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Festival brings more than 1,000 singers to campus

March 12, 2010

KALAMAZOO--The 72nd annual Southwestern Michigan Vocal Festival will bring more than 1,000 talented singers from 22 high schools to Western Michigan University for a daylong celebration that will culminate in a free, public performance at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 18, in Miller Auditorium.

Guest conductor Dr. Jeffery Ames, director of choral activities at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., will lead the evening's program, which includes five selections by the 1,000-member Festival Chorus and three by the 60-member Honors Choir. A guest performance will feature WMU's acclaimed vocal jazz ensemble, Gold Company.

The large Festival Chorus will perform George Frideric Handel's "Zadok the Priest," Felix Mendelssohn's "Heilig" for double chorus, Marcos Leite's arrangement of "Tres Cantos Nativos," and Ames's "The World of Our Dreams" and "Let Everything that Hath Breath." The auditioned high school Honors Choir will perform Gyorgy Orban's "Daemon Irrepit Callidus," Felix Mendelssohn's "How Lovely are the Messengers" and Rollo Dilworth's "Walk in Jerusalem."

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 call the WMU School of Music at (269) 387-4667.

Participating high schools and choral directors

  • Albion, Tony Shapow
  • Allegan, Rebecca Balkon
  • Bangor, Kyle Cain
  • Brandywine, Denise Boger
  • Caledonia, Carol Gess
  • Coloma, Rebecca Selvidge
  • Dowagiac Union, Jeff Robinson
  • Gull Lake, David Woolf
  • Hamilton, Holly Israels
  • Hartford, Steve Zebell
  • Hastings, Patti LaJoye
  • Kalamazoo Central, Fred Colgren
  • Kalamazoo Loy Norrix, Taryn Fooy
  • Lawton, Gary Oegema
  • Mattawan, David Hook
  • Niles, Matt Hunckler
  • River Valley, Robert Hay
  • South Haven, Cole Tyrrell
  • Sturgis, Eric Cadena
  • Watervliet, Tami Brush
  • Wayland, Jan Laman
  • Wyoming Park, Peggy Patrick
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Media contact: Kevin West, (269) 387-4681, kevin.west@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400