Daily News: Combined choir festival is Monday

By Frank Stanko

On Monday, Feb. 27, the concert choirs of Breckenridge High School, North Dakota State College of Science and Wahpeton High School will hold a festival together.

Beginning at 7 p.m. that evening, the three groups will sing at NDSCS’ Bremer Bank Theatre. The event is free and open to the public.

“It’s one of our highlights of the year, when our kids can sing with other students,” said Wahpeton choir director Dean Aamodt.

In addition to directing his students, Aamodt wrote one of their songs. “Cry Out!,” according to Aamodt, is a fanfare, exclamation-type piece.

“We also have an Erik Whitacre piece, ‘A Boy and a Girl,” which is very slow and gushy, with warm chords. It’s really about remembering that first kiss experience,” he said.

Joyce Manning, Breckenridge, said her choir’s pieces recognize February as Black History Month. They include “Noel Todd Smith,” a song from the African Congo, and the pop song “Africa” by Toto.

“We enjoy coming to sing on the stage at NDSCS,” she said. “It’s nice to have a unity event for our students. … My group is excited to do two songs a cappella. First ‘Noel’ and then ‘Little Wheel a-Turnin’.”

NDSCS’ pieces include “Isle of Hopes, Isle of Tears,” which the choir will sing during their April tour of New York City. The song, from the perspective of immigrants to America, will be performed at the Statue of Liberty, said director Bryan Poyzer.

The festival’s grand finale will include all three choirs singing pieces ranging from the Spanish “Oye!” to the gospel-influenced “I Sing Because I’m Happy.” These pieces will be directed by Poyzer.

For Poyzer, the high school students make the choir festival important.

“It’s about them. It’s totally about them,” he said. “If you look at their activity schedule, all they do is compete against other schools. There are hundreds of events on are their calendar where their goal is to get together with another school, compete and tear them down. … (This is) about getting them together, saying we can build each other up and contribute to something positive.”

The Bremer Bank Theatre is located in NDSCS’ Stern Cultural Center, along the campus’ south oval entrance.

Read the full article online at wahpetondailynews.com

Department: Performing Arts

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