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Sculpture outside of Battelle Fine Arts Center

Opera Theatre

Three Little PigsThe Otterbein University Opera Theatre, under the direction of Dr. Karen Eckenroth, offers students a variety of performance opportunities. 

Fully staged productions of either multi-act or one-act operas are performed every semester.  Recent productions include The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Wallace Earl DePue, Mozart's Magic Flute, Copland's The Tender Land, Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore, Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, and Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors.  In addition, workshop performances of operatic scenes designed to educate students in various repertoire and performance practices are also offered each semester. 

The casts for all productions are chosen through an audition process that is open to all Otterbein students.


The Otterbein Choirs offer something for everyone.  With six vocal ensembles, choir members perform a variety of repertoire, from Maroon Five to Mozart. Students of all majors sing in the choirs, and all vocal ensembles are of the highest quality. There are music award opportunities for singers from every major on campus.

Otterbein’s choirs combine regularly to perform choral masterworks in conjunction with the Westerville Symphony. In addition, Otterbein choirs have performed with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and appear regularly at professional conferences of the Ohio Music Education Association and the American Choral Directors Association.

Hear Concert Choir in Ireland, Recorded Live in Concert

"Danny Boy" arr. by Joseph Flummerfelt

"There Is No Rose Of Such Virtue" by Kevin Memley

Concert Choir

Concert Choir at Otterbein University

Concert Choir, an SATB choir of 40 singers, is Otterbein's most select vocal ensemble. The choir tours annually and regularly performs on off-campus concert series.  In recent years, the choir has toured Ireland, Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and China.  The ensemble has been honored with numerous invitations to perform at professional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and the Ohio Music Education Association. 

Concert Choir is under the direction of Dr. Gayle Walker.

Otterbein Singers

Otterbein Singers Choir Ensemble

The Otterbein Singers is an SATB choir of approximately 30 BFA Musical Theatre and BFA Acting majors. Repertoire includes classical choral music as well as choral works drawn from operetta and musical theatre repertory. Otterbein Singers performs concerts in the fall and winter quarters, and rehearses three times per week.

Otterbein Singers is conducted by Dr. Dennis Davenport.

Women's Chorale

Women's Chorale at Otterbein

The Women's Chorale is open to all women on campus from a variety of majors.

The Chorale performs a mix of repertoire from the various classical-style periods and lighter pieces, as well as great choral masterworks with the combined Concert Choir and the Westerville Symphony.

The Women's Chorale is conducted by Dr. Marla Butke.

Opus One


Opus One specializes in a variety of lighter music styles, from pop a cappella repertoire to jazz.  Consisting of 10 vocalists, the select ensemble performs concerts on campus, as well as off-campus for community organizations and public schools.  Opus One often performs with Otterbein's instrumental pop and jazz ensembles.

Opus One is under the direction of Dr. Gayle Walker.

Men's Chorus

The Men’s Chorus is open to all men on campus from a variety of majors.  In addition, we invite Otterbein faculty, staff and community members to join the Otterbein Men’s Chorus

The Men’s Chorus performs a mix of repertoire from the various classical-style periods and lighter pieces, as well as great choral masterworks with the combined Concert Choir and the Westerville Symphony.

The Men’s Chorus is conducted by Mark Hutsko.

Gospel Choir

Otterbein also has a Gospel Choir sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs.  For more information, contact LaJoyce Cain at 614-478-2737, or the Office of Student Affairs at 614-823-1589.

American Choral Directors Association

The Otterbein student chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) helps students connect with the professional side of choral conducting before securing their first teaching/conducting position. All students who believe that choral conducting may be a part of their future are invited to join. Membership can begin any time, and students are invited to attend one or two meetings before they commit to membership. Meetings include special topics of concern to choral directors such as vocal health and physiology, choral repertoire, and listening to recordings of the world’s top choral ensembles, often with special guests. The organization also takes field trips to hear live performances of outstanding choral ensembles. For more information, please contact Dr. Gayle Walker.

Voice, Choir, Opera Faculty & Staff

Photo of Karen Eckenroth, DMA, Director of Vocal Activities in the Otterbein University Music Department

Karen Eckenroth

Associate Professor
Director of Vocal Activities

Battelle Fine Arts Center 110
p/ 614.823.1458
e/ keckenroth@otterbein.edu

Dr. Karen Eckenroth coordinates the voice area, directs the Opera Theatre program, teaches studio voice, and ear training. Dr. Eckenroth received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the Pennsylvania State University, and her Doctorate from the University of Arizona in Tucson where she studied voice with Elizabeth Mosher and Paula Fan. 
Gayle Walker

Gayle Walker

Director of Choral Activities

Battelle Fine Arts Center 248
p/ 614.823.1318
e/ gwalker@otterbein.edu

Dr. Gayle Walker is in her sixteenth year as Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music at Otterbein University in Westerville, OH, where she is responsible for the organization of five vocal ensembles, conducts Concert Choir and Opus One a cappella/jazz ensemble, and teaches private voice as well as classes in conducting, aural skills, and music history. Dr. Walker is currently the President of the Central Division of the American Choral Directors Association, and past president of the Ohio Choral Directors Association, and from which she received the Distinguished Service Award in 2014.