ST LOUIS YIH DAY
On Tuesday, over 500 high school boys entered the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Missouri- St. Louis. Every year Jim Henry acts as the clinician for the day, and we usually have local groups act at the teaching ensembles and section leaders. Sometimes it's my quartet, Progression, or Vocal Spectrum, or men such as David Wright, and Rich Knight. This year, we decided to give the kids a great experience, and we got the Florida half of Crossroads to come up for a few days.
The students start their day in the hall with Jim warming them up and teaching them great vocal techniques. They received two pieces of music, and after warm-ups, Crossroads stepped in to sing the first song that they would learn, "Hello, Mary Lou". As simple as the song is, Crossroads seems to step it up a notch, and the kids when crazy for them!. They then split into sections for awhile, and came back for a full group rehearsal for a half hour. The second song was "Irish Blessing". Half of the kids split into sectionals while the other half eat lunch, and then they switch. After a final group rehearsal, it's time for a small concert.
Because it's such a large group, and it's all during they day, we don't do a group concert that evening. Just at the end of the day so the kids can get on their buses and back to their schools. Both of the UMSL choral groups perform, as well as the head of our private voice studio, Dr. Stella Markou. Crossroads then sang about 5 songs for the guys, and out the door they went. You could just feel the energy pouring from the kids as the walked out of the doors!
Wednesday comes around, and it's time to welcome the girls. It's always been a little more difficult to get a women's ensemble to act as the teaching group.We've had various local quartets over the years, but nothing like Vocal Spectrum or anything like that. This was the year for that to change. We got a grant through the AIC, and flew in The Buzz, 2005 Sweet Adeline International Champions! These ladies are like nothing I've ever seen before. The way they connected with the girls, and got them excited was unbelievable. I also think it's save to say, that they are absolutely the best women's quartet singing today!
In order to try and help defray some of the costs of flying in all the quartet members, Crossroads and The Buzz put on a joint show on Tuesday evening. Emails over the past couple of weeks went out to all local barbershop chapters, high schools, and colleges. There was a great turnout, and both quartets put on amazing show sets!
You can check out the pictures that I took of the two days by clicking on the following link.
Although our event is a success year after year, we hate that we have to cap it and turn away students and schools. So we're starting planning on a week-long event to take place on campus next summer that will include both guys and girls. They'll spend the week learning music, vocal technique, barbershop history, and many other things. Then we'll put on a huge concert at the end of the week with quartets, AOH, and our plans are to bring in a high profile vocal group as well. The possibilities are endless!
Gotta love a successful YIH day!
2010 Central States District Quartet Champions
Ambassadors of Harmony, assistant tenor section leader, board member at large
2009 International Chorus Champions
Central States District
VP- Youth in Harmony (2012)