RIO GRANDE — Members of the University of Rio Grande School of Fine Arts’ Grande Chorale is sending nine of its members to the American Choral Directors Association regional convention in Chicago, Illinois at the end of February.
The event brings choral directors and students together to network and learn new skills and techniques. Dr. Sarin Williams, assistant professor of music, said she is excited for her students to make the trip.
“It’s a three and a half day event, and over that time our students will get to sing in the National Repertory Chorale and have the opportunity to network with professionals in the field,” she said. “This is also a learning experience because they will get to attend choral interest sessions and concerts. The trip will really help our students plan for their careers.”
To raise funds to send the students, the Grande Chorale will host Rio Rocks 2016, a concert featuring local bands from Gallia County at 7 p.m. Feb. 9 in the Alphus Christensen Theater of the Fine Arts Building.
Williams said the event is completely student organized and is excited to see her students’ hard work and interest in getting to the convention.
“The students wanted to do a fundraiser, and I thought it was a good experience for them to organize it. They set everything up from organizing the time and place to getting the bands and refreshments. I think it’s great that they are willing to do this on their own.”
Williams said Kyle Fannin, a sophomore multi-age music education major from Jackson, took the lead in the project. Fannin said music was the inspiration for the fundraiser and he is eager to see the event come together.
“There will be a lot for us to see and learn at the convention we will get to meet and work with directors from all over. It will be a great experience, but we needed to raise funds to go on the trip, which brought about Rio Rocks,” Fannin said. “Music is the main reason for this trip, so I thought it was fitting our fundraiser involve music. I’ve never planned anything before so this was a real learning experience for me. I can’t wait for Tuesday. I’m really excited.”
Jordan Lombardo, a senior music comprehensive major from Jackson, said he is a supporter of local music, and is glad he gets to be involved with the event.
“I’m excited for the show. I really enjoy watching local bands, so for me, this is recreation and academics coming together,” Lombardo said. “I’m also excited for the trip. It will be a great experience to meet other students and directors and get to learn diverse chorale techniques from other universities.”
The four local bands performing are Dark Twist; Silence the Ocean; Tusk and I, the Fallen. The bands perform either rock, or sub-genres of rock such as metalcore or rock and roll.
Tickets for the event are $5 at the door. The Grande Chorale will also be selling popcorn, water and pop.
For more information on Rio Rocks, contact Jessica Patterson at (740)-245-7463.