EHS students take part in youth festival

ESCANABA – Seven singers from Escanaba High School recently participated in the Michigan Youth Arts Festival held on the Campus of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Matalyn Ellisor, Jed Larsen, Dennis Leveille, Justin Snyder, Pj Uhazie Amy Ryan and Cathryn Wood were members of the 120-voice Michigan School Vocal Music Association All State Honors Choir.

The students earned this honor through an extensive audition process that began in October. Twenty seven students from the Escanaba High School Chorale were selected to be members of the MSVMA Region D Honors Choir.

The Regional Honors Choir performed a concert at the Bethany Lutheran Church in Escanaba in December where they also auditioned for the State Honors Choir. Seventeen students from Escanaba advanced to one of three State Honors choirs and performed at the Michigan Music Educators Conference held in Grand Rapids in January.

Students from the three choirs were then selected to the MSVMA All State Choir to perform at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival.

Escanaba High School was one of two schools in Michigan with seven singers in the choir. It is the third time in the past four years that Escanaba has had the most participants in the group.

The Michigan Youth Arts Festival is an annual festival that honors the finest high school talent in the state in several different art forms. Students in the All State Choir rehearsed throughout the weekend and performed in the Miller Auditorium on May 11.

The conductor for the concert was Z. Randall Stroope. Stroope is an American composer, conductor and lecturer. Dr. Stroope is the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla. As a guest conductor, Stroope has directed 38 all-state choirs, and conducted music festivals in 40 states and has directed 12 summer international music festivals in England, Germany and Italy.