District elementary students to join voices in choral festival
Fourth- and fifth-grade choir students from every elementary school in the De Soto school district will come together Thursday for the first time to perform a choral festival.
More than 400 students will participate in the festival at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Mill Valley High School, 5900 Monticello Road, Shawnee.
Mize Elementary choir teacher Linda McPherson said the show had been in the works for a while.
"This has been a dream of the music department for a long time," McPherson said. "This just happened to be the year the administration gave us the go-ahead."
Students at Mize, Starside, Clear Creek, Prairie Ridge and Riverview elementary schools have been practicing eight songs in their choir classes since the beginning of the semester. But so far, the group has yet to have a mass rehearsal. The kids will come together for the first time as a group at 5:30 p.m., just before the performance.
"The students are excited because they know there will be so many kids singing," McPherson said. "They want to know what it will sound like hearing that many singers do one song."
Choir teachers from each school came together in the fall to select the eight songs in the program. The songs were then taken back to the individual schools to be taught to the students. McPherson said the final selection of songs was a diverse one.
"We wanted to pick songs that the students would identify with and enjoy singing," McPherson said. "We tried to get songs that would be challenging, because they are all two-part harmony."
The program lists one song featuring accompaniment from a student drum ensemble. Another song features soloists from each school. Five students were chosen from each school to perform in the solo portion of the song.
The choir program at each elementary is open to all students. Classes meet before school for about an hour with new students accepted at the beginning of each semester.
Participants in tonight's choral festival will meet at 5:30 p.m. at Mill Valley for the first mass rehearsal. Doors will open at 7 p.m., with the performance at 7:30 p.m. The event is free.