The A Cappella Choir is Lenoir-Rhyne University's feature touring ensemble and is open to all students by audition. A service and student organization of the University, the Choir is first and foremost an academic ensemble that learns the art of singing together and engages in performances for the public. Alumni of the Choir continue to treasure its deep sense of community and spiritual nurture as well as its musical achievements.
The Choir has toured nationally since 1951 and traveled abroad every fourth year since 1971. It is well known for its lyrical tone and for its performance of both concert and worship music repertoire. The Choir has sung for the installation of two national Lutheran bishops and performed for the 200th anniversary of the North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
In March 2005, the Choir appeared with the Western Piedmont Symphony in a complete performance of Handel's Messiah, and in November 2005 performed for the North Carolina American Choral Directors Association in Winston-Salem, NC. In 2006 the Choir celebrated its 70th anniversary with a tour of Florida and a gala concert with over one hundred alumni of the Choir. In May of 2007 the Choir toured Russia, Finland, and the Baltic States, and in the spring of 2008 concertized throughout the upper Midwest as well at Duke University Chapel and in Blacksburg, VA, on the first anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre.
The choir is featured on the popular hymn CD, "Evangelical Lutheran Worship: Hymns Audio Edition, Volume 2," available from Augsburg Fortress Publishers. The A Cappella Choir will celebrate its 75th Anniversary in April of 2011 with a reunion of Choir alumni. It was founded in 1935 by Prof. Kenneth Lee, a St. Olaf College graduate, who directed the Choir from its inception until 1971. Professor Emeritus E. Ray McNeely followed as the Choir's conductor for 29 years through 1999. Dr. Paul Weber is only the third tenured director of the choir in its history.