Dr. Thomas Holm Professor of Music; Department Chair


D.M.A., University of Illinois
M.Mus., University of Alberta
M.Mus., University of Idaho
B.S.M., Big Sky Bible College

DMH 101

Directs: A cappella Choir and Heritage Singers

A member of Northwestern's faculty since 2000, Dr. Holm teaches a wide variety of choral, vocal and music history courses in addition to directing choral ensembles. He also conducts the Sioux County Oratorio Chorus.

Holm was on sabbatical in Taiwan in 2016–17, teaching courses at a university as well as directing various choral and instrumental ensembles and offering workshops and master classes in choral methods and conducting techniques. He has returned to Taiwan nearly every year since then and has prepared 15 Taiwanese choral works for performance by American choirs and conductors. He is on sabbatical there during the spring 2023 semester continuing that work as well as teaching and conducting.

Prior to coming to Northwestern College, he served as director of choirs at The King’s University College in Edmonton, Alberta, and as chair of the fine arts department and music professor at Prairie Bible College in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada. Dr. Holm is the recipient of two Canada Council choral conducting grants, as well as the two-year Sir Frederick Haultain Fellowship awarded by the Province of Alberta for outstanding academic scholarship in the arts.

MUS164 - Heritage Singers

Membership in each ensemble is by auditions held in the fall during the first week of classes.(1/4 credit)

MUS170 - A cappella Choir

Membership in each ensemble is by auditions held in the fall during the first week of classes. Note: Ensembles may be repeated. Chamber Ensembles may be taken in lieu of private instruction for one semester in either the junior or senior year to meet scholarship requirements.

MUS181 - Voice Class

This class is designed for the beginning singer and addresses the processes and mechanics of singing such as posture, breathing, tone production and diction. A rudimentary knowledge of note reading is expected.(1 credit)

MUS218 - Vocal Diction

This course is designed to acquaint the student with the singer's pronunciation of English, French, German, Italian and Latin, using the standard International Phonetic Alphabet.Prerequisite: applied voice or permission of instructor.(2 credits, alternate years, consult department)

MUS261 - Voice Lessons

Private instruction is offered in keyboard, voice, brass, woodwind, percussion and string performance.Prerequisite: permission of instructor.(1-2 credits)

MUS301 - Basic Conducting

This course is designed to assist students in developing a basic conducting technique. Skills are taught which enable the student to direct vocal and instrumental groups. Included in the course are studies in transposition, clef reading and score preparation.Prerequisite: MUS112.(2 credits, alternate years, consult department)

MUS302 - Advanced Conducting

This course is designed to further develop the student's basic conducting skills. The student will learn how to interpret stylistically the intentions of a composer and how to rehearse effectively. Compositions for band, choir and orchestra are studied. Included in the course are studies in score preparation, clef reading, transposition, rehearsal techniques, and error detection.Prerequisite: MUS301.(3 credits, alternate years, consult department)

Created editions of 13 Taiwanese choral works for publication to non-Mandarin-speaking choral musicians.

Contributor to Iowa Choral Directors Sounding Board publication. Topics have included choral and tuning techniques, warmups and literature reviews.

Has led numerous guest conducting workshops for high school choirs in Iowa, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.

"Explore Beautiful Choral Music from Taiwan," a virtual interest session for the 2021 American Choral Directors Association National Convention, featuring explanation and performance of ten works.

"Arvo Pärt’s Miserere: an overview," presented in March 2010 at the Arvo Pärt and Contemporary Spirituality Conference, Boston University.

"Choosing Literature for a Powerful Performance," published in the spring 2004 edition of Melisma, the official publication of the North Central American Choral Directors Association.

Director, Sioux County Oratorio Chorus, 2001 to present

Guest conductor for Taiwanese choirs including Formosa Singers, Taiwan Youth Festival Chorus and Consolation Singers

Assistant Conductor, University of Illinois Varsity Men's Glee Club

Director of Choral Ensembles, The King's University College, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Chairman, Fine Arts Department, Prairie Bible College, Three Hills, Alberta, Canada

American Choral Directors Association

Iowa Choral Directors Association

Canada Council Study Grant in Choral Music, 1995

Province of Alberta Sir Frederick Haultain Fellowship, 1993 and 1994