Singing Hoosiers Down Under: Update

Following the completion of our 64th Spring Concert, The Singing Hoosiers have been back to planning and organizing for our upcoming tour of Australia.

We have had two pieces written for us, including one by Queensland Show Choir founder Robert Clark, and have been in rehearsal a few days a week learning and perfecting this wonderful new music. Trip coordinators are in touch with travel agents, and we have been busily booking concerts and setting travel plans and booking flights and hotels. It is looking like a long flight from Dallas Fort-Worth to Brisbane… 16 hours and 5 minutes! We’ll have to get lots of sleep since we’ll have two performances and a workshop the same day we arrive in Australia! We’re especially looking forward to our feature concert in Brisbane at their newly renovated city hall – the performance space was just opened on April 6th and holds 1600 people.

Special thanks to the Queensland Show Choir and all the amazing work that the people in Brisbane have done for us! They have been instrumental in publicizing our shows and raising awareness and excitement for our visit.

Additional thanks goes out to the incredible support we have received from our Singing Hoosiers alumni, particularly the Singing Hoosiers Alumni Council. It is amazing to receive such encouragement and become closer through the bonds of traveling and the Singing Hoosiers family. Speaking of alumni, we are especially excited to welcome Jennifer Gentry, from the Indiana University Alumni Association onto our trip! She will be traveling with us as a trailblazer, figuring out how it might work to bring alums on tours with the Singing Hoosiers. Her support has been wonderful, and we look forward to teaching her our traditions and sharing memories with her.

However, this great trip would not be possible without fundraising. The students have worked to raise almost $9,000, which will be doubled by an anonymous donor to $18,000. We have also received several student scholarships that will help deserving students who may otherwise not have been able to travel with us. Even with this incredible support, we are still in need of almost $30,000. We are seeking corporate sponsors or donors, people wishing to sponsor students, and small-time donors who may find our cause one that they wish to support. The best way to help is to donate through our page on Fundly - every donation made will be doubled by an anonymous donor. The link to donate is below:

https://iufoundation.fundly.com/singinghoosierstravelaustraliacampaign

Even if you are not interested in donating, you can read about the work that the Singing Hoosiers are doing and will continue to do, and even explore some of the students’ personal pages to read their thoughts on the group and the amazing experience we have been offered.

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Australian Hospitality

Following the announcement of the Singing Hoosiers’ trip to Australia, we received a tremendous response. As students, we feel very honored to be invited, but we are also honored by the many people that have supported and continue to support the work that we do on a daily basis. One of the most unexpected things that we found was the amount of Australians and members of the Queensland Show Choir that have reached out to us through email or through our Facebook page to show their support.

Our promotional video that we sent to Queensland and posted on our Facebook page has reached almost 11,000 people and has comments like “We are very excited about you guys visiting sunny Queensland ! Can’t wait!” and “We can’t wait to meet you guys.”

Another great response was this one, from Rhonda Coady from Brisbane:

Excited to learn the Singing Hoosiers will be visiting us (The Queensland Show Choir) in Brisbane for our 30th Anniversary celebrations. The Show Choir was inspired by the Hoosiers. Since their last visit in the late 80s, hundreds of young Australians have entertained themselves and others with the kind of dynamic performances learned from their example. ‘Thank you’ from one who spent 25 years training the younger ones in the tradition.

Needless to say, we are feeling a lot of love from our Singing Hoosier family, both here and overseas, and we look forward to continuing to plan, fundraise, and promote our upcoming tour to Australia.

Check out our first promotional video here!

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G’Day Mate!

That’s right… The Singing Hoosiers are headed to the Land Down Under to tour for two and a half weeks in May of 2014. We are so honored to have been invited by the Queensland Show Choir (check them out: http://www.queenslandshowchoir.com.au) as part of their 30th anniversary celebration. We will be spending time in Brisbane, Adelaide, and Sydney, performing, giving clinics, and sightseeing around the amazing continent of Australia.

In order to make this trip a reality, our next few months will be filled with lots of fundraising and trip planning, but we’re willing and ready to take on any challenges that come our way. We look forward to blogging about both the process of preparing for the trip as well as the trip itself. Keep up with our blog & stay informed as The Singing Hoosiers take on Australia!

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REVIEW (HT): Singing Hoosiers concert – Choristers mix old and new

HeraldTimesOnline.com

SINGING HOOSIERS

Music review: Choristers mix old and new

By Peter Jacobi H-T Reviewer | pjacobi@heraldt.com
March 25, 2013
Enjoy Photos from the concert!
Enjoy Photos from the concert!

