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Archive for Sunday, August 15, 1999

CHORAL DEPARTMENT UNITES VOICES

August 15, 1999

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Kansas University's choral department provides a world of experience to singers.

World-class faculty, varied ensembles and challenging material help Kansas University's choral department stand out above the crowd.

All KU students are eligible to join the groups.

"Choir is a big melting pot on campus where students can meet people outside the department," said Jeffrey Carter, a KU choral doctoral student.

Although Carter is moving on to another school this year, the Mens' Glee Club he helped establish will continue among the university's varied ensemble offerings.

"The Glee Club will function as a group, but also as a cheerleader for the choir," Carter said of the group, which sometimes sings at pep rallies or basketball games.

KU offers a diverse list of choirs -- traditional, experimental, classical, jazz, intimate and grandiose groups, all designed to challenge students, said Simon Carrington, director of KU's choral activities.

"Everyone who sings in a KU choir is set a significant challenge to help them rise above the level they had reached through other experience," Carrington said.

But the benefits of choirs go beyond musical growth, he said.

" ... The singers will find they are stretched vocally and intellectually while enjoying the comradeship and therapeutic benefits offered by making music on a regular basis with good friends from all across campus."

Each summer a choir embarks on a European tour to perform in churches and concert halls.

Seven individual choirs, ranging from large to small and specializing in different types of music, perform at the Lied Center on West Campus and other area venues.

"The choral department offers students of all ages, skills, colors and creeds the chance to unite in the singing of music from around the world -- music that can express joy, happiness, sorrow and melancholy in a context unique to choral music," Carrington said.

-- Josh Funk is a University of Nebraska-Lincoln student who worked as an intern this summer at the Journal-World.

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