(Ashland, Ore.) – The Music program of the Department of Performing Arts at Southern Oregon University presents the SOU High School Honor Choir at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13. The concert will be held in the Music Recital Hall on the SOU Campus. Admission is free.
The SOU High School Honor Choir brings together top vocalists from high schools in Jackson, Josephine and Klamath Counties for a weekend of musical education, which culminates with a concert under the direction of Dr. Paul French, Dr. Fredna Grimland and Chris Bingham.
During the weekend, high school students spend time in classes learning voice technique, taught by SOU Voice Faculty Ellie Murray; diction, taught by SOU Voice Faculty Laurie Hunter; and sight singing taught by Dr. Fredna Grimland and Dr. Paul French.
“We spend a lot of time with these students on skill building and talking about leadership,” said French. “The most important thing in any group activity is learning to work together for a common goal. That is a skill that will help students in any area of life they choose in the future.” He continues, “SOU is uniquely situated to provide both musical and leadership skills to these talented high school students. This provides an opportunity for high schoolers to become familiar with the university and offers a great service to our community, who get to hear a really fun concert for free.”
In addition to the parents of these students, music lovers from all over the area will appreciate this concert, which will include performances by all three of the SOU choral ensembles: the newly-formed Men’s Glee, directed by SOU alum Chris Bingham, and the Women’s Choir, directed by Dr. Fredna Grimland and the well-known SOU Chamber Choir, directed by Dr. Paul French. In addition, the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers will be performing excerpts from their upcoming spring performance of the St. Matthew Passion by J.S. Bach and selected high school student soloists will be coached by SOU staff to perform in the concert. The concert will conclude with the SOU High School Honor Choir, SOU Chamber Choir and Southern Oregon Repertory Singers joining together in a gala, mass choir performance of “Hard Day’s Night” by the Beatles, arranged by SOU Music Faculty member, Jodi French.
This program will be about an hour in length. With the great variety in performances and the multitude of groups, it provides the community a perfect opportunity to sample choral music. Families with school-aged children may particularly appreciate this free venue, allowing them to encourage a love of choral music for the whole family.
Dr. French concludes, “I love sharing my love of music with this region’s talented singers. I love watching the students learn and celebrating their success. Helping students believe in themselves and learn new life skills allows me to participate in setting them up for success!”
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