Tuesday, February 19, marks the date of the annual East Central Iowa Choral Directors Association Honor Choir Festival. The Vinton-Shellsburg CSD is again pleased to serve as host for this special event. Fifth through eighth grade singers of high musical ability, character and work ethic have been chosen for two choirs and will perform in a 6:30 pm Grand Concert. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Vinton-Shellsburg CSD has 39 students participating. Eight 5th graders were selected from Shellsburg Elementary, eight 6th grade students from VS Middle School and twenty-three 7th and 8th Grade Choir students from VS Middle School. Directors Lois Martin and Gib Ziemer are enjoying working with these enthusiastic students as they prepare challenging new literature.

Coordinators of this honor choir event are Vinton-Shellsburg Choir Directors Eric Mohlis and Lois Martin.

Three hundred and ninety students from more than thirty elementary and middle schools have been preparing their music for this event. School districts participating include Anamosa, Alamakee, Solon, Cedar Rapids, Linn-Mar, Vinton-Shellsburg, Dubuque, Calamus-Wheatland, Holy Family Schools, Iowa Valley, Center-Point Urbana, Central City, North Cedar, Waukon and Tipton. The students will rehearse throughout the day for their evening performance.

Conducting the fifth and sixth grade choirs is Mr. Brandon Fraseur. Mr. Fraseur currently teaches at Solon Middle School where he directs four concert choirs and two show choirs. He was recently elected to serve as the East Central District Representative of the ICDA Executive Board.

Guest director for the seventh and eighth grade choir is Mrs. Jill Anderson, a veteran music educator at Northwest Junior High in Iowa City. Anderson is responsible for the 7th and 8th grade choirs, show choir and teaches general music, rock band and adaptive music. Jill has held many leadership positions in the Iowa Choral Director’s Association.

Accompanists for the event are Allison Bechtum and Lois Martin.

Highlighting the event will be a Grand Festival Concert at 6:30 p.m. in the middle school gymnasium, 212 West 15th Street in Vinton. Featured will be the Fifth and Sixth Grade Honor Choir and the Seventh and Eighth Grade Honor Choir as well as the Vinton-Shellsburg High School Chamber Choir under the direction of Mr. Eric Mohlis. Members of the chamber group will also be accompanying the festival choir on various instruments.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend the Festival Concert. An admission fee of $3 for adults and $2 for children grades K-12 will be charged. These fees help support current and future programming to continue these fine educational festivals for our students.

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