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Children’s Chorus to Perform Annual Concert

April 23, 2002

Shawnee Honor Choir, an auditioned group of 65 fourth- through sixth-graders, representing 14 schools in Shawnee and the surrounding area, is a part of OBU's Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts Preparatory Department. The group is under the direction of Conchita Hansford, director of the preparatory department and OBU faculty member since 1990. Angie Franklin, a senior music education major from Sulphur, serves as accompanist.

The program will open with Leo Wanenchak's "Little Bird," which was inspired by a children's game-song. The choir also will perform "Where the Music Comes From" by Lee Hoiby. Written as a theme song for an artist discussion group, the piece often is performed by Leontyne Price.

Other selections on the program include "Can You Hear Me" by Bob Chilcott, "Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel?" a traditional spiritual arranged by Roger Emerson, and "Birdsong" by Paul Read with text written by an unknown child in the Terezin Concentration Camp in Czechoslovakia during the Second World War.

The group will sing "Shake the Papaya Down, " a calypso song arranged by Ruth Dwyer and Judith Waller, "America the Beautiful" arranged by Ruth Elaine Schram, and "Let There Be Peace on Earth" by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson.

An instrumental piece, "Allegro" by Carl Orff, will be performed by Ashley Owens and Katie Tucker, soprano glockenspiels; Elizabeth Youngblood, alto glockenspiel; Taylor Thompson, soprano metallophone; Jennifer Jett and Raye Reeder, soprano xylophones; Mackenzie Kelly, and Jill Betterton, also xylophones; Susan Moring, alto metallophone; Kayla Hamlin, bass metallophone; Timothy O'Gwynn, bass xylophone; Whitney Moore, bass bar; Caitlin Yount and Jessica Hernandez, hand drums; and Dane Reeder and Rachel Woods, woodblocks. Other instrumentalist include Chrissy Chavez, congas, Ashley Owens, maracas, Caleb Parker, claves and Katie Holland, wind chimes.

Sarah Cappo, Natalie Houtz, Isabel Sanders, Heather Swadley and Stephen Whitmore will sing an ensemble part in "Birdsong." Sarah Cappo will present sign language to "Can you Hear Me?"

Introductions to songs will be presented by Rebekah Byland, Kirsten and Ashley Neel, Tabitha Jackson, Miranda Bays, Blake Compton, Annie Vallandingham, and Kyndra Stever. Haley Hamlin will say the "Pledge of Allegiance" as a part of "America the Beautiful."

Shawnee Honor Choir annually performs in 12 schools, presents two formal public concerts each year and performs at community events. The choir has performed twice at the Oklahoma Music Educators Association Convention in Tulsa.

On Friday, April 19, the choir will perform at Shawnee's North Rock Creek School and Pleasant Grove School and Russell Babb Elementary School in Harrah. On Friday, April 26, they will perform in Shawnee at Will Rogers Elementary School, Sequoyah Elementary School and Jefferson Elementary School.

Students in the choir represent schools in Bethel, Dale, McLoud, Meeker, Shawnee, Seminole, Stroud and home schools.

The choir is dedicated to the philosophy that through the learning and performance of 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.

Conchita Hansford, a long-time music educator, has taught a variety of courses to a variety of ages during her 20-year teaching career. 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 in Shawnee.

Hansford earned a bachelor's degree from Mississippi University for Women and a master's degree from 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.

For more information about the concert, call the Fine Arts Office at 405-878-2305 or visit