Members of the Brainerd High School Choral Department will present their annual guest conductor concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Tornstrom Auditorium, Washington Middle School, featuring the A Cappella Choir, Bards, Concert Choral and the 90-voice Fifth Grade Honor Choir.
Members of the men's chorus, Bards, will perform "Come Travel With Me," "Lonesome Road," "Simple Gifts" and "Muddy Water" from Big River.
The Concert Chorale, the BHS women's chorus, will sing "Dona Nobis Pacem," "Nigra Sum," "Shenandoah," "Still wie die Nacht" and "Ride On King Jesus."
Members of the A Cappella Choir will perform several of the pieces they will sing on their upcoming tour of Norway, including "Cloudburst," a new piece by contemporary composer Eric Whitacre; "Jesu, meine Freude" by J.S. Bach; "The Promise of Living" by Aaron Copland; "Spring" by Edvard Grieg; and "Rock-a Ma Soul" arranged by Paul Christiansen.
The 90 singers in the Fifth Grade Honor Choir are selected after a rigorous audition process in each of the eight elementary schools. The choir rehearses Monday evenings beginning in January, culminating in a performance at two elementary schools and the guest conductor concert. The Fifth Grade Honor Choir was organized and is directed by Frances Johnson and Carol Smith; Heather Larson is piano accompanist. The group will perform "Carol of Creation," "Jubilate Deo," "Pie Jesu" and "Elijah Rock."
The guest conductor for the high school choirs will be Mary Kay Geston.
"The guest conductor gives the choirs a chance to experience the expertise of a college level conductor," said Michael Smith, BHS choir director. "Every year I invite a college director to come to Brainerd and work with our students for two days, culminating in the Tuesday evening guest conductor concert. It is always a little unnerving for me to give over my students to another conductor. I always wonder if the students will relate well to the invited conductor. Will they remember what the guest conductor asks them to do? Will the guest conductor enjoy his/her experience working with our students?"
Geston joined the music faculty at Northwestern College, St. Paul, in 1999. She conducts the Northwestern College Women's Chorale and Chamber Singers, and teaches studio voice and advanced choral conducting. Previously she was director of choral activities at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., and taught at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
She received the director of musical arts degree in choral conducting and literature from the University of Colorado, the master of music degree in choral conducting from the University of Minnesota and teaching certification and bachelor of arts degree in vocal performance from North Dakota State University.
Tickets for the guest conductor concert will be available at the Tornstrom Auditorium ticket booth at Washington Middle School. Prices are $3 for adults and $1 for students.
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