Shawnee Honor Choir in Concert Dec. 4

Shawnee Honor Choir will present its fall concert on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. in Yarborough Auditorium of Raley Chapel on the OBU campus. The concert is free and open to the public.

Shawnee Honor Choir is an auditioned choir of 53 third- through seventh-grade students representing 17 different schools in Shawnee and the surrounding area. The choir is part of the Young Singers of Central Oklahoma, the preparatory choirs of OBU. Shawnee Honor Choir is directed by Conchita Hansford, director of the OBU Music Preparatory Department and a faculty member since 1990. Dephanie Lilite serves as accompanist.

Shawnee Honor 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 2012. On Tuesday, Nov. 29, the choir performed at Grove School, North Rock Creek School and Liberty Academy, all in Shawnee, Okla. On Friday, Dec. 2, the choir will perform at Russell Babb School in Harrah, Okla., and Will Rogers Elementary, Sequoyah Elementary and Sterling House, all in Shawnee.

Shawnee Honor Choir will open with “Clap Your Hands, Rejoice!” by Andy Beck and then perform “When I Lay Me Down to Sleep” by James Quitman Mulholland. Other selections include “Child of Peace” by David Waggoner; “J’entends Le Moulin,” a French Canadian folk song arranged by Emily Crocker; and “Dance, Love, Sing, Live!” by Greg Gilpin. Additional selections include “Child’s Play” by Louis Calabro and “Play for Me a Simple Melody” by Irving Berlin and arranged by Kirby Shaw. 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, Noah Youmans and A.J. Higgins.

OBU music majors Chelsea McQuigg, flute, Thomas Whitmore, congas, and Ashlyn Streck, shakers, will join Shawnee Honor Choir on “Dance, Love, Sing, Live!”

Orff instrumentalists will perform “Rondo” by Carl Orff. They include Abigail Lilite, Catherine Burgess and Mikayla Fest, soprano glockenspiels; Kaylan Posey, alto glockenspiel; Evie Griffin and Annika Stephens, soprano xylophones; Emily Lincicome, soprano metallophone; Hannah Baughman, alto metallophone; Noah Youmans and Josh Wester, alto xylophones; Andrew Terrell, bass xylophone; Jaden Jesseph, bass metallophone; and Devon Crawley, bass bar.

Introductions to the choral works will be presented by Kyla Hanigar, Megan Hardwick, A. J. Higgins, Jaden Jesseph, Cameron Roberts, Parker Terrell, Olivia Vanbebber, Josh Wester and Desiree Zachary.

At the end of the program, the audience will be invited for a sing-a-long of Christmas carols. Hand chime performers include Rose Anderson, Brianna Arnold, Juliana Cannon, Skyla Cornett, Lillie Fuller, Kali Giddens, Chasity Hanigar, Kyla Hanigar, Megan Hardwick, Makayla Hazlett, Paige Iddings, Becca Kisch, Abi Laiming, Abigail Mahaffey, Allison Mayfield, Kenzie Mills, Megan Prater, Aubrey Sandoval, Ashley Smith, Hannah Starineri, Andrew Terrell, Parker Terrell, Olivia Vanbebber and Sydney Vanbebber.

Schools represented in Shawnee Honor Choir include Bethel Schools, Cross Timbers in Tecumseh, Grove School, home school, Liberty Academy, McLoud Elementary, Meeker Schools, New Lima Schools, North Rock Creek School, Prague Elementary, Seminole Northwood, Sequoyah Elementary, Shawnee Middle School, South Rock Creek, Strother Elementary, Strother Middle School and Will Rogers Elementary.

College student assistants with Shawnee Honor Choir include Ashlyn Streck and Dana Ward Clark, junior vocal music education majors. They provide valuable assistance with sectional rehearsals on a regular basis. 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.

Conchita Hansford, 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 30-year teaching career she has taught a variety of university courses including early childhood and elementary music methods, children’s 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 earned degrees from Mississippi University for Women and Wayland Baptist University. She is Orff certified and has completed 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.

Dephanie 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 fourth year to serve as accompanist of Shawnee Honor Choir.