School of Music prepares to welcome high school ensembles at the annual choral festival

Areas surrounding the Warren Music Building will soon be filled with beautiful sounds of choral music as the School of Music (SOM) prepares to welcome the top high school ensembles in the region for the 2019 choral festival.

The SOM will host 28 high school choirs who have prepared to perform their best work and to receive professional adjudication. The festival invitational will take place on Thursday and Friday in Munson Chapel with four sessions on each day.

The annual event works effectively as a recruiting tool for the university at-large, since most visiting choirs take a campus tour prior to attending their designated session. At each session, seven different high school ensembles will perform their music and will have the opportunity to learn more about choral music techniques as they work with a clinician.

Anton Armstrong, the conductor of the St. Olaf Choir in Minnesota, is scheduled to be the guest clinician. Armstrong is widely recognized for his work with youth and children’s choral music. He holds a membership in the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America and the International Federation for Choral Music.

“It is exciting to partner with local schools and to host an event with such high-quality choral adjudicators every year,” said Dianne Schiltt, assistant director of music operations. “Anton Armstrong is one of the finest choral conductors in the country, and we are thrilled to have him share his expertise to the School of Music and the visiting ensembles.”

As a normal surprise to the high school students, select APU choral ensembles make appearances every year to perform some of their signature pieces. On Thursday evening, ministry ensembles Bel Canto Women’s Choir and the Men’s Chorale will perform, and the University Choir and Chamber Singers are set to appear the following evening.

“I love this festival because we have the opportunity to impact hundreds and hundreds of high schoolers that are going to walk through our doors,” said Galen Clark, director of the Men’s Chorale. “Every moment counts because our living testimony of the glory of God is what brings kids to APU. The power of the anointing is not in the number of those who are in attendance. It is in the number of those who are in agreement.”