Janeal Krehbiel admits that many of the rehearsals leading up to this weekend's Lawrence Children's Choir concert have been demanding.
But there's been room for good humor, too.
"We want to leave each rehearsal having learned something new and having had an opportunity to laugh while we worked," she says.
The 78-voice group of vocalists in grades five through nine will sing selections that span more than 500 years of history and several continents during its fall performance, set for 5 p.m. Saturday at Lawrence High School, 1901 La.
The newest piece, "Out in the Fields," was commissioned by Krehbiel and will be premiered during the concert. Another, "Tres Cantos Nativos Dos Indios Krao," draws from the ancient native melodies of the Krao tribe of northern Brazil, mimicking the sounds of rain, river, wind and forest animals.
Several songs feature the words of poets, including Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Emily Dickinson. And "The Joint is Jumpin'" - from the musical "Ain't Misbehavin'" - celebrates America's distinctive boogie-woogie style and will feature drum and piano solos by two choir members.
Also on the program are two Negro spirituals, "Steal Away" and "No Hidin' Place," arranged specifically for the group by Marilyn Epp, the choir's accompanist.
Tickets are available in advance for $8 from Hume Music, 711 W. 23rd St., or by calling 331-4662. Tickets also will be available for $10 at the door.