Festival brings more than 900 high school singers to campus

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Photo of guest conductor .

Simon Carrington

KALAMAZOO—The 75th anniversary Southwestern Michigan Vocal Festival will bring more than 900 talented singers from 21 southwest Michigan high schools to Western Michigan University for a daylong celebration that will culminate in a free, public performance at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, in Miller Auditorium.

Guest conductor Simon Carrington, co-founder of the internationally acclaimed British vocal ensemble The King’s Singers and a professor emeritus at Yale University, will lead the evening performance, which includes the large Festival Chorus as well as the select 52-member 2013 Honors Choir. A featured performance will be given by WMU’s University Chorale.

The large Festival Chorus will perform five works including:

  • Geoffrey Wilcken's "Sing, All"
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Dixit Dominus," from "Solemn Vespers"
  • Charles Villiers Stanford's "Sailing at Dawn," from "Songs of the Fleet"
  • Robert Edgerton's arrangement of "Somewhere," from "West Side Story"
  • Dwight Bigler's arrangement of "Turkey in the Straw"

The auditioned high school Honors Choir will perform three selections:

  • Henry Purcell's "Soul of the World"
  • Imant Raminsh's "In the Night We Shall Go In"
  • Jonathan Willcocks' "Musical Risotto"

The Southwestern Michigan Vocal Festival is one of the largest, oldest and most successful high school choral events in the United States. Since its inception in 1935, it has been providing high school students with an experience in mass singing of quality repertoire under the direction of inspiring conductors.

For more information, visit the Southwestern Michigan Vocal Festival online, or contact the School of Music at (269) 387-4667.

Participating schools

  • Allegan, Rebecca Balkon
  • Allendale, Emily Verdonk
  • Berrien Springs, Carrie VanDenburgh
  • Brandywine, Denise Boger
  • Bridgman, Jennifer Cronin
  • Coldwater, Tony J. Shapow
  • Coloma, Rebecca Selvidge
  • Dowagiac Union, Jeff Robinson
  • Hartford, John Murphy
  • Hastings, Matthew Callaghan
  • Heritage Christian Academy, Marilyn Margaret Moore
  • Hopkins, Jacob Oaster
  • Kalamazoo Central, Fred Colgren
  • Kalamazoo Christian, Erik Jacobson
  • Kalamazoo Loy Norrix, Taryn Fooy
  • Lawton, Gary Oegema
  • Mattawan, David Hook
  • Niles, Matt Hunckler
  • River Valley, Ryan Kasperski
  • South Haven, Benjamin Rodgers
  • West Ottawa, Pam Pierson