WIU Choirs

WIU Choirs

SENIOR HONOR READING CHORUS at Western Illinois University

COFAC Recital Hall
Sunday, September 10 and Monday, September 11, 2017
Guest Clinicians:   Dr. Gregory Gentry, University of Colorado, Boulder
                              Dr. James Stegall, Western Illinois University


Questions:  choirs@wiu.edu

Western Illinois University Choirs began a new tradition in 2015 with an Inaugural Honor Reading Festival Chorus of 65 highly motivated high school singers who appreciated the opportunity to refine their skills without the limiting pressure to field a performance.

About the 2017 Honor Reading Choir

The word “reading” in the title means that the students will be handed the music on Sunday night at the beginning of the two-day event.  The word “honor” in the title is intended to bring recognition—an act that distinguishes them from others—to students who can truly read music well. Based in Western Illinois University’s enthusiasm for encouraging young singers, this musical endeavor is inspired by our experiences with the annual Honors Reading Chorus at the University of Colorado-Boulder and the Honor Reading Choir at the University of Alabama.  These influences introduce a new experience—the High School Honor Reading Choir—so that participants may have a practical experience utilizing their music reading skills while refining their vocal technique, stylistic awareness, self-motivation, expression and health. Students will be selected by their high school choral directors in evenly balanced SATB quartets or octets. It is our hope at WIU that participating students experience excellence, feel musically challenged, and come away as better singers and people through ensemble participation.

Overview of the Experience

Costs: No fee is charged for this event.  Participants will pay for their lodging (if required) and meals. A list of area accommodations and restaurants will be provided, including WIU’s Olson Conference Center.

Music/Materials:  All music and teaching materials will be supplied by Western Illinois University Choirs at no charge.  Repertoire will include selections from the historical repertoire and also modern. 

Enrollment Goal:  A choir of 80 to 100 singers in balanced quartets, selected through nomination of their respective high school teachers, granted participation in the event on a first come, first serve basis. Each participating school may send no less than a quartet. (Note: exceptions may be determined on an as needed basis)

Vocal Models:  Advanced vocal students from Western Illinois University Choirs will augment the choir as role models.

Outcome Goals:  Improved skills in music reading, vocal technique, stylistic awareness, motivation, expression and health.  Skill development is primary while concert performance is secondary. 

Preparation: Participants will not be expected to learn any of the music until they arrive on the Western Illinois University Campus and should therefore possess basic reading skills.

Chaperones:  Parents may serve as chaperones, however, choral directors are encouraged to attend.

Clinicians:  Dr. Gregory Gentry, University of Colorado-Boulder, Dr. James Stegall, WIU

Proposed Schedule:

Sunday, September 10

6:00p   Honors Reading Chorus Welcome and Rehearsal 1

8:30p   Rehearsal Concludes

Monday, September 11

9:00a    Reading Choir Rehearsal 2

10:00a  Break

10:15a  Reading Choir Rehearsal 3

11:30a  Lunch

1:00p  Special Session

     Reading Chorus with the Western Illinois University Singers

1:45p  Break

2:00p  Reading Choir Rehearsal 4

4:00p  Reading Choir Concludes


 Music of the Masters:  Victoria, Purcell, Bach, Haydn, Brahms, Lauridsen

Lodging Suggestions:

Make it Macomb.com / Stay


Olson Conference Center
WIU Conference Services
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455
Renee Hughes: RD-Hughes@wiu.edu
Phone: (309) 298-2413



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