Oklahoma Baptist University

Shawnee Honor Choir to Perform Concert Dec. 5

Shawnee Honor Choir, an auditioned choir of 53 third through seventh graders representing 17 different schools in Shawnee and the surrounding area, will perform a concert on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 3 p.m. in Raley Chapel's Yarborough Auditorium on the OBU campus. The concert is free and open to the public.

Shawnee Honor Choir is a part of the Young Singers of Central Oklahoma, the preparatory choirs of OBU. Shawnee Honor Choir is directed by Conchita Hansford, Music Preparatory director and OBU faculty member since 1990. Dephanie Lilite serves as the choir's accompanist.



The choir performs in 12 schools annually, presents four formal public concerts each year and frequently performs at community events. The choir has performed four times at the Oklahoma Music Educators Association Convention in Tulsa and will again perform at OMEA in January 2011. On Tuesday, Nov. 30, the choir performed at Horace Mann Elementary, North Rock Creek School and Jefferson Elementary, all in Shawnee, Okla. On Friday, Dec. 3, they will perform at Will Rogers Elementary and Sequoyah Elementary in Shawnee, Russell Babb Elementary in Harrah, Okla., and Sterling House in Shawnee.

The Dec. 5 concert will open with "A Joyful Song" by Mary Lynn Lightfoot and then the choir will perform "Bim Bam," arranged by Shirley W. McRae. Other selections include "Lord of the Dance," a Shaker melody adapted by Mary Lynn Lightfoot and arranged by John Rutter; "Marchin' with the Saints!" arranged by Greg Gilpin; and "Will You Teach Me?" by Victor C. Johnson. "Three Quotes by Mark Twain," composed by Andrea Ramsey includes "The Silent Fool," "Telling the Truth," and "My Dear Mother." Additional selections include "The Moon" by Andy Beck; and "Lightning!" by Greg Gilpin. Christmas selections include "Night of Silence" by Daniel Kantor and a fun round titled "Merry Christmas to You All."

Soloists for "Night of Silence" include Kaylan Posey, Emily Sconyers and A.J. Higgins.

OBU sophomore music majors Daniel Anderson, Ashlyn Streck and Dana Ward will join Shawnee Honor Choir on "Bim Bam." Anderson will play clarinet, and Streck and Ward will play tambourines. Katie Robertson, an OBU graduate and music educator in Edmond, will perform with the choir on oboe on "Will You Teach Me?"

Orff instrumentalists will perform "Silent Night" arranged by Linda Forrest. These students include Mikayla Fest, Graham Griffin, Annika Stephens and Andrea Wood, soprano glockenspiels; Evie Griffin and Caleb Richards, soprano xylophones; Abigail Lilite, soprano metallophone; Catherine Burgess, alto metallophone; Sabrina Bartley and Kaylan Posey, alto xylophones; Olivia Wilkinson, bass xylophone; April Brunson, bass metallophone; and Johnathon Richardson, bass bars.

Introductions to the choral works will be presented by April Brunson, Alexis Capron, Connor Eaton, Makenzie Mason, Alexis O'Neil, Johnathon Richardson, Ginny Stewart, Parker Terrell, Olivia Vanbebber and Lauren Yoakum.

At the end of the program, there will be an audience sing-a-long of Christmas carols. Hand chime performers include Montrey Bond, Michael Bowden, Abbey Brunson, Molly Fisher, Evie Griffin, Graham Griffin, A.J. Higgins, Becca Kisch, Makenzie Mason, Alexis O'Neil, Alexia Peters, Parker Reed, Angelina Ropp, Emily Sconyers, Macava Smith, Ginny Stewart, Olivia Vanbebber, Emily Yoakum and Lauren Yoakum.

Schools represented in Shawnee Honor Choir include Grove School, Jefferson Elementary, Liberty Academy, Meeker Elementary, McLoud Intermediate, New Lima Elementary, North Rock Creek School, Prague Schools, Sequoyah Elementary, Shawnee Middle School, Sooner Elementary, Strother School and Will Rogers Elementary.

Streck and Ward provide valuable assistance with sectional rehearsals on a regular basis, Hansford said. Honor choir mom is Kim Fest.

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 lifelong relationship with music for the singers and their families.

Hansford, OBU assistant professor of music, has taught music education at all levels including Kindermusik for babies and their mothers and other Kindermusik classes for children through age 6. During her 29-year teaching career she has taught a variety of university courses including early childhood and elementary music methods, church music methods, class piano, voice, and private piano. 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.

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.

Lilite has concertized extensively in London, Haiti and the United States as a versatile pianist whose brilliance shines as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician. A southern California native, she graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in piano performance from the Conservatory of Music at Biola University and a master's degree in piano performance and pedagogy from Pennsylvania State University. This is her second year to serve as accompanist of Shawnee Honor Choir.

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