Three Student Vocalists Perform with the Missouri All-State Choir

Congratulations to three outstanding MICDS student vocalists – Nick Clifford ’20, Akshay Patwardhan ’20 and Elena Thomas ’20 – selected by audition to participate in the prestigious 192-voice Missouri All-State Choir.

The Missouri Music Educators Association held its 82nd annual In-Service Workshop/Conference from January 22-25, 2020, at Tan-Tar-A Conference Center in Osage Beach, Missouri. Music educators from throughout the state – including our very own MICDS music faculty members Dana SelfBecky Long and Josh Baumgartner—came together for concerts, workshops, clinics, exhibits and music reading sessions. The grand finale of the conference each year is marked by the performances of the Missouri All-State Choir, Orchestra, Band and Jazz Band.

The Missouri All-State Choir program included: America the Beautiful by John Ness Beck, Forever Music by Missouri composer Mark Hayes, Sing Unto God by G.F. Handel, Alleluia by Ivo Antognini, I Got A Song by Colin Lett, I Sing Because I’m Happy by Rollo Dillworth, and We Remember Them by Missouri composer and composer of the MICDS Alma Mater, Susan LaBarr. The choir was under the direction of Dr. Jason Max Ferdinand, Director of Choral Activities at Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama.

Thomas shared, “All-State was one of the best experiences of my life. It’s one thing to be a part of an amazing choir – and it really was incredible – but being with a group of people you’ve never really met and being able to bond over something that you all love to do was something I had never really felt before. I’ve never been able to leave a rehearsal with friends and still be singing all the songs in perfect harmony while we walk to lunch. Dr. Ferdinand was probably one of the best parts as well. The way he interacted with us made every change and every repetition interesting and fun instead of tedious. The entire experience in Tan-Tar-A definitely hammered in how important music is to me, and I’m so grateful I got the opportunity to go.”

Patwardhan said, “All-State was truly a life-changing experience for me. One thing that I learned was that you don’t have to sing loud, but sing softer but more beautiful to captivate the audience. The best choirs are the ones that don’t overpower the songs but instead work to draw in their audience with the music.”

Congratulations to our Missouri All-State Choir vocalists!