If Steve Zegree were able to harness, bottle and sell the energy released when his recently acquired show choir, the Singing Hoosiers, performs, he could probably solve the money needs for desired tours that he spoke of during the ensemble’s Spring Concert in the Indiana University Auditorium Saturday evening.

Short of that fantasy, he and his young charges made an awfully strong case for support. Listening to audience response, one can imagine checkbooks opening.

The Singing Hoosiers are surely in a stage of evolution under a director with different performance goals from his predecessor, Michael Schwartzkopf, who, not so incidentally, made a welcome appearance in mid-concert to lead current and former members of the chorus in a stirring interpretation of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

There remains a commitment to music from the American Songbook. Some of this writer’s favorite moments came when the choir jauntily sang Irving Berlin’s “Steppin’ Out with My Baby,” when Cole Porter’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” received deliciously sensuous treatment, when Hoagy Carmichael was remembered with dreamy, stunning realizations of “Georgia on My Mind,” “Skylark,” and “Stardust,” along with a rollicking, ever-faster Al Cobine arrangement of “Lazy River.” In them all, Zegree’s mastery of choral sound and training came to the fore.

So, too, the zippy vocalization of Mozart’s Overture to “The Marriage of Figaro” spotlighted his ability to shape nuance, a quality one yearns for in choral music.

In a syncopated version of “My Country, ’Tis of Thee” and a respectful but somewhat rearranged “Star-Spangled Banner,” Zegree’s penchant for change made itself known, as also in numbers where the Singing Hoosiers were encouraged to dress down and soloists to belt more than sing. There was also a move in other items on the program toward heavier amplification, which seemed to arouse approving yelps and yells from the younger in the crowd.

On the whole, the current choristers are being guided in a jazzier, rockier, more free-form direction, which may disturb those tied nostalgically to previous incarnations of the choir but follows trends that cannot be ignored if the ensemble is to be paid its proper due in today’s (and probably tomorrow’s) performance firmament.

Two other newcomers added to the evening when the IU African-American Choral Ensemble joined the Singing Hoosiers. Its conductor, Raymond Wise, unleashed the two choirs in a spirited presentation of his own Gospel piece, “I Don’t Know What You Come to Do.” Jazz specialist Ly Wilder followed, taking charge for a Wilder/Greg Jasperse anthem, “Stand Up and Make a Change.”

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2013

 

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Student Perspective: Alumni

Dr. Zegree along with the Jacobs School of Music have agreed to put the Battle Hymn in the middle of the show to help keep a high-energy pace to the show. In the past, it has not always been the closer of the Spring Concert. One of the biggest complaints for those not in the Singing Hoosiers was the wait for alumni to get onstage with the current group. That is why it has been placed right after Intermission. We will make sure those with special accommodations are handled appropriately by the entirety of the Singing Hoosiers as well as the IU Auditorium staff if necessary.

In response to those who do not believe we are upholding the traditions of the group, I would love to invite each of you to join us in rehearsal from 3:35-4:40pm in Room 404 of the Music Annex, as it has been for many years, to see what the group is like these days. Just because the setlist, the members in the group, and the director changes does not mean the values of the group do. As a senior in the group and a member of the group for 4 years now, I am personally upset with the lack of support and outreach towards the upperclassmen from the SHAA and it scares me to join such a community in 2 months. I personally at this moment do not want to join a group of alumni that throws hurtful comments towards the group without giving them any chances. We’ve worked tirelessly on this Spring Concert all semester, adding Fridays and Sundays to our rehearsal schedule, to put on the best show for you all to enjoy. My favorite part of the Spring Concert is meeting the alumni after the show to reminisce on roadshows and songs. Singing Hoosiers are a family and through thick and thin, we stick together, both alumni and current members. I beg you to not belittle the talent, time, and familial aspect of the Singing Hoosiers still in the ensemble because the group stylistically does something different than what you are used to. Regardless of whether or not you meant for it to affect the group, the reality is that a lot of the comments ARE affecting the attitudes of members currently in the group. As a future teacher, I’ve been constantly reminded that the intention behind a comment is not what matters but how other perceive the comment. I would be lying if I said it’s been an easy transition with Dr. Zegree. These comments just haven’t been helping though and it hurts.

If I can’t convince you that the Singing Hoosiers is essentially the same group just with a different frontman, then I challenge you to convince me that the Singing Hoosier Alumni Association is a group that continues fostering the values that the Singing Hoosiers upheld and STILL uphold to this day and support your future alumni, whether through your actual presence or with your words. I am not saying I support Dr Zegree, nor am I saying I don’t approve of him and his choices. I am simply trying to say the Singing Hoosiers is alive and will continue with the integrity implemented by those in the group last year, 10 years, even 63 years ago. It’s all about the music, and music never dies.

