The McDaniel College Choir has been in existence, in some form or another, since the college was founded (as Western Maryland College) shortly after the Civil War. Originally, it was the choir that sang during the chapel services when the college was affiliated with the Methodist Church. However, whether as the official "College Choir" or in the guise of a glee club, the choir has always performed other music as well, from popular songs of many eras to opera choruses to music of diverse world cultures.
Since the 1920's, the choir has had no more than 7 directors. The director with the longest tenure was Alfred DeLong who served from 1936 to 1969. "Prof" DeLong took the College to great heights singing frequently with both the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra on Pops concerts. The women of the choir also performed in Washington D.C.'s Constitution Hall with the National Symphony Orchestra as background for Brahm's "Alto Rhapsody."
The choir has been directed by Dr. Margaret Boudreaux since 1989. The choir has grown in size and has explored a great variety of repertoire. During her first sabbatical, Dr. Boudreaux had the chance to visit a number of international choral festivals and has brought back scores from Argentina, Ireland, Latvia, China, and Uganda, as well as a variety of other nations, which the choir has performed in the past several years. They have also distinguished themselves in collaborative performances, such as Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the Columbia Orchestra and the Masterworks Chorale of Carroll County, the premiere "Einstein's Dreams (its about time . . .)" with a number of arts organizations, and collaborative commissions together with Masterworks Chorale of Carroll County and the Children's Chorus of Carroll County. In 2005 members of the College Choir performed together with members of Masterworks Chorale of Carroll County in the Festival 500 International Choral Invitational in St. John's Newfoundland. Closer to home College Choir has recently performed for the Mormon Temple Visitor's Center Festival of Lights, and twice at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.
The Madrigal Singers, a small group selected from the College Choir, was formed when Dr. Boudreaux came to the college. They sing exclusively a-cappella music, mostly from the Renaissance but also including a variety of styles from vocal jazz to world music (recently from Mongolia and Cuba) and songs of the vocal group Sweet Honey in the Rock. They have been selected for the Kennedy Center Millenium Stage series and have sung for the Discovery Channel at the MCI center in Washington D.C. as well as for a variety of conferences throughout the east.