Students take part in MU choral festival
HUNTINGTON -- Friday was the kickoff to Marshall University's annual Festival Chorus weekend, with about 200 high school chorus students taking part in rehearsals and workshops.
At 11 a.m. Saturday, they will join about 100 Marshall students from the Chamber Choir and University Chorus for the closing concert.
The experience is one that can have a great influence on the students as singersm, said Bill Glover, Wayne High School's choral director.
"They look at it as an experience that enables them to run with the big dogs," he said. "They get to sing with Marshall students."
At least three of those involved in music at Marshall are Glover's former students, and he said they were influenced by the high school Festival Chorus weekend.
Laura Campbell, a sophomore from River Valley High School in Bidwell, Ohio, was on campus last month for the Tri-State Marching Band Festival at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. But she said she views the choral festival differently because it's what she wants to do for a living.
The event is not just for students who want to major in music. Marshall freshman C.J. Casey, a 2012 graduate of Cabell Midland High School, said he wants to emphasize to the high school students that they can come to Marshall and major in any field and still participating in music.
Casey said music will always be a part of his life, but it won't be how he makes a living.
"I decided to continue it (at Marshall). I just can't give it up," he said. "But I see it more as a side thing for me, though still an important part of my life."
The other important aspect for the high school students, said David Castleberry, MU professor of music and director of choral activities, is that they are learning pieces that will be a part of All-State Chorus or All-State Chamber Choir in the spring. They also get to mingle with the Marshall students, tour campus and meet with faculty members.
"This experience is not about a polished performance," Castleberry said. "It's to sing and have a good time and a chance to find out what we have going on in music here at Marshall."
Saturday's free concert will be in Smith Recital Hall and is open to the public.