The 7th annual Men’s Choral Festival for high school singers focuses on study of vocal technique, rehearsal procedure and performance practice, plus a minilesson with a Southeast voice faculty member, culminating in an evening concert.
Clinician Dr. Derrick Fox is the director of choral activities at University of Nebraska-Omaha. An active adjudicator for regional, state, national and international organizations, Fox is a baritone soloist who has collaborated with the St. Louis Symphony, Michigan State University and the Espaco Cultural among others.
Q&A With Choir Director Barb Lamont
How many schools are participating?
Registration is open until October 13, so I probably won’t know how many schools are participating until then. If you’d like to plug that as “there’s still time to register!” that would be okay with me! 🙂
Tell us what happens at the Festival? How does a concert happen after only a day together?
The festival is a day of singing, eating, and fellowship! We have a clinician come in who has selected three pieces and he will work with the guys to get them prepared to sing in the concert in the evening. There are sectional and full rehearsals, some snack and lunch times, and some down time for the guys to get to know each other. It’s lots of fun but also a lot of hard work. Singers are presented with the music when they arrive so there is sight-reading involved as well as targeted rehearsals to develop good singing tone and choral sound.
Tell us about Dr. Fox? What is beneficial for the choirs to work with Dr. Fox?
Dr. Fox is the director of choral activities at University of Nebraska-Omaha. His doctorate is from Michigan State University and at one point in his career he taught in the St. Louis area. Dr. Fox has worked with many different kinds of choirs, from the top choirs in universities to church and children’s choirs. He is in demand as a clinician and our singers are fortunate to be able to work with him in this intimate setting. He is slated to conduct several prominent honor choirs in the next few years, including the 7-10 Men’s Choir at the Southwestern Division Conference for the American Choral Directors Association.
Why is this an event the University holds and offers free admission for?
The University is committed to this event both as a way to get local students onto our beautiful River Campus and also simply as a way to encourage young men in our area to keep singing! The three pieces that are presented by the Men’s Festival Choir are the final segment of the 5:30 pm concert; there will also be short offerings by the University’s Phi Mu Alpha chapter as well as Southeast’s own Chamber and University Choirs. We hope to see as many area people as we can at this free concert to show their support for the arts and choral music!