The Music Director is responsible for setting and achieving the artistic vision of Oshkosh Chamber Singers mission. He is accountable for all musical and artistic decisions, and, in conjunction with the OCS Board of Directors, conceptualizes, schedules, and produces the concert season. The Music Director serves as principal conductor. He serves as an ex officio member of the Board of Directors, and is directly responsible to the Board.
In 2016, Herb Berendsen was named Music Director of the Oshkosh Chamber Singers.
Before becoming our music director, Herb retired in 2015 from public school teaching, after finishing his 33rd year in education. Before he started teaching at Oshkosh West in 1997, he taught a year in Mission, South Dakota, then spent a year in his hometown of Neenah, WI, and then 13 years teaching middle and high school vocal music in Ripon. His choirs have sung 3 times with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, numerous times with the Oshkosh Symphony and Oshkosh Youth Symphony, and also joined forces with the Oshkosh Chamber Singers.
Since 2010, Herb has directed the MacDowell Male Chorus of Appleton, WI; he is the 5th director in the 80+ year history of the 70-voice chorus. He is active as a worship musician in his church, and is on the board of directors of the Grand Opera House Foundation. Herb also conducts the Joliet Choir in the Green Bay Boy Choir, and the Titan Men's Choir and University Choir at UW Oshkosh.
Herb is also active as an accompanist, clinician, and voice coach, and is the founder of All Music Oshkosh, an organization designed to bring together artists, venues, and performing ensembles. Herb is a member of the National Association for Music Education as well as the American Choral Directors Association. Through his involvement in these organizations, he has had the opportunity to work with some of the top conductors in the world. Since 2010, Herb has chaired the NextDirection project, a vocal music careers conference which has drawn students from all over the Midwest.
In June 2020, Herb celebrated his 30th wedding anniversary with his wife, Madeline. He has three children, Anna, William, and Madeline Mary, and has three grandchildren, Jude, Hazel, and Amos.
He may be reached at email@example.com and (920) 410-7521.
Music Director Emeritus
Dr. Carl Chapman served as Music Director of the Oshkosh Chamber Singers for 30 years, from its founding in 1985 through 2015.
Carl Chapman, D.M.A., M.M., B.M.E, was Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Before retiring in 2012, he was Chair of the Music Department and the Director of Choral Activities. He directed four of the University's five choral ensembles, including the one hundred-voice University Choir; Le Choeur de Femmes, a select chorus of women's voices; and the University Chamber Choir. The UW Oshkosh Choral Union, a combined force of nearly 200 singers, performed frequently with the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra under Dr. Chapman's preparation.
Dr. Chapman received degrees in Music Education from Northwestern University, in Choral Conducting from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was the Director of Vocal Music at Mukwonago High School (Mukwonago, Wisconsin) for nine years, and served as visiting lecturer at the University of Illinois before receiving his appointment at UW Oshkosh in 1981.
Dr. Chapman was very active in The American Choral Directors Association and was a past President of the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association. He was a frequent clinician for festival and honors choirs, as well as for high school and junior high school choirs.
Carl passed away on October 7, 2021. You may read his obituary and write on his tribute wall here.