High school students to take part in Honor Choir program

Several high school students from across West and Middle Tennessee will be selected to come to the campus of the University of Tennessee at Martin to showcase their vocal talents as part of the UTM Honor Choir.

Dr. Mark Statler, assistant professor of music, said this year’s Honor Choir is a return to an earlier tradition of presenting vocal talent in the region and providing an opportunity for those students to perform on a university stage.

“It’s open to anyone; they don’t have to be from Tennessee,” he said. “High school students send in an application for the Honor Choir and their directors give them a recommendation. Then, I accept those students who I think will fit best in the choir.”

The students are notified of their acceptance in December and are sent the music that will be performed and work on it alone or with other students who have been accepted. They then come to the UT Martin campus for rehearsals on Friday, Feb. 2, and will perform in concert on Saturday, Feb. 3.

The concert will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 3 at Harriet Fulton Theatre in the Fine Arts Building. It is open to the public and there is no admission charge.

Statler said this would be the first event at UT Martin using this selection, rehearsal and concert format in 10 or more years.

“I think this is something that a lot of students enjoy because they get to do choirs at their school, but then, they come here,” he said. “We will have 70 to 75 students who will be coming, and all of them want to sing and they enjoy music. I think it will be a really great experience for them, just to have a lot of fun making music together at a high level with other high school students they haven’t met before.

“I’ve heard from the directors (at the high schools) that their students are really excited about it and are looking forward to it. I think it is an honor that they feel to be chosen to do that.”

The experience includes having UT Martin students helping with the performance and working with the high school students.

“There will be some things where the UT Martin students can get the experience of working with high schoolers as well, especially for our music education majors,” Statler said.

For high school students who would like to take part in the 2024-25 Honor Choir, an application form will be posted to the UTM Department of Music website toward the end of the Spring 2024 semester, most likely in March.

More information about the Honor Choir program can be found by contacting Statler at mstatler@utm.edu or 731-881-7402.

Photo: Dr. Mark Statler, assistant professor of music at UT Martin, is shown working with choral students from McNairy Central High School last fall. Students from across West and Middle Tennessee will take part in the Honor Choir program, honing their talents in preparation for a concert on Feb. 3.

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