ensemble

Meeting Times: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 2:30-3:50 p.m.

Conductor: Dominick DiOrio
Associate Conductor: Steven Berlanga (DM) 
Assistant Conductor: 
Livia Gho (MM)

Auditions: Required

NOTUS: IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble is comprised of 24 of the finest singers from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Directed by Dominick DiOrio, NOTUS is run as a professional chorus and its members are expected to consistently demonstrate the highest levels of musicianship and vocal ability. That being said, the student membership in NOTUS is academically diverse, with representative majors including composition, conducting, piano, organ, harpsichord, early music, music education, guitar, and other disciplines in addition to voice. Excellent sight-singing skills are required, as the thorny nature of pitching in contemporary music makes quick reading ability essential. Singers are expected to come to rehearsal prepared on their parts. Those singers with perfect pitch are especially desirable. 

Noted for innovative programming, NOTUS explores all significant styles of the last century as well as works at the forefront of today’s contemporary music scene. A special emphasis is placed on the works of living and emerging composers, especially notable works for voices composed by Indiana University faculty and students.

Highlights of the 2014-2015 academic year include:

  • Special performance of David Lang's the little match girl passion, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Music
  • Premiere of P.Q. Phan's major new work: A Vietnam Requiem with chorus and instrumental ensemble
  • Premiere of a new commissioned work for voices and percussion by faculty composer and Chancellor's Professor Claude Baker
  • Premieres and readings of student composer works, including Phillip Sink's Fire and Ice and the winner of the 2015 NOTUS Student Composition Contest
  • Performance of the Britten War Requiem with the Oratorio Chorus and Philharmonic Orchestra in November
  • Solo opportunities for experienced singers on every voice part, typically drawn from the membership of NOTUS

NOTUS was featured at the American Choral Directors Association Central Division Conference in Cincinnati in 2014, as a demonstration choir for a lecture on new music. NOTUS was also invited to perform at Carnegie Hall on the Distinguished Concerts International NY Artist Series. The ensemble records often, and a project and collaboration with Juventas New Music Ensemble will be released on New Dynamic Records in the coming year. In Fall of 2013, NOTUS hosted Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw and NOTUS was the first collegiate ensemble to perform the Sarabande from her Partita for 8 voices.

Specializing in a varied and diverse repertoire of contemporary vocal music, NOTUS has performed an eclectic combination of works for voices by composers such as Dominick Argento, John Cage, Chen Yi, Melissa Dunphy, Eriks Esenvalds, Don Freund, Sofia Gubaidulina, Ted Hearne, Moses Hogan, Texu Kim, James MacMillan, Paul Mealor, Nico Muhly, Per Nørgård, Tawnie Olson, Sven-David Sandström, Caroline Shaw, Veljo Tormis, Robert Vuichard, and Zachary Wadsworth.  

Founded in 1980, the Ensemble has had only three previous directors: Alan Harler, Jan Harrington, and Carmen-Helena Téllez.

Sample recordings: