Reed choir selected to perform at multi-state regional conference
It’s like making the state final, but for a contest that features schools from seven states.
That’s how Reed Academy vocal music teacher Daniel Gutierrez describes the honor of being selected to perform at the Southwest American Choral Directors Association Conference (SWACDA). The Reed Academy Singers will perform at the OKC Music Civic Hall on Friday, March 9.
“They were selected out of a seven state region, which features Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico and Arkansas,” said Gutierrez. “Consider the amount of schools just in Texas alone. Hundreds apply, and they choose only the best choirs.”
Reed Academy will be one of two middle school choirs performing in the middle school division of the conference, which features performances by middle, high, collegiate and professional choirs.
But Reed won’t be the only Springfield choir performing. The Singers’ sister choir, the Missouri State University Chorale, will perform. Many Reed students have received private instruction from Missouri State University students, who donated their time to work individually with Reed singers.
“Having a role model for our students is so great,” said Gutierrez. “At the beginning of the year, we went to MSU with our Chromebooks and took notes about their rehearsal. They’re able to learn and collaborate with MSU students, who also get valuable teaching opportunities to work with passionate students who they wouldn’t had the opportunity to do otherwise.”
Two current and one former Reed Academy singer were selected to be members of the SWACDA Honor Choir, selected from more than 1,000 applicants of the finest singers across the seven-state region. Abigail Stefka and Elizabeth Finke were selected for grade-specific female choirs, and Theron LePage, now a Glendale High School student, was selected to be part of the grades 7-10 men’s honor choir.
Performing on a such a stage is an honor, but it’s not the only benefit to students, said Gutierrez.
“I once heard a saying that to advocate for what you believe, do an amazing job and make sure that everybody knows about it,” he says. “For the students, performing is an opportunity to advocate for what they believe in, which is music and chorale experiences. By being at this platform where a lot of people are watching, it advocates and supports what our students are doing and provides them with the opportunity to communicate with people they may not have been able to otherwise.”
In addition to leading a 20-minute performance by his students March 9, Gutierrez also was chosen to present at the conference to other choir directors on March 8.