Choral Music



There are two performing choral groups at HPU: the International Chorale and the International Vocal Ensemble.

  • International Chorale
The International Chorale is comprised of talented choral enthusiasts from the HPU community of students (undergraduate and graduate), faculty, and staff, as well as singers from the community, who perform choral repertoire taken from a variety of styles, cultures and languages. Individuals must audition in a “no stress” situation to qualify for the International Chorale. Rehearsals take place once a week. Academic credit for participation is available.
  • International Vocal Ensemble (IVE) - “Sing For Your Scholarship
This special group of voices is composed of 25-30 select singers who are recruited and auditioned for their vocal talents and experience. It is open to qualified students enrolled in one of HPU’s undergraduate or graduate degree programs. This ensemble makes up the vocal core of the International Chorale. The IVE is one of the few choral groups in the world made up of non-music majors who receive scholarship for their participation. Partial tuition waivers are available for qualified students.  2015-2016 International Vocal Ensemble Audition Packet (PDF file).

Director of Choral Activities: Dr. Esther S. Yoo


Dr. Esther Yoo is Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities at HPU. In addition, she is also the Artistic Director of the O’ahu Choral Society and conducts the Honolulu Symphony Chorus. A native of Toronto, Canada, Dr. Yoo holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. She received her undergraduate degree in Music Education and a Master’s degree in Conducting, both from the University of Toronto studying with Raffi Armenien and Doreen Rao.

In addition, Dr. Yoo graduated with an Artist Diploma in piano performance from the Hochschule für Musik in Munich and has studied extensively with Russian pianist Vera Gornostaeva. She has appeared in festivals and masterclasses in France, Austria and Switzerland and has given recitals in Germany, France and Italy. As a conductor, Dr. Yoo was invited as a conducting fellow at the Oregon Bach Festival and Toronto Bach Festival with Maestro Helmuth Rilling. She has also participated in conducting master classes with Robert Shaw, Sir David Willcocks, Harry Christophers, Stephen Darlington and Dale Warland.

Esther Yoo brings professional choral singing experience, having sung under the batons of Robert Shaw, James Levine, James Conlon and Helmuth Rilling, among others. A versatile conductor, she has worked extensively with high school, collegiate and professional choirs, including choirs at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hollins University, University of Toronto and at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. She also directed choirs at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy and conducted concerts with Canada’s professional chamber choir, The Elmer Iseler Singers. Since coming to Hawaii, Dr. Yoo has conducted major choral/symphonic works including Verdi’s Requiem with the Freiburg Kammerphilharmonie, and J. S. Bach’s Magnificat and John Rutter’s Gloria with the Honolulu Symphony. More recently she has conducted Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Carmina Burana and Brahms Requiem with members of the Hawaii Symphony. She has also directed the Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus in Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols and conducted Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Mass with the Hawaii Youth Symphony.

Dr. Yoo is active as guest clinician and adjudicator and serves as past-president of the Hawaii Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. Previously, she held faculty positions at Hollins University in Virginia and University of Hawaii Manoa. She is also a member of Chorus America, National Collegiate Chorus Organization, Hawaii Music Teacher’s Association, College Music Society and International Federation of Choral Musicians.

For more information regarding the International Vocal Ensemble scholarship and the audition process, call, write, or email:

Dr. Esther Yoo
Director, Choral Music
Phone:  (808) 544-1127
(Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., HST. Excluding University holidays)