Posted Date: 11/29/2018
A dozen Chanute High School students will be singing alongside the best voices in southeast Kansas when they give a concert performance Dec. 1 on the Pittsburg State University campus.
Selected for the SEK District Honors Choir are Bryan Ayala, Colten Fritch, Nathan Farris, Brendon Gahagan, Keondre Gregory, Tyler Kueser, Marc-Anthony Smith, Manny Holland, Savannah Crellin
Jurnee Rutledge, Susanne Cunningham and Jillian Vogel.
The numbers are much higher this year.
This year CHS vocal music instructor Natalie Hamilton made the audition process a requirement for students in Select Ensemble or Comet Chorale.
“I want the kids to have that experience (and) to really try something that is outside of their box,” Hamilton said. “If you audition, you have to learn a higher caliber of music. It will expand their skills as music readers and performers.”
All students across Kansas audition with the same music.
The men and women each learn two songs. One week before auditions they are given the “cuts,” Hamilton explained, the section of each song they will sing for the judges. These are blind auditions, meaning the students will not see the judges or the judges see them.
“You have to be prepared to walk in and have one chance” to be chosen after singing a 30-second cut from each of two songs,” she said.
It’s challenging and there is a lot riding on one audition.
The same audition is used to selects members for the SEK District Honor Choir, and also who will be chosen for the State Honors Choir, though those names are not released until after the District performances are held across the state.
“I try really hard to make sure they’re well prepared, Hamilton said, that they have good audition strategies, sing with confidence and are “not overwhelmed by the audition process.”
The pieces to be performed by the SEK Honors Choir include:
I Will Be the Light by Gerald Custer, I Choose Love by Mark Miller, Let Everything that Hath Breath by Jeffery Ames, The Beatitudes by Troy Robertson and Frohlocket, Ihr Volker Auf Erden by Felix Mendelssohn.
The performance by the SEK District Honors Choir, which will also include band and orchestra, will begin at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, in the Bicknell Center on the Pittsburg State University campus. There are breaks between performances by the band, orchestra and the choir. The choir will perform last.