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Neighbors Growing Together | May 30, 2017

Auditions set for children’s chorus

Youth will sing during the American Gothic Performing Arts Festival events
Mar 10, 2017

OTTUMWA — The American Gothic Performing Arts Festival will once again include the Festival Children’s Chorus as part of its summer performing arts celebration June 9-23.

Students throughout southeast Iowa, who are currently in fourth- through sixth-grades, are invited to audition for the regional ensemble of approximately 35 voices.

Auditions will begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and again at 9 a.m. March 18. Both auditions will take place on the Indian Hills Community College campus in Room M118 of the Arts and Sciences Building, near St. John Auditorium.

Interested young singers and families can go online for further information and to register for an audition at www.americangothicfest.org or by emailing agpaf2013@gmail.com.

The chorus will perform a variety of repertoire during the 15-day festival throughout Wapello County and will be featured in a special Father’s Day performance June 18.

“As in the past, we plan that this chorus will be representative of our entire southeast Iowa region,” said Dennis Willhoit, music director for the ensemble. “We seek young musicians who love to sing, move and desire an immersive musical experience.”

Willhoit will once again join with Miriam Kenning, creative dramatics specialist and choreographer. The two have worked together on numerous occasions with various children’s group and are happy to collaborate in this manner once again.

“The connection between the body [movement] and singing is a ‘no-brainer’ when working with kids,” said Kenning. “It helps young people focus, and it builds a trust and confidence with one another and in their own bodies.”

Willhoit adds that it just makes better singers.

“No one is interested in stiff and tight singing. It isn’t pretty,” he laughed.

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