Article Written by Savannah Reinke.

Each year the St. Cloud State Music Department hosts an annual Choral Connections Concert. This event brings high school choir departments around the area together with the St. Cloud State University singers for one night of musical bliss. By connecting the different ages of singers, it helps the younger generations of music realize how they can continue their music careers after high school.

The Choral Connections Concert was created in the Fall of 2007 by Dr. Matthew Ferral. According to the St. Cloud Choir Director, Dr. Lara M. Moline “This concert provides students with a way to see how you can participate within college in music. While we offer many ensembles within the music department, they need to see that you don’t have to be a music major to participate and you can keep singing or playing after high school. We also enjoy highlighting music after high school as a way to continue to be a part of a community of folks who love music as much as you do!”

Many members of the St. Cloud State Concert and Chamber singers are non-music majors. Two members of the group are PSEO students. However, that does not stop them from getting their college degree while still enjoying the extracurriculars. Three high school choirs joined the St. Cloud Concert and Chamber singers, St. Cloud Cathedral, Sauk Rapids, and Sartell High School.

Brandon Nordhues, Director of Sartell High School’s Concert Choir said, “I think it’s good for them to see college students from many majors and disciplines still get together to make music on campus. I know many of our college-bound students already plan on being involved in choir even if they are not planning to be a music major.”

Nordhues has been attending this event since its start in 2007. He explains that over the years he has seen many concerts within the corridors of Ritsche Auditorium, but the benefits continue to remain the same. “Our students always enjoy hearing what other schools are doing. We always have a good conversation the next day in class about things we noticed, enjoyed, learned, etc.”

Looking back on their own experiences, even the college students of St. Cloud wish they would have had this opportunity in high school. Madison Hofer, a junior singer, stated, “Choral Connections is such a fun experience for both undergrad and high schoolers and I wish I would’ve had the opportunity in high school, but glad to be a part of it in college.”

This event allows students to see what other music areas other students in high school and college choirs in the area are learning. As the years change, the genres do as well. From smooth jazz to cultural chants, you can always expect a change in musical pace. This event also gives the St. Cloud State Choral Ensembles to interact and potentially recruit students to the music program.

“I think the Choral Connections concert is important for many reasons! It’s a great recruitment tool, our choirs here at SCSU have been dwindling slightly so reaching out and making music with other schools to increase recruitment is great but it’s not everything to us! I know like me, a lot of others in the choir just enjoy making music together and having a collaborative and fun class twice a week!” Hofer said.

The event shows no sign of stopping, and a hope for expansion on the road ahead. “We would love to see this event expand into inviting more choirs from the Central MN area. These schools have participated in the event for many years. We would love to do a rotation with the choir programs in the area.” said Dr. Moline.

Choral Connection is a concert that truly does connect all generations of music and this event continues to show your music can live on, no matter where life takes you.

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