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Honors choir festival open to younger children this year

01/15/2014

Move over, big kids. It’s the children’s time to shine.

The 2014 Children’s Honor Choir Festival is making its way to Jacksonville State University on Saturday, February 1, but this time with a new addition.

In the past, the festival has brought together high school, middle school, and elementary school students to participate. The children’s choir included grades four through six, according to Dr. Patricia Corbin, the Director of Choral Activities at JSU.

This is the first year that children in the first through third grades will be able to participate in the festival.

“It was just difficult for us to get the high school and the middle school—both groups—to get enough registration because they had so many other things competing for their time,” says Dr. Corbin. “But the children’s group was always big. And so I decided there seemed to be more of a need for the lower grade to have some opportunities like this.”

Dr. Corbin formerly taught music in elementary schools, and found this festival to be a way to bring more opportunities in music education to the lives of children.

“Music education,” says Dr. Corbin, “is in such jeopardy of being cut because of budget cuts and stuff like that. So this is an advocacy event as much as it is [a festival]. And I want to support them.”

This festival also gives young students the chance to experience what JSU’s campus has to offer. And through their experience, JSU’s participation will provide the school with a claim in furthering their education.

According to Dr. Corbin, many music education majors will find practical, hands-on experience for their career as they help with the festival.

JSU will also shine through the names of the individual children’s choirs, which are named after the colors Red, Blue, and Green.

“I just wanted to find some sort of neutral name for the choirs so that it wasn’t like one was better than the other,” says Dr. Corbin. “But of course, the red choir is the most advanced choir because the JSU colors are red and white. So the red choir is the oldest group, the most advanced.”

The festival will be an important event for the musical future of the participating children. When asked why people should attend the festival, Dr. Corbin responded, “First of all, there’s the cute factor.”

She further stated, “But this is to support our music teachers, to support music education, to introduce students to JSU and put a little message in their ear that maybe this is a good place for them to come to college down the road.”

The major point of this year’s festival is to help people understand that cutting music from schools is not okay just because it does not seem important on the surface, according to Dr. Corbin.

It will help the community understand that music education is a valuable aspect of the curriculum in this state.

The final concert will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1 in the Leone Cole Auditorium. Dr. Becky Halliday, Jeff Caulk, and Vincent Oakes will be directing.

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