Elmer Schock holds a DMA in the Literature and Performance of Choral Music from the University of Colorado, Boulder, an M. Ed. From the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, and a B.S. degree from Dickinson State University, Dickinson North Dakota.
Schock was born in Elgin, North Dakota in 1943. His mother taught he and his older sister to harmonize so that she could add her own harmonies; he was 5 years of age. Schock’s elementary and high school years were animated by the musical training of Leo Froelich and subsequently by Duane Emch, who coached him to his first of countless performances of Every Valley shall be Exalted from the Messiah. After high school, at Dickinson State, he encountered Dwaine Nelson’s inspirational teaching and that of Loran Eckroth. Nelson was a singular influence, foundational in defining Schock’s philosophy and approach to his own teaching.
In the course of his 40 year career, Schock held Director of Choral Music positions at Colorado Christian University, Lakewood; Hastings College, Hastings, Nebraska; University of Mary, Bismarck, North Dakota, and Bismarck Junior College, Bismarck, North Dakota.
His choirs performed at leading choral conventions and international music festivals, among them an English language premiere of Three Sacred Motets by Zoltan Gardonyi for the College Music Society Convention in Boulder, Colorado.
As a tenor soloist, Schock appeared in performances of Schubert’s Mass in G, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Honneger’s Le Roi David, as well as the Bach Magnificat and Gustav Holst’s Christmas Day. He also was a member of the French Horn section of a number of orchestras, including as Principal in the Hastings Symphony Orchestra, Hastings, Nebraska.
Schock received grants from the Nebraska Endowment for the Humanities and the Nebraska Arts Council for performances of J. S. Bach’s Cantatas with noted Bach scholar Elinore Barber; a program of Music in the Medieval Church featuring Chartres Cathedral with leading stained glass scholar, Malcolm Miller; and a performance of Duruflé’s Requiem with the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra.
Among Schock’s research activities are publications on Polychoral Music of the 16th Century and The Polychoral Marian Antiphon’s of Sebastian Ertel. The later project also resulted in performing editions of the Marian Antiphons from Ertel’s Sacrosantum magnae et intemerat Virginis canticum 8v.cum intonationibus psalmorum.
Most recently, Schock served as Adjunct Professor of Voice at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado. At that time, he was also Director of Music at First Congregational Church and the Founder / Director of the Union Colony Singers in Greeley. In his twenty-one years at First Congregational, he conducted major works, produced Arts in the Church festivals, prepared innovative Lessons and Carols services, organized Jazz Sunday, and administered the music program.
Schock retired at the beginning of 2014. He and his wife, the noted soprano June Schock, now maintain organic vegetable and flower gardens, bushes, trees, horses, chickens and other assorted critters on their Renaissance Farm in West Greeley, Colorado.