Oklahoma Baptist University

Shawnee Honor Choir Performs at OBU May 2

The Shawnee Honor Choir will present its annual Spring Concert in Raley Chapelís Yarborough Auditorium on the campus of OBU at 4 p.m., Sunday, May 2. The concert is free and open to the public.

Shawnee Honor Choir, an auditioned group of 58 fourth- through sixth-graders representing 14 different schools in Shawnee and the surrounding area, is a part of the Preparatory Department of the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts at Oklahoma Baptist University. Founded in 1982 Shawnee Honor Choir is under the direction of Conchita Hansford, Music Preparatory Director and OBU faculty member since 1990. Erin Parker, a senior music education major, serves as accompanist.

Shawnee Honor Choir performs in 12 schools annually, presents two formal public concerts each year and frequently performs at community events. The choir has performed three times at the Oklahoma Music Educators Association Convention in Tulsa, the most recent being this past January. On Tuesday, April 27, the choir performs at Bethel, Pleasant Grove and Russell Babb Elementary Schools. On Friday, April 30, they perform at Will Rogers, Dale and Sequoyah Elementary Schools.

Schools represented include Dale, Epperly Heights, Grove, Harrah, Home School, Jefferson, McLoud, Meeker, North Rock Creek, Russell Babb in Harrah, Sequoyah, Shawnee Middle School, South Rock Creek and Will Rogers.

The program will open with "Processional in C," a hand chime processional by Barbara Semmann, followed by "Bless the Lord, O My Soul" by Ruth Watson Henderson. The choir will then perform "For a Child" by James Quitman Mulholland. Other selections include "A Little Curl" by Nick Page, "In My Own Little Corner of the World" by Brad Printz, "Rattlesnake Skipping Song" by Derek Holman and "I've Got Shoes," a traditional spiritual, arranged by Rollo Dilworth.

The hand chime processional will be performed by Motley Moomey, Kenneth Branson, Amy Conrad, Bethany McWilliams, Bethany Keen, Jorrell Richardson, Trenton Keen, Timothy McDonald, Cara Chunn and Lorena Wilkinson.

Orff instrumentalists will perform "Canon" by Carl Orff. They include Thomas Whitmore, Ben Whitmore and Mackenzie Kelly, soprano glockenspiel; Raye Reeder, alto glockenspiel; Bethany Ray and Emily Day, soprano xylophone; Hannah Anderson and Jennifer Jett, alto xylophone; Jennifer Newell, bass metallophone; Caitlyn Swinney, bass xylophone; Kayla Hamlin, bass bars.

Introductions to the songs will be presented by Bethany McWilliams, Bethany Hall, Raye Reeder, Timothy McDonald, Travis Rudd and Jennifer Newell.

At the end of the program, there will be an audience sing-a-long of patriotic songs. Hand chime performers include Jerry Atkinson, William Barnes, Kendra Boydston, Bo Churchwell, Kelsey Collins-Keener, Logan Davis, Graeson Griffin, Makenna Herl, Hannah Jett, Morgan Johnson, Timothy McDonald, Alyssa Poe, Ashley Poe, Jenna Quantz, Collin Renner, David Simons, Tyler Swadley, Kitty Tiger and Amy Winn .

Auditions for the coming year will be held Tuesday, May 4, 3:30-5 p.m.and May 17-18, 3:30-5 p.m. For information about Shawnee Honor Choir or any of the Preparatory Choirs, please call Conchita Hansford at 878-2319.

The choir is dedicated to the philosophy that through the learning and performance of excellent choral literature, the lives of the choir members, as well as the lives of their families and the community will be enriched both musically and artistically. The choir provides a special learning environment designed to provide a rich and rewarding musical experience for each child. The children study and perform a variety of music from simple unison songs to more challenging choral literature. Concepts about music (melody, rhythm, harmony, form and expression) and musical skills (singing, music reading, etc.) are taught systematically throughout the rehearsals. Singing, a powerfully personal means of musical expression, is the major focus of musical experience in Shawnee Honor Choir. The children are taught the use of the vocal instrument through exercise, posture, breath and tone production. The goal is that the experience of artistic singing will form the foundation of a life long relationship with music for the singers and their families.

Conchita Hansford, music educator with teaching experience with babies and their mothers in Kindermusik, through college, has taught a variety of courses during her twenty-two year college teaching career including early childhood and elementary music methods, church music methods, class piano and voice and Kindermusik.

Active as a guest conductor and workshop leader, she has presented numerous workshops in Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas. She also directs the Young Musician's Choir at First Baptist Church, Shawnee. Mrs. Hansford has earned degrees from Mississippi University for Women and Wayland Baptist University. She is Orff certified and has done additional graduate study in music at Texas Tech University, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Colorado at Greeley. She is a licensed Kindermusik educator.

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