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Vocal festival celebrates 70th anniversary

March 3, 2008

KALAMAZOO--The 70th annual Southwestern Michigan Vocal Festival will bring 1,300 talented singers from more than 30 high schools to Western Michigan University for a daylong celebration that will culminate in a free, public performance at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 13, in Miller Auditorium.

Guest conductor Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe, professor and program director of choral studies at the University of Miami (Fla.), will lead the evening's program, which includes five selections by the 1,300-member Festival Chorus and three by the 50-member Honors Choir. A guest performance will feature WMU's University Chorale under the direction of Dr. James K. Bass.

The large Festival Chorus will perform Paul Basler's "Gloria," Morten Lauridsen's "Sure On This Shining Night," Jack Halloran's "Witness," Daniel Hall's "A Dream of a Blessed Spirit," and Jeffrey Ames' "Rejoice." The auditioned Honors Choir will perform Franz Schubert's "Tantum Ergo," Rene Clausen's "O My Luve's Like a Red, Red Rose," and David Dickau's "Piping Down the Valleys Wild."

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 www.wmich.edu/music/festivals/swmvf, or contact Carl Doubleday, WMU School of Music, at carl.doubleday@wmich.edu or (269) 387-4681.

Participating high schools and choral directors

Albion, Tony Shapow
Allendale, Connie Hyatt
Bangor, Andrea Gay
Brandywine, Denise Boger
Britton-Macon, William E. Smith
Buchanan, Sharon O'B. Bitterman
Caledonia, Carol Gess
Centreville, Jared Cavis
Coloma, Steve Mitchell
Comstock, Heidi Pelkey
Covert, Curtis Gulledge
Dowagiac Union, Jeff Robinson
East Kentwood, Carrie Hoeksema
Edwardsburg, Gretchen Thompson
Gull Lake, David Woolf
Hamilton, Holly Israels
Hartford, Steve Zebell
Hastings, Patti LaJoye
Hopkins, Jacob Oaster
Kalamazoo Central, Fred Colgren
Kalamazoo Christian, Carolyn S. Bertrand
Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Central, Jason Aiello
Kalamazoo Loy Norrix, Marie Kerstetter
Lawton, Gary Oegema
Mattawan, David Hook
Niles, Matt Hunckler
South Haven, Cole Tyrrell
Stevensville Lakeshore, Adam Wurst
Sturgis, Eric Cadena
Three Oaks River Valley, Robert Hay
Vandercook Lake, Jason Konkel
Watervliet, Tami Brush
Wayland, Jan Laman
Wyoming Park, Peggy B. Patrick

Media contact: Kevin West, (269) 387-4678, kevin.west@wmich.edu

WMU News
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