Spotlight on the William Jewell Choral Scholars

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The William Jewell Choral Scholars have had a very busy few weeks! Earlier this week, they performed in two major profile concerts. This article will focus on what they’re been doing, what they’re up to next, and what the Choral Scholar program is.

The Choral Scholar scholarship is awarded to students during their senior year of high school. In order to qualify for the scholarship, students must be accepted as a student in William Jewell and score well in a vocal audition in front of three vocal professors. There are multiple scholarships that may be awarded through this process, but the highest award is the Choral Scholar program.

The Choral Scholars are expected to fulfill a number of requirements within their scholarships. They are to enroll in the Concert Choir (which is ranked as the number two college choir in the nation, according to the 2019 competition American Prize in Choral Performance) as well as attend private vocal lessons with one of the vocal staff, and participate in Choral Scholars. There are currently 13 members.

Part of what makes the Choral Scholars so unique is their individual voices. Every student has multiple solo achievements, including lead roles in musicals, high rankings at district and state competitions in high school, and a high percentage of graduate school placement for music majors. Another thing that sets the Choral Scholars apart from the top choirs in other schools is that the Choral Scholars aren’t required to be music majors. Many are, but some aren’t.

As aforementioned, the Choral Scholars had a very busy last week! The Concert Choir performed at the Kauffman Centre for the Performing Arts on March 6. They performed alongside the William Baker Festival Singers and soloist Sarah Tannehill. They sang the works of Sir Andrew Davis and his son Ed Frazier Davis, both of whom are accomplished and well-known composers of beautiful contemporary pieces. Both were also in residence with the Concert Choir, conducting them and offering feedback The Concert Choir had been preparing for this concert since their return from spring break. The Choral Scholars, in addition to this, also had a major concert to prepare for just a few days later on March 9.

The Choral Scholars are also part of a group called Cardinalis, founded by the current choir professor Dr. Anthony Maglione. Cardinalis features the Choral Scholars as well as professional singers from the KC metro area, many of whom are Jewell alumni. This year, they have performed together twice, including the concert this past Monday. That concert featured music from the upcoming composer Dale Trumbore and her work entitled How to Go On. The Choral Scholars had been working on that set since shortly before winter break.

The next step for Choral Scholars is a combined concert with the Concert Choir and Choral Ensemble in May. However, it is unknown if this will still happening pending COVID-19, but the goal is that this concert will still occur. Every member of every choir will be sent home with music to learn on their own in case the choir still happens. Hopefully, the spotlight will still remain on these talented Jewell students!

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