Globe Gazette
April 5, 2005

"MCHS Choir Returns To Lincoln Center"

lincoln center graphic

By DEB NICKLAY, Of The Globe Gazette

Live from New York, it's the Mohawks

By DEB NICKLAY, Of The Globe Gazette

    MASON CITY — The Mason City High School Concert Choir will perform at Lincoln Center in New York City just as it did two years ago — with a slight change. Instead of being featured with other high school choirs, the students will be part of the adult and college choir portion of the program on Monday, April 11.

It is a great honor, said Mohawk choir director Joel Everist. "Since we have earned the top score at our past two appearances, the production company asked if we might consider not competing with the other high school choirs," Everist said. "This is the first time that a high school choir has been chosen for this honor." Everist will lead 88 high school juniors and seniors on the trip that begins Thursday. The trip marks the third Lincoln Center appearance made by the group.

Students are excited, said senior Liz Montgomery, 18, the president of the choir. "I've never been to New York City in my life, and thinking of all the things we'll see will be so great," said Montgomery, who is planning a career in the musical theater.
Fellow senior and choral officer Jill Wiebke, 17, said performing at the festival "is such a great honor, being the only high school on the evening program." "It also combines fun and education — and when you are a senior, this already-close group will become even tighter."

As in the past, the choir members will have some time to be tourists, and will also participate in a clinic with Weston Noble of Luther College, internationally acclaimed music educator and choral conductor who retires at the end of this school year.
Appearances were also made in 2001 and 2003. The choir members will travel by bus.

"We view this trip as an extension of our choral classroom," Everist said. "To have the chance to share our music in a non-competitive atmosphere, while concentrating in the challenge of performing on a concert program with college and adult choirs, is a wonderful learning opportunity for the students."

The choir will offer a program celebrating world cultures, opening with "Quis Potest Dicere" from Czech Republic composer Zdenek Lukas, and continuing with "Sleep My Young One, Gently Rest," an Icelandic lullaby. "J'entends le moulin," a French folk song from Canada, is next, followed by "O Magnum Mysterium" from Venezuelan composer Cesar Alejandro Carillo.
The African-American spiritual, "Go Where I Send Thee" a work arranged by Andrew Thomas, will also be featured. Thomas will conduct a clinic with the choir members in New York. The choir will close with its signature piece, "Bandari," an Afro-Caribbean piece created by Iowa composer Ben Allaway.

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