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Clearwater Choral Festival set for Oct. 8-9

RELEASED: Oct. 5, 2010

OshkoshChorale photo

The Oshkosh West High School Chorale will perform at the Clearwater Choral Festival
Oct. 9 by special invitation.

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire music and theatre arts department will present the 19th annual Clearwater Choral Festival Oct. 8-9, under the direction of Dr. Gary Schwartzhoff, director of choral activities, and Dr. Alan Rieck, conductor. The festival features UW-Eau Claire's premier choir ensembles and the best of the area's high school student vocalists.

The A Cappella Extravaganza will kick off the festival at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 in Schofield Auditorium. The concert will showcase students in six popular a cappella groups: The UW-Eau Claire Chamber Choir, Girls Night Out, Audacious, Fifth Element, Impromptu and Innocent Men.

Events Oct. 9 will begin at 1:15 p.m. with the UW-Eau Claire Voice and Choral Area Concert in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center. The Women's Concert Chorale will perform, directed by Dr. Alan Rieck, associate professor of music, with accompaniment by senior Melissa Opitz, Saukville, and junior Alison Wheeler, Viroqua.

The Singing Statesmen, under the direction of Dr. Gary Schwartzhoff, professor of music, will follow. The group will perform a variety of selections, including a song composed by Z. Randall Stroope, a former UW-Eau Claire artist-in-residence; sacred music; and Toby Keith's "American Soldier."

The Festival Concert will take place at 7 p.m. in Gantner Concert Hall. The UW-Eau Claire Concert Choir, also conducted by Schwartzhoff, will be assisted on piano by junior Alexander Jacques, Oneida, and sophomore Andrew Steffen, New Richmond.

The evening will also feature a performance by the Oshkosh West High School Chorale, under the direction of guest conductor Herb Berendsen. Selections will also be directed by UW-Eau Claire student members of the Music Educators National Conference, with piano accompaniment by Derek Machan, Waterford High School. Student directors include senior Benjamin Bedroske, Marshfield; senior Alicia Fitchett, Green Bay; senior Alex Collie, Menomonie; and senior Kristin Borski, Wisconsin Rapids.

The Clearwater Festival Choir, composed of outstanding senior vocalists from 28 high schools from Wisconsin and Minnesota, will close out the concert. Dr. Verle Ormsby, UW-Eau Claire senior lecturer of music, will provide French horn accompaniment for one of the selections.

Vocalists will audition at the festival to perform solos during the concert. The top three finalists, selected by members of the university's voice/choral area, will perform and also receive a scholarship should they attend UW-Eau Claire and participate in a choral ensemble. These scholarships are supported by funds from the Ralph and Peggy Hudson Choral Fund.

Tickets, which are $5 for general admission for A Cappella Extravaganza, are available at the University Service Center, 715-836-3727 or 800-949-UWEC. All other Choral Festival events are free and open to the public.

Tickets for all campus events also are sold at the Service Center's ticket office in the main lobby of the Haas Fine Arts Center. The Haas Center ticket outlet is open from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. weekdays and closed during holidays and academic breaks.

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KJ/RD/DW

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