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Spring Choral Concert to feature Concert Choir, University Singers, and Vocal Jazz Ensembles

04/10/2013

JONESBORO -- The Arkansas State University Singers, Concert Choir, and Vocal Jazz/Contemporary A Cappella ensembles will present a Spring Concert, Monday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. in Fowler Center’s Riceland Hall. This concert is free and open to the public.

The University Singers are divided into the Men’s and Women’s Choirs, and will be joined by two A-State Vocal Jazz/Contemporary A Cappella ensembles, Delta Vox and stAte Vox.  The groups are made up of ASU students who auditioned at the beginning of the semester for placement into the choirs. Each of the choir ensembles may be taken for credit or non-credit and students from all majors in the university are encouraged and eligible to audition at the beginning of each fall and spring semester.  The Concert Choir is a 60-member group selected by audition from ASU students from many majors, and has represented A-State in performance tours in the United States and Europe. 

The Concert Choir and University Singers Men’s and Women’s Choirs are conducted by Dr. Dale Miller, ASU director of choral activities since 1997, and Shannon O’Connor, graduate conducting assistant.  Dr. Kyle Chandler, music education coordinator and assistant director of choral activities since 2009, directs Delta Vox and stAte Vox.  Collaborative pianists for the evening will include Chandler, music graduate student RuJie Wang of China, and staff pianist Luca Strazzullo of Naples, Italy. 

The ASU Vocal Jazz/Contemporary A Cappella area will have two vocal ensembles performing on the Spring Concert – StAte Vox and Delta Vox - under the direction of Dr. Kyle Chandler.

stAte Vox will perform “My Funny Valentine” by Rodgers & Hart. This jazz standard ballad was arranged by Jim Elsberry and contains lush harmonies and a lyric solo line. They will also perform “Sing a Song” by Earth, Wind and Fire adding in their own fresh mix to this Kirby Shaw arrangement.

Delta Vox will be opening for Voice Play on Sunday, April 21, and will sing two songs from that set. The first will be “A Time for Love” written by Mandel & Webster and arranged by Rosana Eckert. This intricate ballad contains both complex harmonies and subtle syncopation. They will close with their adaptation of “Rhythm is Gonna Get You” and “Conga” as performed by Gloria Estefan & The Miami Sound Machine. Featuring every member of the group on a solo part throughout, this two-song mash requires high artistry from the performers and should be a treat for the audience.

The Men’s Choir will perform “Ave Maria” by Noel Goemanne, “African Processional” by D.V. Montoya, “Seize the Day” from Disney’s “Newsies”, arranged by Roger Emerson and conducted by Men’s Choir President John Phillians, and “America the Beautiful Overlay” by Joe Liles.  The Women’s Choir’s repertoire will include “Lacrimoso” by Wolfgang Mozart, “Et Resurrexit” from Messa A 3 by Giacomo Puccini, an a cappella vocal jazz arrangement of “How Do I Love Thee?” by Nathan Christensen, and Ann Minihane’s women’s barbershop arrangement of “Get Happy”.

The Concert Choir will perform a variety of choral styles from the 16th through the 20th centuries.  Shannon O’Connor will conduct the first movement of John Rutter’s ”Magnificat”, and Dr. Miller will lead the group in Tomas Luis de Victoria’s “Sanctus and Benedictus” from “Officium Defunctorum”, with Chris Orr as cantor; George Frideric Handel’s “Sing Unto God” from “Judas Maccabeus” with Dennese Adkins and Jacob Bushong as soloists; “Kyrie” from “Mass in E-flat Major” by Joseph Rheinberger; “The Hungry Heart” by David Maslanka with poetry by Richard Beale; and “My God is a Rock,” a spiritual arranged by Ken Berg.  

Personnel for the University Singers Women’s Choir are: first sopranos: section leader Morgan Langley and KayLa Edwards, both of White Hall, Inez Whitt of Pine Bluff, and Sarah Burnett and Jennifer Hannah, both of Jonesboro. Second Sopranos: section leader Michelle Byrd of Pine Bluff, Krystal Carr of Holcomb, Mo., Suemone Christian of Bryant, Nichole Dennis of Springfield, Mo., Stefanie Powers of Vilseck, Germany, and Alyssa Smith of Newport. First altos: Harmony Cagle of Rector, Elizabeth Dryer of Jonesboro, Lauren Rose of Marion, Morgan Massie of Jonesboro, and Sarah Woodson of Harrisburg. Second Altos:  section leader and graduate assistant Shannon O’Connor of Potomac, Md., Megan Carter of Gosnell, Meagan Hamilton of Wynne, Brittany Haught of Mountain Home, and Abbie Price of Jonesboro.

