Northwest Missouri State University’s Celebration show choir, which recently toured Missouri and parts of Texas, will end its season Friday, April 21, with its annual spring show.
Celebration toured March 16-23, performing at five Missouri high schools and presenting a March 18 concert at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Houston, which several Texas-based Northwest alumni attended. Among them were Janila Jenkinson, who attended grade school at Northwest’s Horace Mann Laboratory School and graduated from Northwest in 1968, and Dana Whitney, the son of Gilbert Whitney, a longtime music faculty member at Northwest as well as the founder of the Madraliers choir and the Yuletide Feaste.
Northwest Professor of Music and Celebration Director Dr. Brian Lanier said students also realized the recruiting power of sharing their music and conversing with students while visiting Missouri high schools.
“Tours like this are so important to our music department, and to Northwest in general,” said Allie Dirks, a senior vocal music education and voice major from Omaha, NE. “Not only do we, as students, get the opportunity to perform, but we are given the opportunity to recruit. The reason I chose Northwest is because Dr. Lanier came to my high school and did a clinic for our choir before contest. Many of the students we perform for on tour speak with us after each show about our university and what we have to offer them. This not only gets students excited about our music department, but helps recruit for Northwest as a whole.”
Choir members had about eight weeks from the start of the trimester to prepare, rehearse, choreograph and polish the music they presented during the tour. The choir is composed of 32 singer-dancers and 10 instrumentalists.
“Taking students on an extended tour has many benefits on several levels,” Lanier said. “The preparation required on the part of the performers is a valuable lesson in discipline and dedication. The teamwork and cooperation required from the students to co-exist for eight days on a tour are also beneficial lessons on how to get along with peers on a professional level.”
Celebration will present its annual spring show at 7:30 pm, Friday, April 21, at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. The performance will feature a variety of music, from rock to vocal jazz to Broadway, including songs from “A Chorus Line,” “Into the Woods,” “West Side Story,” “City of Angels,” “Porgy and Bess” and “Company.”
Admission to the spring show is free, and it is open to the public.
Celebration represents a variety of majors across the university, and the choir has performed throughout the United States, including recent appearances at Walt Disney World in Florida. During the fall trimester, the choir is known as The Madraliers, a chamber choir that presents concerts on and off campus, including the annual Yuletide Feaste.