Location: Michigan, USA
Erin Colwitz received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 1998. She later completed the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California in Choral music. Dr. Colwitz studied conducting with William Dehning, David Wilson, Magen Solomon, and Claire McCoy. At USC, she was awarded a full teaching assistantship as conductor of the Thornton Oriana Choir, the University’s only women’s chorus, a post she held from 2003-2006. At USC, she also sang with William Dehning and the award-winning Thornton Chamber Choir touring France and Belgium in 2003 and East Asia in 2006.
In Minnesota, Dr. Colwitz was a full-time vocal and general music teacher at Centennial Middle School. There she conducted four choirs, the school’s honor choir and swing choir, in addition to teaching classroom music. As a professional singer, Dr. Colwitz was contracted to sing with the Dale Warland Singers in 1999. As part of this extraordinary ensemble, she performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra under the direction of Robert Shaw, Edo de Waart, and Hugh Wolff. The DWS were nominated for a Grammy for their recording of Dominick Argento pieces; Dr. Colwitz’s doctoral treatise is a critical analysis of Argento’s, A Toccata of Galuppi’s, a twelve-tone work found on that recording.
In Los Angeles, Dr. Colwitz was a member of the choral music faculty at California State University, Fullerton where she conducted the women’s choir and taught music education courses. She served as the Director of Music at St. Victor Catholic Church in West Hollywood from 2003-2008 where she conducted the church choir and guest orchestra in weekly services, feast day services, and concerts such as the Duruflé Requiem and Handel’sMessiah. Dr. Colwitz sang with John Alexander and the Pacific Chorale in Santa Ana, Califoria. Additionally, she was privileged to sing with the Pacific Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic under the batons of Carl St. Clair, Giancarlo Guerrero, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Gustavo Dudamel.
Dr. Colwitz is currently the Director of Choral Activities at Northern Michigan University. She conducts the Madrigal Singers and the University Choir, the Marquette Choral Society, and choral education methods classes. She serves frequently as contest adjudicator and choral clinician throughout the Southeast and Midwest. Dr. Colwitz is a member of NAfME, the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO), American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM), and Pi Kappa Lambda.
Dr. Colwitz lives in Marquette, MI, with her husband, William Dehning, accomplished conductor, Emeritus Professor, and published author, along with their dog, Sam and cats, Chloe and Charlie.