The name “collegium musicum” simply means “music college,” and it was used by the many groups of amateur musicians that developed in German-speaking towns during the Reformation. These groups often invited professional musicians to join them and invited townspeople to attend their meetings as audience members. The most famous of the German collegia was that in Leipzig, where Johann Sebastian Bach was the director from 1729 to 1737.
In more recent years, the name has been used by college ensembles devoted to performing “early music,” which is usually defined as music composed before 1750. It was for this reason that the Collegium Musicum Wagneriensis (Latin for “of Wagner”) was founded by Professor of Music Dr. Ronald Cross in 1968. For twenty years the ensemble flourished and hundreds of Wagner College students participated. The group had significant outreach into the community, and performed across the tri-state area in churches, community centers, college campuses, high schools, and, of course, at Wagner. Many of its members went on to distinguished careers as music teachers, performers, and scholars. It disbanded in 1988 due to changing departmental priorities and so that Dr. Cross could focus on his career as a solo harpsichordist.
On this website, you will find memories of the Collegium in the manner of photographs and recordings, as well as memorials to Dr. Cross and others, information about Matthaeus Pipelare, and compositions by Dr. Cross. You will also find details about the 2023 reunion. Enjoy!