Female singer from Voices of Victory

Performing Arts

St. John's is proud to be home to a number of exciting performing arts organizations. Whether you like singing, acting, dancing, or playing an instrument, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with Performing Arts.

Chappell Players Theater Group

Originally named the Dramatic Society, the Chappell Players Theater Group (CPTG) has been the theater organization for St. John's since the 1930's. The CPTG is committed to the learning and development of all persons involved in the art of theater.

These experiences are extended to the roles of actor, backstage worker, writer, designer, director, and audience member. Students participating in CPTG will be offered diverse theater experiences and opportunities to contribute and participate in a growing repertoire of original student-directed pieces. CPTG regularly works in conjunction with Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theater Honor Society.

Under the artistic direction of theatre professional, Nicholas J. Caccavo, Jr., CPTG has staged numerous productions including Rent, Grease, Little Shop of Horrors, Arsenic and Old Lace, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Damn Yankees, Godspell, Pippin, and many others.

For information about joining and productions, please visit www.sjucptg.com or contact 718-990-2971 or [email protected].

Michael Gayle - Performing Arts
Michael Gayle, Director of Jazz Band

Jazz Band

Founded in 1987 by a few dedicated students, the St. John's University Jazz Band has shared their twist on “America’s classical music” for more than 20 years. Their rehearsal sessions are interactive workshops designed to improve the skills of all of the instrumentalists. Jazz Band regularly gives performances on the Queens and Staten Island campuses throughout the academic year.

Under the direction of Michael S, Gayle, Jazz Band gives performances on and off campus throughout the academic year that enchants those listening as they’re taken to a different space as they hear a broad repertoire ranging from yesterday’s traditions to new sounds of the 21st century thanks to Michael’s intercite background as an accomplished musician.

Michael S. Gayle is an accomplished musician and composer who represents a unique blend of diverse musical influences that are bound to resonate with a wide audience. As a native of Stuttgart, Germany, and having spent his formative years in the United States, Michael has mastered a wide range of genres, including Caribbean/Jazz, Gospel, Contemporary Christian, and Classical music.

Jazz Band class meets every Wednesday from 7:10 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Marillac Auditorium.

For information about joining and productions, please contact Michael Gayle, Director, at [email protected].

Hannah Nacheman - Performing Arts
Hannah Nacheman, Director of Mixed Chorus

Mixed Chorus

St. John’s University Mixed Chorus has been serving St. John’s and the surrounding community with choral music for more than 100 years, enriching the lives of its members and audiences. Their diverse repertoire covers pop, musical theatre, classical, show choir, a cappella and more.

Under the direction of Hannah Nacheman, Mixed Chorus gives performances on and off campus throughout the academic year, including two major concerts: a Concert of Lessons and Carols where they are joined by alumni and a spring Performing Arts Concert. The choir annually has the exceptional opportunity to work with the world-renowned vocal ensemble, VOCES8. Many Mixed Choristers count their experiences in the group as the best part of their college experience.

Mixed Chorus meets every Monday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

To keep up with all things Mixed Chorus, please follow @sjumixedchorus. Any questions can be sent to Hannah Nacheman, Director of Mixed Chorus, at [email protected].

Voices of Victory

St. John’s University Voices of Victory, under the musical direction of award-winning conductor, Nigel W. Gretton, was organized in 1988. The choir serves as a uniting force in the university community through the ministry of gospel music.

Voices of Victory is the official gospel choir of St. John's University.  Composed of some of the most talented singers and instrumentalists at the university, Voices of Victory boasts an international membership from more than seven countries. The choir wows audiences everywhere with their unique brand of gospel music flavored with touches of world music, classical, jazz, and R&B.

In addition to two major concerts and special events at St. John’s University, the 40-member choir shares the “good news” in churches, schools, and concert halls throughout the New York metropolitan area. The choir has also given performances in the Nigeria, West Africa, Norway and the south-eastern United States. Voices of Victory has been featured in New York’s famed Carnegie Hall, Apollo Theater, HBO, NBC, FOX Network, Telecare, and Warner Brothers Records. One writer who reported on a Voices of Victory concert in Norway wrote, “[T]he singing was so sweet, that even the rocks cried out.”

Voices of Victory meets every Monday and Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. to 8:35 p.m. in St. John’s Hall, Room 312.

Membership in Voices of Victory is by audition only at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.  Interested candidates should prepare a song in a comfortable key and bring sheet music or accompaniment tracks to the audition. Activity Grant-In-Aid is available to all eligible members.

Contact Info

Nigel Gretton
Director of Performing Arts and the Voices of Victory Gospel Choir
[email protected]