Choral students share their voices

On Oct. 21-23, teachers and students who teach and perform vocal music from Southeastern and all over the state attended the Louisiana American Choral Directors Association conference.

There were students and teachers of all ages and academic levels involved, including high school, junior high school and elementary students. According to Dr. Alissa Mercurio Rowe, vocal area coordinator, conductor of the Southeastern Concert Choir and voice instructor at Southeastern, there were about 75 college students, 200 elementary students, 150 junior high kids, 80 high school men and 100 high school women gathered at the plaza, all vocal students.

In their second trip to the conference, the choral program of Southeastern had 13 of their choral students to sing in the college choir in Baton Rouge. Students from the men’s ensemble and women’s choral at the university took the trip and had the opportunity to learn and interact with their musical peers.

“What I really wanted to have them do was sing with other college students from around the state who are just as good as they are,” said Rowe.

Though a competition was not involved, students were able to sing with some of the state’s best including ULM, Northwestern and Centenary College of Louisiana. Students also got to partner with renowned choir director Dr. Andre Thomas of Florida State University, who was acknowledged by Rowe for being one of the best conductors in the country.

“I think he was really inspirational for them, just made them feel like they could do anything,” said Rowe.

Rowe felt that the experience from attending the conference will do wonders for Southeastern’s choral program.

“It was great to have so many singers represented in the choir because it really shows that what we are doing here as music educators is a good thing and other high school students see that and want to come here,” said Rowe.

Students interested in joining the choir can contact Rowe at 985-549-2334 or via e-mail at arowe.selu.edu. It is free to join the choir and students of any degree plan can be involved, however auditions are required for the men’s and women’s ensemble.

“It’s not scary at all, you just come in sing one piece read a few lines and that’s it,” said Rowe. “We are always looking for non-majors; we have a few and the ones we have really enjoy it.