Still on the National Stage –-– What’s Next for MSU Choirs 

Missouri State University choirs are starting a year full of performances.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – It was a momentous performance by the Missouri State Chorale at the 58th presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017.  Dr. Cameron LaBarr, director of choral studies, is making sure his students are not settling down, but moving onward.
During the 2017-18 academic year, the MSU choirs will perform in state, regional and national conferences.
“Performing for a presidential inauguration is perhaps the largest audience that we’ll ever see. However, the opportunity to perform at these conferences is really a way to highlight the choral program in its natural habitat,” LaBarr said.
From Nov. 2-4, the Chorale is headed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They will perform at the National Collegiate Chorale Organization conference. Thirteen choirs are invited to sing at this event based on a blind selection process.
LaBarr says he is excited for the songs they will perform: “The Deepness of Blue” and a new piece named “Whisper of the Dance” both by William Averitt. The pieces are connected. “The Deepness of Blue” is music written on a series of poems by Langston Hughes that deal with social issues of the 20th century. “Whisper of the Dance” is a musical and poetic response.
From Jan. 24-27, 2018, the Men’s Chorus will perform at the Missouri Music Educators Associa-tion Conference in Osage Beach. The group will sing an Ozark folksong by Tennessee composer John Wykoff.  Wykoff composed “Now We Belong,” which the Chorale performed at the inaugur-ation. The Men’s Chorus will also perform other music from around the world.
From March 7-10, 2018, the Chorale will sing at the Southwestern Divisional Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Reed Academy Singers will also perform. Their director, Danny Gutierrez, is a part-time music graduate student at Missouri State.
Both choirs worked hard to be chosen. Besides the blind review similar to the other two conferences, the choirs provided samples from the past three years.