The Men’s Choir includes: first tenors: section leader and graduate assistant Bill Weaver of Cabot, Oriri Osayomore of Benin, Nigeria, Geoffrey Payne of Doniphan, Mo., and Oscar Quiroz of Brookland. Second Tenors: section leader Trevor Robinson of Sikeston, Mo., Cody Bard of Caraway, Matt Fischer of Jacksonville, Jordan Griffin of Sherwood, Nathan Hanselman of Hot Springs, Ben McClellan of Corning, and Alex Swenson of Poplar Bluff, Mo. Baritones: section leader Kale McDaniel, Matt Crociata and Larry Heyl, all of Jonesboro, CJ Fortune of Bay, William Kazyak of Manila, Brian Randall of Lake City, Gregory Self of Williford, and Matthew Stewart of White Hall. Bass: choir president and section leader John Phillians of Wynne, Nick Davis of Lake City, CJ Hoover of Bono, Immanuel Morris of Pine Bluff, Matt Smith of Gosnell, and John Agnew, Jared Green, and Reece Jones, all of Jonesboro, basses.

Personnel for Delta Vox are Dennese Adkins of Cabot, Christopher Dyson of Harker Heights, Texas, Adonias Finch of Dyer, Tenn., Aaron Fisher of Memphis, Sarah Hamilton and Sara Ray of Paragould, Erin Reagan of Munford, Tenn., and Kyle Smith of Forrest City.  Singers for stAte Vox include Crist Blackwell of Batesville, George Gatewood III and Inez Whitt, both of Pine Bluff, Jordan Griffin of Jacksonville, C. J. Hoover of Bono, Maegan McDaniel of Manila, and Larry Heyl, Janette Robinson, Mary Rougeau and Kasey Welsh, all of Jonesboro.

Concert Choir includes: first soprano: section leader Jessica Baldwin of Paragould, Emily Garren of Minneapolis, Minn., Jenni Hannah of Jonesboro, Jesse Holder of Advance, Missouri, Erin Reagan of Munford, Tenn., and Inez Whitt of Pine Bluff. Second Soprano: section leader Kate Smith of Wynne, Dennese Adkins of Cabot, Suemone Christian of Bryant, Nichole Dennis of Springfield, Mo., KayLa Edwards of White Hall, Hannah McQuay and Kasey Welsh, both of Jonesboro, and Alyssa Smith of Newport.

First alto:  section leader Michelle Byrd of Pine Bluff, Cori Beasley of Gilmer, Texas, Harmony Cagle of Rector, Megan Carter of Gosnell, Meagan Hamilton of Wynne, Stefanie Powers of Vilseck, Germany, Sara Ray of Paragould, Lauren Rose of Marion, and Sarah Woodson of Harrisburg. Second alto:  graduate assistant and section leader Shannon O’Connor of Potomac, Md., Elizabeth Dryer, Janette Robinson, and Mary Rougeau, all of Jonesboro, Sarah Hamilton of Paragould, Morgan Langley of White Hall, Maegan McDaniel of Manila, and Kyle Smith of Forrest City.

First Tenor: section leaders Chris Orr of Jonesboro and Craig Young of Cassopolis, Mich., Crist Blackwell of Batesville, Jake Bushong of Paragould, Oriri Osayomore of Benin, Nigeria, and Oscar Quiroz of Brookland. Second Tenor: Chris Dyson of Harker Heights, Texas, Matt Fischer of Jacksonville, George Gatewood III of Pine Bluff, Nathan Hanselman of Hot Springs, Ben McClellan of Corning, Trevor Robinson of Sikeston, Mo., and Alex Swenson of Poplar Bluff, Mo.

Baritone:  graduate assistant and section leader Bill Weaver of Cabot, Matt Crociata, Jacob Kelley, and Kale McDaniel, all of Jonesboro, Brian Randall of Lake City, Gregory Self of Williford, and Matthew Stewart of White Hall. Bass: section leader John Phillians of Wynne, Nick Davis of Lake City, Aaron Fisher of Memphis, C.J. Hoover of Bono, Immanuel Morris of Pine Bluff, Matt Smith of Gosnell, and Drew Warren of Manila.

Fundraising efforts have begun for the ASU Choirs’ performance tour to Barcelona, Valencia, and Madrid Spain in March 2014.  Donations will be accepted at the concert, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of “Come Dine with the Diva,” the second cookbook written by former ASU voice teacher and opera director Julia Lansford, will help to defray the choir’s expenses.

The tour of Spain will mark the third performance trip to Europe undertaken by the ASU Choirs while under the direction of Dr. Miller.  “Our students will benefit greatly from our travel and performances in Spain.  Not only will we learn the music of Spain to perform in the cathedrals and concert halls for which it was written, each student will become a cultural ambassador as we also bring the music of the United States to the Spanish audiences.” 

In addition to the current ASU Choir members, the University/Community Choir will again participate in the performance tour.  For more details about the concert or participating in the performance tour to Spain, please call the ASU Choral Office at (870) 972-3841. 

For more details, one may call the Department of Music at (870) 972-2094.

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Choir students rehearse
ASU Choir students rehearse for upcoming Spring Concert.