Honor Choir draws students for a week of music, choreography & theatre

July 10, 2017 | Music |

Since the end of finals, the halls of the Reynolds Center for Music and Communication have been quiet — much different from the usual the melodies of choir practice or the bustle of students.

The Reynolds is coming back to life, if just for a week, as 11 high school students participate in Honor Choir under the direction of Dr. Cliff Ganus, professor of music.

“I hope they leave having had an incredible time, having bonded with the students and having learned something,” Ganus said. “I hope they leave better musically and spiritually than when they came. In fact, a lot of kids tell me this is the highlight of their summer.”

Established in 2003, the program started as a branch from Honors Symposium, with a more direct draw to students who exceed musically in their high school and are looking to bring that talent to college.

Honor Choir has seen new students and returning students go from Honor Choir to Harding Univeristy Chorus because of the success of the program.

“It’s really a great week and a great program to return to,” Ganus said. “They enjoy being with each other, learn a lot musically, and give a performance that they’re really proud of.”

During the course of the week, the students study voice, sight-reading, staging and choreography, improvisation, and choral music. In the culmination of their work, students will perform a medley from “Seussical: The Musical,” under the direction of Ganus and Jenna Thomas, director of theatre at Central Arkansas Christian School and Honor Choir choreographer.

Instructors from all areas of the department of music and department of theatre are leading the classes and sessions.

Sophomore Ty Denney attended Honor Choir as a high school student and is one of four counselors. Denney said his positive experiences from the program brought him back to Honor Choir as a counselor.

“All of these students are incredibly talented — whether that’s vocally, in dance or theatre,” Denney said. “Not only do they get great experience with music and dance, but they also get to live on campus, eat in the cafeteria and experience that great community.”

The students’ final concert will be Friday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Reynolds Recital Hall. The concert is free and will include a variety of choral selections and the “Seussical: The Musical” medley.

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