Shawnee Honor Choir Gives Area Concert Tour

Shawnee Honor Choir, an auditioned group of 60 fourth through sixth graders, will present its spring concert Sunday April 30, at 3 p.m. in Oklahoma Baptist University’s Yarborough Auditorium. The concert is open to the public with free admission.

The choral group represents 17 different schools in Shawnee and the surrounding area. The choir is part of the Young Singers of Central Oklahoma, coordinated through OBU’s Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts. Shawnee Honor Choir is directed by Conchita Hansford, OBU director of preparatory department and music instructor. Heather Smith, sophomore music major from Shawnee, serves as accompanist.

Each year, Shawnee Honor Choir performs in 12 schools, presents two formal public concerts and performs frequently at community events. The choir performed three times at the Oklahoma Music Educators Association Convention in Tulsa.

This week, the choir is performing at several area schools. On Tuesday, April 25, the choir sang at Russell Babb Elementary in Harrah, and at Shawnee’s Jefferson and Sequoyah elementary schools.

On Friday, April 28, they will perform at Grove, North Rock Creek and Will Rogers Elementary.

Also performing at the April 30 concert will be the Apprentice Choir, a non-auditioned group, directed by OBU music graduate Amber Crawley. The choir’s accompanist is Clara Sanders.

The Apprentice Choir will be singing “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me,” an African/ American spiritual arranged by Hal Hopson; “Goodnight,” a Russian piece arranged by Doreen Rao; “All the Pretty Little Horses,” an Appalachian folk song arranged by Ruth Artman and “The Animals’ Hoedown” by Alice Olson.

Schools represented in Shawnee Honor Choir include Shawnee’s Jefferson, Sequoyah and Will Rogers Elementary; Shawnee Middle School; Bethel Elementary; Cross Timbers, Tecumseh; Dale; Grove; Harvest Hills, Oklahoma City; Konawa; North Rock Creek; Prague; Park Road, Chandler; Russell Babb, Harrah; South Rock Creek; and Thomas, Holdenville.

The April 30 program begins with "A Festive Alleluia,” by Mary Lynn Lightfoot, followed by “Bingo,” the traditional children’s song arranged by Richard Pisano. Other selections include "Never Let Go Of Your Dream” by Mary Donnelly and George Strid; "I Dance to the Stars and the Moon” by Cary Ratcliff; "I’m Part of the Rainbow” by Glenn McClure; and "Roger Bobo Plays the Tuba” by Brian Holmes. Assisting with “Roger Bobo” is Ashley Flowers, sophomore tuba major from Snyder, Okla. Zachary Simmons and Hannah Anderson, former members of SHC, will assist with percussion instruments on “I’m Part of the Rainbow.”

Orff instrumentalists will perform "Allegro" by Carl Orff. The students include Sarah Anderson and Emma Patterson, soprano glockenspiels; Kristin Kincaid, alto glockenspiel; Dylan Crawley, soprano metallophone; Drew Crawley and Graeson Griffin, soprano xylophones; Meg Reeder, alto metallophone; Caitlyn Swinney and Sheri Kotzum, alto xylophones; Kelcy Keener, bass xylophone; Logan Davis, bass metallophone; Joseph Brasher, bass bar; Rebecakah McCreary, Jasmine Robinson and Abigail Hagans, woodblocks; Nathan Poole and Christopher Crouch, drums.

Soloists and descant students include Alex Argo, Allona Cearley, Logan Davis, Makenna Herl, Audrey Kreft, Kasey Kinzey, Rebeckah McCreary, Ashley Poe, Jasmine Robinson, Alex Seiger and Amy Winn.

Presenting song introductions are Drew Crawley, Catherine Longest, Jeremy Richardson, Jasmine Robinson, Bailey Thompson and Jenna Quantz.

The program concludes with an audience sing-a-long of patriotic songs. Hand chime performers include Caristona and Paris Anderson, Dakota Barber, Beth Brasher, Adam Chavez, AvRee Edmonds, Kendra Haslam, Bryan Hopkins, Breeana Jewell, Cassie Johnson, Lauren and Morgan King, Kasey Kinzey, Belle and Audrey Kreft, Danielle Myers, Ashley Poe, Sarah and Jenna Quantz, Jeremy Richardson, Annie Roberts, Alex Seiger, Bonnie Wilkinson, Samantha Willoughby, Amy Winn and Alisha Wood.

Student assistants with Shawnee Honor Choir are Katie Cease, senior music education major from Tulsa; Kara Roberts, junior musical arts major from Guymon; and Hillary Anderson, freshman instrumental music education major from Oklahoma City.

“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,” said Hansford. “The choir provides a special learning environment designed to provide a rich and rewarding musical experience for each child.”

Hansford said the children study and perform a variety of music from simple unison songs to more challenging choral literature.

“Singing, a powerfully personal means of musical expression, is the major focus of musical experience in Shawnee Honor Choir,” she said. “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.”

Hansford has taught music education at all levels, including Kindermusik for babies and their mothers and other Kindermusik classes for children through age six. During her 26-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, Hansford has presented numerous workshops in Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas. She also directs the Young Musicians 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.