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Concert caps off Marshall's Festival Chorus weekend

Nov. 04, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A late-morning concert Saturday capped off Marshall University's 2012 Festival Chorus weekend.

The choral event included about 200 high school students from throughout the Tri-State and about 100 members of Marshall's Chamber Choir and University Chorus.

Robert Wray, an assistant professor of choral music education, said the festival was once again a success because the high school students were engaged and walked away having learned a lot about music at the college level.

Students reported having a fulfilling experience and expressed a desire to return next year.

"It was a lot of fun," said MacKenzie Blankenship, a freshman at Rock Hill High School. "The Marshall students gave us so much advice. We'll be back next year."

Ashlee Saunders, a junior at Gallia Academy in Gallipolis, Ohio, is planning to come back for a third time next year because of her personal growth and the opportunity to meet other singers who could become her classmates at college in two years.

"It's giving you a preview of what it would be like to go to college here," she said.

Wray said the event is not about recruiting students to Marshall, although he would be happy to impact some students' collegiate decisions.

"It's to get the high school students to realize that no matter their major at whatever college they choose, they can still participate in music," he said.

Other schools that had students participating included Chapmanville Regional, Chapmanville, W.Va.; , Greenbrier East, Lewisburg, W.Va.; Marietta High, Marietta, Ohio; Northwest High, McDermott, Ohio; Point Pleasant Junior-Senior High, Point Pleasant, W.Va.; Ripley High, Ripley, W.Va.; River Valley High, Bidwell, Ohio; Scott High, Madison, W.Va.; Tolsia High, Fort Gay, W.Va.; Wayne High, Wayne. W.Va.; and West Union High, West Union, Ohio.