A member of University Singers performs duirng the halftime show with the Pride of Mid-America marching band, Oct. 21 at Scheumann Stadium during the Homecoming football game against Central Michigan. Ball State lost to Central Michigan, 9-56. Grace Hollars, DN
The Ball State University Singers: 'Indiana's Goodwill Ambassadors'
Editor's note: In honor of the university's centennial year, The Daily News is counting down 100 days to the university's celebration Sept. 6 with 100 of Ball State's most famous traditions and figures. Check back each day to read about Cardinal history.
Throughout the group’s 50-year history, the Ball State University Singers have held a number of performances, some featuring stars like Liza Minnelli and Olivia Newton-John, and earned multiple honors.
The group was started when Don Neuen proposed the name “University Singers” to Robert Hargreaves in 1964, according to the group’s website. Once the name was approved, the group held auditions and began rehearsing.
The University Singers first performed in Indianapolis in January 1965, and in 1966 the first Spectacular was held in Emens Auditorium. At that performance, 7,212 attendees helped the singers raise $7,000 for the School of Music Scholarship Fund.
In 1971, the group was officially named “Indiana’s Goodwill Ambassadors,” by the Indiana General Assembly. Performances, however, have not been limited to the state of Indiana.
The singers have traveled to places like Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, Greenland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Greece and various cities throughout the United States to perform.
Among the honors the group has received is the title of Nation’s Number One Entertainment Group from the Bob Hope Collegiate Talent Search in 1978. In 2010, the singers were featured as one of the top Show Choirs in the nation on the TODAY Show.
The group also was named the World’s Number One Collegiate Entertainment Ensemble during the World Choir Games in 2012.
Currently, Alan Alder, instructor of music at Ball State, is the producer and director of the singers, which is comprised of groups such as the glee club, band, tech crew and wardrobe.
The group holds auditions in April each year.