Pictured: Members of the MMEA Collegiate Honor Choir Stewart Duncan, Dr. Maglione (instructor), Michael Hon, Zach Stelzer, Julia Nydam, Katie Baker, Sarah Reed and Crista Pinkston.
The William Jewell Concert Choir performed at the annual Missouri Educator’s Association (MMEA) conference at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, MO Jan. 28-31.
The Concert Choir was asked to perform at the event for the first time in over ten years. Several choirs in the state competed for this honor over the course of a year. Last year, the choir submitted an audition tape to the MMEA board, and of all of the collegiate choirs who auditioned, three were chosen. Jewell was the smallest school selected to perform. On the final day of the conference, the choir performed in front of 750 music educators from all over the state.
At the conference, music students and educators of all levels from across Missouri met and attended workshops, performances and events throughout the four days. Many music education majors from Jewell attended all four days of the conference, where they participated in workshops on various topics, such as changing music education standards and solving problems common for first year teachers.
Additionally, eight Jewell students sang in the all-collegiate choir at the conference. They rehearsed extensively, about six hours per day, to prepare for the performance. Stewart Duncan, a senior Concert Choir performer, was among one of the students who participated.
“It was nice to work in an ensemble that size, but the highlight of the weekend was performing with Jewell. It was sort of a culmination of a lot of hard work we had done back in August and September, and we really performed to the best of our ability,” Duncan said.
Dr. Maglione, Concert Choir director and music professor, remarked on how this performance will affect the music program.
“I received a lot of positive feedback on the performance. The concert choir is getting outside validation for what we already suspected-that we have a really fine program that stands out in our area,” Maglione said. “Also, I think students will gain confidence knowing what they’re bringing to the table is relevant and significant.”
Duncan also shared this sentiment and noted other ways the performance was beneficial.
“Performing at the conference is an indication that we’re a good choir. Also, a lot of high school students go to this, and they get to see us perform. If high schools are thinking about where to push their best students, we want Jewell on that list,” said Duncan.
Performing at such events on a state level could really impact the reputation and direction of the choir in the future. Dr. Maglione said that the next objective of the program is to draw national attention to the choir.
“We’re trying to be one of the best choirs in the country and this is a step in that direction. There’s nothing about us being a small school that means we can’t be there. Size doesn’t necessarily mean anything about quality when it comes to a choir,” Duncan said.
Due to copyright restrictions, a recording of the choir’s performance is currently unavailable. However, the choir will be releasing a recording entitled “The Trumpet Sounds” in the near future.