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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Molly Birch
Molly Birch

My name is Molly, and I am in my second year at NMU. I come from Midland, MI, probably one of the most boring places on earth. However, we do have the only Tridge in the world, so that’s pretty nifty...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Choir conference provides valuable student experiences

Students sing together, learn new skills and attend concerts.
SING YOUR HEART OUT — NMU Choir students (left to right) John Fatla, Anna Morozov, Jessica Schrader, Kassidy Bush, Ava Brege, Sophia Balzarini, Michael Buhler and Sophia Laskaris attended the ACDA conference in Mount Pleasant. They listened to concerts performed by high school choirs and practiced their own choral skills while meeting and networking with other choir students. Photo courtesy of Sophie Laskaris.

On Saturday, Oct. 21, the student chapter of American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) attended the Regional ACDA conference for Michigan in Mount Pleasant at Central Michigan University.

In Mount Pleasant, students sight-read through books of new and old music, secular and sacred. Part of the conference registration included these physical copies of over 20 choral scores. Teachers from around the state also came together to lead informational sessions. The sessions delved deeper into topics like grant writing, modality and teaching in Title I schools.

“The research presented on Title I schools was incredibly valuable to me as a future educator and hit close to home,” student Kassidy Bush said. 

The highlight of the day for many was listening to high school choirs preform in multiple concert sessions. Each concert also included a program with notes for audience members to follow along with themes curated by the choirs. The closing concert of the night was University of Southern Mississippi under Gregory Fuller.

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Students were highly impressed and inspired by the musicality of these groups. The closing concert featured a sacred mass from different areas of the world and a medley of songs from Marvin Gaye, an American singer-songwriter from Detroit who helped shape Motown music. The Mississippi choir preformed from memory and completely a capella, meaning no instruments were used as accompaniment. 

Sunday morning before driving back to Marquette, students stopped at a local diner and reflected on the conference.

“These conferences energize and inspire us to keep working towards our goals in music education regardless of the current cultural climate of education in the US,” student Anna Morozov said.

The conference gave the choral students an opportunity to meet other singers around the state, grow their own musicianship, and bring back new ideas for our fellow classmates and professors.

“Music is one of the most humanistic things we can partake in and I want to share that gift with the world,” student John Fatla said.

All of the students that attended the conference are studying Music or Secondary Music Education with a choral emphasis. This BME degree will certify them to teach K-12 music in Michigan schools. Another linking factor for the group is their involvement in one or more of the three choirs at NMU. While everyone in ACDA is a music major, not everyone has to study music to participate in choir. 

There are three options for anyone interested in singing at NMU. Arts Chorale rehearses challenging repertoire Monday through Thursdays at 1 p.m. University Choir is a non auditioned group that rehearses Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays at 3 p.m. There is even a third option on Monday nights at 7 p.m. to be in Marquette Choral Society. This ensemble is open to community members as well as students. All choirs are directed by Dr. Erin Colwitz. She is happy to answer any questions about singing with an ensemble and can be reached at [email protected]

NMU music students are grateful that the university supported them attending this conference and look forward to more educational opportunities. 

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