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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Hong Kong Exchange!

Most of us would probably agree that the exchanges with other choirs were the most emotional and moving part of our China tour. Each was touching in its own unique way, including the one with the Hong Kong choirs. It was arranged in part by Singing Hoosier alum Horace Mui, who was in the group in late 1990s. Inspired by his experience in Singing Hoosiers, he returned to Hong Kong and decided to start his own show choir there (the city’s first). This particular exchange took place at Horace’s old school, the Diocesan Boys’ School.  It is a private school on a beautiful campus for boys in grades 1 through 12.  It was actually a triple exchange; we performed along with the Boys’ School Choirs and Horace’s “Show Choir of Hong Kong.”  The Boys’ School choirs performed first…there were two of them, an intermediate and an advanced, and they were absolutely phenomenal! They have even won several world youth choir championships! They did one Chinese folk song about war and going into battle, and one song of which the text was taken from a letter written by a U.S. soldier to his family shortly before he was killed.  After the boys’ emotional and impressive performances, the Show Choir of Hong Kong took the stage and got ALL OF US on our feet with their rendition of the High School Musical hit, “We’re All in This Together” and multiple selections from RENT.  We then took the stage, and were super-stoked with the audience’s reaction.  Show choir is show choir, no matter where you are, and these kids especially seemed to connect to and enjoy the music more than anyone else on the trip. They got so excited for every song! After our performance, an impromptu jam session took place, in which we joined the boys and the showchoir kids in singing popular songs from today, including basically every single song Bruno Mars has ever released.  (If you don’t know who he is, here’s a link to his most famous tune: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjhCEhWiKXk).   It was basically a big pop culture/showchoir/ego fest, as all the non-Singing Hoosiers praised us and took pictures with us as if we were actual celebs.  Needless to say, it was great.  There were tuna sandwiches and juice afterwards, which only made the perfect day even better.  We sadly bid them all farewell, knowing that wewould soon (the next day) be seeing the Show Choir of Hong Kong again, as they were going to open for us at our concert!

-Laurel & Elisabeth G.

 

 

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Food Adventures in Beijing

Morgan Rawlings, a junior in the group who majors in Chinese, has been a fearless leader for our free time adventures. She has been to Beijing several times, and one of her “must-sees” is an evening market at which vendors sell bizarre foods like scorpions and seahorses. About 10 of us decided to go with her to check it out. See the pictures below to find out which foods we dared to try!

Haochi (yummy)

— Elisabeth G

 

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