Winner of The American Prize in Choral Performance (2019), NOTUS is one of the country’s most unique collegiate vocal ensembles, with a singular commitment to championing living composers through the commissioning, programming, and recording of new works. Directed by conductor-composer Dominick DiOrio, NOTUS has performed across the nation, from regional and national ACDA conferences to Carnegie Hall. In September of 2018, NOTUS released their first commercial album on the Innova label, NOTUS: Of Radiance and Refraction, which includes five world premiere recordings by IU faculty composers. NOTUS was honored to be one of only 24 choirs in the world invited to perform at the 12th World Symposium on Choral Music before it was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Over the course of its history, NOTUS has delivered premiere or second performances of more than 150 new works in the choral repertoire. This includes recent commissions and premieres by Claude Baker, Don Freund, John Gibson, P.Q. Phan, Sven-David Sandström, Aaron Travers, and Zachary Wadsworth. NOTUS also regularly programs a rich and eclectic array of leading contemporary composers, such as Chen Yi, Eriks Esenvalds, Sofia Gubaidulina, Sydney Guillaume, Ted Hearne, James MacMillan, Nico Muhly, Tawnie Olson, Steve Reich, Moira Smiley, Christopher Theofanidis, and Joel Thompson as well as music by their director. In 2013, the ensemble was honored to collaborate with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw and guest conductor and former King’s Singer Simon Carrington.
NOTUS is proud to also shine a spotlight on the talent of Jacobs School of Music student composers through an annual contest for new choral works. Winning compositions receive premiere performances by NOTUS and help to launch national careers for their young composers, such as IU alumni Alex Berko, Katherine Bodor, Texu Kim, Christopher LaRosa, Matthew Recio, and Corey Rubin.
NOTUS was originally founded in 1980 as the Indiana University Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, and it was renamed in 2013 after the selection of its fourth director, Dominick DiOrio. The choir’s new name was inspired by Notos, the Greek god of the south wind. Previous directors include Alan Harler (1980-1981), Jan Harrington (1981-1992), and Carmen Helena Téllez (1992-2012).