Macon – The Mercer University Youth Choirs announced that they will be holding auditions for the upcoming 2017-2018 season on Saturday August 12 from 9:30 AM – 1 PM and Sunday August 13 from 2-4 PM. The auditions will be held in Neva Fickling Recital Hall inside the McCorkle Music Building. The address is 1329 Adams Street and singers from 8 to 17 years of age are invited to audition.
For the audition, singers should bring a simple song that can be sung without instrumental accompaniment. Some examples given were “Amazing Grace”, “America the Beautiful” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” Those auditioning will also be asked to perform a scale and demonstrate competency with basic musical skills.
Those who are accepted will be placed into one of two choirs, the Preparatory Choir or the Touring Choir. Children in 3rd to 5th grade as well as 2nd graders with strong verbal skills will be placed in the Preparatory Choir. Older students in 5th to 12th grade will be places in the Touring Choir which will eventually perform on a multi-state tour culminating in performing at the Texas International Choral Festival in Dallas, TX in mid to late June.
The two choir are composed of around 60 students who are pulled not only from public schools, but private and home schools around Middle Georgia as well. Most commonly, members of the choir have experience singing for their school of church before joining the Youth Choirs.
“The Choirs perform in various locations throughout the region.” said Dr. Richard Kosowski, music director for the choirs. He also serves as an Associate Professor of Music-Voice for Mercer University.
“Scheduled performances venues this year will include Fickling Hall on the Mercer campus, the lobby of the Luce Heart Institute at Navicent Health, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Warner Robins, and Mulberry Street United Methodist Church in Macon.” Dr. Kosowski added.
This fall there will be 5 performances scheduled, and requests for additional performances around Christmas. For the spring and summer in 2018, the touring group will have performances in Mississippi and Texas, as well as 2 additional performances right here at home. In the past, the Touring Choir has had performances in over 30 cities in 26 states as well as the District of Columbia.
As a member of the choirs, the students will rehearse on Thursday afternoons from 4:30 – 6:00 PM. The first rehearsal of the 2017-2018 season will be August 24. There are also occasional additional rehearsals on Saturdays when performances require it. Dr. Kosowski also said “We do have an all-day Saturday retreat in both the fall and spring semesters. Our retreats close with a 25-30 minute performance by the Choristers.”
In the past, the choirs have performed with the Macon Symphony Orchestra in performances such as the opera “Hänsel und Gretel” and other large scale works. They have also performed with contemporary Christian singers such as Larnell Harris and Steve Green. For the upcoming season, they are scheduled to perform with singer-songwriter Ken Medema.
Throughout the year, members of the Youth Choir will learn around 50 new pieces of music, including at least one written specifically for them. These songs are pulled from various genres from Medieval to contemporary. “I do not believe that there is another community children and youth musical organization in Middle Georgia that exposes their young musicians to such a diverse, challenging repertoire.” said Dr. Kosowski.
For more information about the program and upcoming auditions, visit music.mercer.edu/community or call (478) 301-5751. Video sample of their work can be found on YouTube.
Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music, the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Studies offer undergraduate and graduate professional music studies in a comprehensive university environment. Townsend is nationally recognized for its outstanding faculty, award-winning students, performance ensembles and state-of-the-art facilities. The McDuffie Center, a special institute within Townsend School of Music, is a highly selective program that prepares string students for success in the real world. Students study with some of America’s most renowned string musicians, receiving music instruction of conservatory quality, while earning an academically well-rounded education from a comprehensive, nationally recognized university. For more information and a complete listing of this season’s concerts please visit music.mercer.edu or call (478) 301-5751.