Madison to represent MPHS on national choir

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By Katie Zerr

Shawna Madison, daughter of Shawn and Jodi Madison of Mobridge, will represent Mobridge-Pollock High School at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National High School Women’s Honor Choir in Dallas, Texas, March 12 through 16.
Shawna’s audition was one of 4,000 submitted. She was one of 300 students chosen to participate in the chorus.
She will travel to Dallas to attend three-and-a-half days of rehearsal. The concert performance will be held on Saturday, March 16, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The honor choirs are held in conjunction with the American Choral Directors Association National Conference. At the conference there will be four honor choirs that will rehearse and perform at the event:  High School Mixed, Junior High/Middle School, Community Youth/Boy’s Choir, and Women’s Choir.  Shawna will perform with the women’s choir.
The Honor Choir will perform “O Frondens Virga,”  by Drew Collins; “Flying Fogarty,”  by Rachel DeVore; “Deepest Heart,” by David Childs; “She Who Makes Her Meaning Clear,” by Joan Szymko; “El Vito,” arranged by Joni Jensen; and “Blessing,” by Katie Moran Bart.
Shawna, a junior, is currently fundraising in order for her to be able to attend the events as the school district is unable to help with the costs.  She said her goal is to raise enough money so that Lisa Zahn, choral director at MP, could also go and attend the Choral Director’s Conference and Shawna’s performance.  She is currently selling butter braids, pastry puffins, and raffle tickets for a shotgun.
“When I received an email earlier this fall from the South Dakota American Choral Directors Association with the honor choir details, I realized that the audition was no more difficult than the South Dakota Junior Honor Choir audition, so I thought that some of my students might have a chance of being selected,” said Zahn. “I’m so proud of Shawna and excited that she has this rare opportunity to make music with outstanding singers from all over the country! Music can take you places you never even dreamed of. This is an experience she will never forget.”
Zahn said South Dakota students match up well with music students nationwide.
“As a music teacher in rural South Dakota, I often wonder how music students in our area measure up to students in other areas of the state or the nation. It’s gratifying to know that students in small towns or rural areas do have what it takes to be chosen for a national performance ensemble.”
The 2013 High School Women’s Honor Choir is under the direction of Dr. Sigrid Johnson, an Artist in Residence on the voice and choral faculty at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. She is also Associate Conductor for VocalEssence, a Minneapolis-based professional choral ensemble.

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