The choir students of State Fair Community College have been invited to represent Missouri at the 2014 national Memorial Day Choral Festival May 25 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Coinciding with the nation’s 70th anniversary of D-Day, the 2014 festival will feature high school, college and community choirs from throughout the United States in a musical tribute to America’s veterans and honored war dead.
Ron Sayer, SFCC Music Arts program coordinator, said choir members are thrilled to be the sole representatives of Missouri at the festival.
“Only one choir from each state is chosen each year,” he said. “It’s a huge honor for our students and our college.”
Sponsored by the American Veterans Center and Music Celebrations International, the festival is an event for the city of Washington and the nation designed to draw attention to the meaning of Memorial Day, said Sayer.
In addition to the formal concert in the Kennedy Center, choirs also will sing at the beginning of the national Memorial Day parade May 26. The parade will be televised live on the Military Channel and to troops around the globe via the Pentagon Channel and Armed Forces Network.
Eighteen SFCC choir members plan to make the trip to Washington to join more than 300 other singers for the concert of reflective and patriotic music directed by Dr. Craig Jessop, dean of the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University, who is also a past director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants and the Band of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
The SFCC singers also will lay a wreath at the Missouri Marker of the National World War II Memorial on behalf of the people of Missouri in thanks for the honored Missourians who have served our country.
In addition to rehearsals and performances, the students also will visit memorials and monuments in Washington, the Smithsonian Museum and Arlington National Cemetery, and will attend the national Memorial Day concert on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
“Events like this are not without their costs,” said Sayer. “Our choir members are engaged in a fund raising campaign to underwrite the cost of the trip.” Anyone interested in making a contribution to the campaign or in sponsoring a choir member can contact Sayer at (660) 596-7269 or at the Stauffacher Center for the Fine Arts, 3201 W. 16th St., Sedalia, MO. 65301.
Students planning to attend include Ciera Harman, Sedalia; Katie Hanks, Hughesville; Jakob Shull and Izabella Oswald, Smithton; Kelsea Milliron, Ty Napier, Jessica Johnson, Derek Rew, and Maggie Hoffelmeyer, Marshall; Katlynn Sliger, Slater; Emmaleigh Chapin and Matthew Long, Windsor; Payton Rath and Jonathan Highland, Lincoln; Mariah Hawk, Eldon; Cameron Randall, Stover; Taylor Bleich, California; and Samantha Dunlap, Pleasant Hill.
There also are a few openings on the trip for non-singers who are interested in attending the events and participating in the scheduled tours. Interested persons may contact Sayer for additional information.