Date of Award

Fall 12-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Committee Chair

Dr. Gregory Fuller

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Joseph Brumbeloe

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Catherine Rand

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Colin McKenzie

Committee Member 4 School


Committee Member 5

Dr. Jonathan Kilgore

Committee Member 5 School


Committee Member 6

Dr. Barbara Dietlinger

Committee Member 6 School




For hundreds of years, choral music has been central to Estonian culture. Prior to its founding in 1918, music and choral singing were deeply ingrained into the hearts and souls of the Estonian people. In 1869, Estonia, known as a nation of singing, held its first song festival. It continues to be held every five years. Thousands of choral members participate as part of the mass choir and join together raising their voices to celebrate the independence of Estonia. Although there are many choirs in Estonia, few have gained the status of Ellerhein Girls' Choir.

Ellerhein’s history of choral singing has influenced choirs around the world. Founded by Heino Kaljuste, it was first known as the Tallinn Pioneeride Palace Children's Choir. What started with only one choir has blossomed into four choirs. Over the last seventy years, Ellerhein has had only three head directors. This is believed to be a reason that Ellerhein has risen to greatness since its founding in 1951. Ellerhein has traveled the world performing concerts and participating in international festivals. They have won many accolades throughout the years. Ellerhein won a Grammy award in 2004 under the direction of Tiia-Ester Loitme, the second director of the choir. Under her leadership, Ellerhein continued to be known for its superior performances and highly skilled singers.

In 2012, Ingrid Kõrvits became the Artistic Director after having been a singer in Ellerhein and working with the children's choir as an assistant to her mother. Under her direction, the choir has continued to be successful, winning many top prizes at international festivals and contests

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