Dr. Ramona Wis is the Mimi Rolland Endowed Professor in the Fine Arts, Professor of Music, and Director of Choral Activities at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. She conducts the Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and North Central Chorale and teaches courses in conducting, music methods, servant leadership, and yoga practice and principles. Dr. Wis holds degrees from the University of Illinois, Northern Illinois University, and a PhD from Northwestern University and is an active festival conductor, clinician, writer, and public speaker.
Dr. Wis also taught in the graduate program at Northwestern University and at Northern Illinois University, and has presented workshops and keynote addresses across the country and in Canada, including presentations for the British Columbia Music Educators Association, the International Conference of the Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, Tennessee Arts Academy, GALA Choruses, the ACDA North Central Division conference, the 2019 Illinois ACDA Fall Conference, and the 2020 Illinois Music Educators Conference.
Choral ensembles under her leadership have performed with Chicago Sinfonietta and Roosevelt University at Symphony Center in Chicago, at Carnegie Hall in New York City, multiple times with DuPage Symphony Orchestra, in concert with Allos Musica and with jazz legend Dave Brubeck, and at ACDA, ILMEA, and GIA conferences. Dr. Wis has also toured with North Central ensembles regionally and internationally, to France, Germany, Austria, and Ireland.
Photo by Dr. Susan Chou
Dr. Wis is the author of The Conductor as Leader: Principles of Leadership Applied to Life on the Podium. She has written for The Choral Journal, Music Educators Journal, Teaching Music and the China Europe International Business School Review and is a contributing author to Toward a Description of Musical Experience and The Musical Experience: Rethinking Music Teaching and Learning. She is also a blogger for ChoralNet under "The Conductor as Yogi."
Dr. Wis was the first woman President of the American Choral Directors Association in Illinois and is the 2019 recipient of the Harold Decker award “in recognition of the significant contribution made to the lives of innumerable choral singers, conductors, and audiences who have been privileged to experience the finest in choral music as presented under her direction.” Dr. Wis holds the 500- hour advanced yoga teacher certification (CYT/RYT), continuing her study of the body-mind connection in choral music, conducting, and personal growth and wellness and she is a Certified Brain Longevity® Specialist by the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation.
The combined choirs of North Central College and Roosevelt University's CCPA, Maestra Cheryl Frazes Hill, with Chicago Sinfonietta, Maestra Mei-Ann Chen, performing the final movement of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 as part of the 2020 MLK Tribute Concert at Orchestra Hall, Symphony Center Chicago.
North Central Chorale at Carnegie Hall, March 2019