siclhonorchoir.jpgOn November 17, 14 students from the Lynnville-Sully High School Choir traveled to the Belle Plaine High School to participate in the South Iowa Cedar League Conference Honor Choir.

The honor choir is held every other year, and the location is based on a rotation of the schools in the conference. The choir this year was lead by guest conductor Mark Babcock from Central College.

The students rehearsed with Babcock all day in a series of group rehearsals and sectionals.

“Even though there were a lot of rehearsals and we had a full schedule all day, I think I learned a lot at the honor choir. The music was harder than I am used to, but that just helped me learn more,” said junior Mikayla Meyer.

The concert was held that evening at seven. First the Belle Plaine Concert Choir performed under the direction of Brad Allen. They were accompanied by Jolene Blanchard.

Next the Iowa Valley Women’s Honor Choir performed. The director for this choir was Neal Schwarting.

The SICL Honor Choir then performed their pieces. First the women sang “And Nature Smiled”, and then the men sang “Rocky Top”. The two choirs then joined together to perform “The Awakening”, “It Don’t Mean a Thing”, “Omnia Sol”, and “Witness”.

Babcock’s Central College Chamber Singers then sang a few selections from their repertoire.

“I was really surprised that the concert went as well as it did. When you put together a bunch of high school students and expect them to learn songs in one day, it is always a challenge,” said sophomore Cassie Schwartz.

“This is the first time I have gone to the SICL Honor Choir. I really think the director knew what he was doing and I learned a lot from him about shaping and blending,” said freshman Morgan Leeman.

Babcock graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in music education from Central College in Pella and his Master’s degree in choral conducting and organ performance came from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey.

Babcock is currently in his eleventh year as an Associate Professor of Music at Central College. He directs the Central College A Cappella Choir and teaches courses in church music, music education, music theory, and choral conducting.

The students from Lynnville-Sully who participated in the choir were Misty Brewer, Mary Merrill, Lindsey Ritter, Cassie Schwartz, Amber Zurcher, Ashley Hoyt, Maddison Jansen, Morgan Leeman, Emma Lisk, Mikayla Meyer, Natalie Nickell, Caleb Hoeksema, Zac Ritter, and Deon Walker.

“I think everyone who gets a chance to do something like an honor choir should. It’s really cool getting to meet people with your same interests from other schools, especially the ones in our conference. I think I learned just as much from other students as I did from the director,” said senior Mary Merrill.

–By Deon Walker, L-S Journalism 12-09