Chris Bishop is a senior, and a 4 year member of the Singing Hoosiers. He will graduate this May with his degree in Spanish education and will continue on to teach. He looks forward to meeting and chatting with Singing Hoosier Alumni at the Spring Concert on March 23rd. 

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Behind the Scenes event with Steve Zegree and the Singing Hoosiers!

Behind-the-scenes-with-Singing-Hoosiers-200A SPECIAL FREE EVENT: Saturday, March 23, 2pm at the IU Auditorium.

The Singing Hoosiers would like to invite all regional junior and high-school students to attend “Behind the Scenes with Steve Zegree & the Singing Hoosiers,” a special event at the IU Auditorium, presented by the Jacobs School of Music.

Offered at no charge to students, “Behind the Scenes with Steve Zegree & the Singing Hoosiers” will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, March 23rd in the IU Auditorium, offering a firsthand look at how the Singing Hoosiers prepare for a show and rehearse numbers for their Spring Concert that will premiere that night. Students will also be able to ask questions and interact with members of the Singing Hoosiers and ensemble director, Dr. Steve Zegree.

This is a unique opportunity that has never been offered before and we are very excited to have a chance to connect with the community and region that has supported the Singing Hoosiers for so many years.

As an added bonus, we hope that the students will join us at 7:30 pm that evening for the official 63rd Singing Hoosiers Spring Concert. We will be offering a special group discount to students from organizations like yours, and extending it to any family members that may choose to attend as well. Tickets for these students and their families will be offered as a special rate, to be announced at a later date.

To sign up for “Behind the Scenes with the Singing Hoosiers,” please click here.

Once we’ve received your information, we’ll email a confirmation, with instructions on how to get to the IU Auditorium for the very special day.

With thanks and best wishes,
Steve Zegree

 

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Student Perspective: The Importance of Leaders

It is said that in order to be happy in college, you must achieve the golden triad: get good sleep, maintain good grades, and have an active social life. Realistically, the average college student can manage only two of these things at a time. Everyone at some time in their life has been faced with choices like these – do I get a good night of sleep or finish all the work that needs to be done by tomorrow? Do I spend time with my friends and catch up or get a good night of sleep? We rationalize by saying that we won’t do well without a good night of sleep anyways, or that it’s necessary to spend time with friends for our mental health, but in reality, we’re almost always lacking one of these things.

This constant struggle for balance between school, social life, and personal care is what makes me so impressed with student leaders. In the Singing Hoosiers, we have what seems to be an endless supply of student leaders. We have our student manager, our choreographers, our production team for the Spring Concert, and a parade of others that cover costumes, philanthropy, equipment, and other odd jobs. Filling one of these roles can mean countless emails, jobs that need to be done, music that needs to be written, and people that need to be organized.

These students take on copious amounts of work that they are under no obligation to do. They aren’t compensated. They receive no class credit. They are, in fact, responsible for many of the things that happen in the Singing Hoosiers, yet they remain fairly unknown. The titles they receive are put in a program, but many people aren’t able to understand the amount of work these students put in. Without the work of many of these people, we wouldn’t have a choir. We wouldn’t be able to put on shows.

It is important to realize how much work goes into every production that the Singing Hoosiers put on. The student leaders that put in so much time deserve more credit than they will ever receive, and as students, we not only put our whole hearts and voices into the show, but also unbelievable amounts of our time and energy. Each performance is a representation of ourselves as individuals and as a group more than it is a recitation of song. The Singing Hoosiers are a time-honored, proud group, and I am proud to be a part of something that houses such amazing people, leaders, and musicians.

Student writer Kendall Westbrook has been a member of the Singing Hoosiers for 4 semesters. She is a junior from Dallas, Texas, and is currently studying Criminal Justice.

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Director Steve Zegree to Receive Prestigious Award

Pam and Jack Burks Professor of Music Steve Zegree has been invited to be  “Artist in Residence” at the 2013 Michigan Youth Arts Festival May 9-11, 2013.  The festival involves over 1000 of the states top musicians, artists, dancers and theater performers. During the residency, he will also receive the 2013 Inspiration Award. For more information on the Michigan Arts Program, visit http://www.michiganyoutharts.org.

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New Year, New Website

The Singing Hoosiers are very excited and honored to present their new website. An incredible team of people have been working to produce and develop this website for many months. We hope that this will allow alumni, students, parents, and fans of the Singing Hoosiers to get more involved and keep up with the Singing Hoosiers in new ways. Keep an eye out in the news section for blog posts written by members of the Singing Hoosiers!

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Sightseeing in Shanghai

After our morning concert in Shanghai, we had two and a half days of sightseeing in Shanghai! We thought it might be best to describe these adventures through pictures – below are the highlights!

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