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APSU Choral Activities hosting second annual "The Big Sing" on April 17

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The chair of the Thornton School of Music’s department of choral and sacred music at the University of Southern California, Jo-Michael Scheibe has prepared choruses for some of the greatest ensembles in the world, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and the New World Symphony.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The chair of the Thornton School of Music’s department of choral and sacred music at the University of Southern California, Jo-Michael Scheibe has prepared choruses for some of the greatest ensembles in the world, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and the New World Symphony.

While serving as the current Austin Peay State University Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence from April 14-18, Scheibe will have an opportunity to lend his experience to APSU and local high school students as the guest conductor for the second annual “The Big Sing,” a concert event hosted by APSU choral activities.

At 5:30 p.m. on April 17, over 150 singers from APSU, as well as from Dickson County High School and Gallatin High School, will join together at the George and Sharon Mabry Concert Hall on the University campus in a performance of a wide range of vocal pieces.

“‘The Big Sing’ was started (in 2014) as an idea to invite two high-performing area high school choral programs to campus to perform with us,” Dr. Korre Foster, director of choral activities at APSU, said. “With them coming to campus, we can not only familiarize those students with APSU, but also increase the size of the total chorus to that of a symphonic chorus.

“With our choir at APSU, as well as the two high schools, there will be a lot of (vocal) power involved with a chorus of that size.”

The two high school choirs will arrive on campus that morning and spend the day meeting with APSU students and rehearsing for the evening’s performance. During the evening’s event, the students will join the APSU Chamber Singers and University Choir in a performance of three choral songs.

Included in the evening’s schedule are composer Howard Helvey’s arrangement of American spiritual “Ezekiel Saw The Wheel," “Deep River,” arranged by Mack Wilberg and “Fèt Champèt” by composer, and former Acuff Chair, Sydney Gillaume.

Additionally, APSU staff member Anne Marie Padelford will accompany the choir on piano during the performance of “Deep River.”

In the days leading up to “The Big Sing,” Scheibe will conduct lessons with APSU undergraduate and graduate students, as well as visit local high school choral programs to lend his years of experience and insight.

Foster said it is an honor to have a conductor who has collaborated with distinguished performers such as Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras, Salvatore Licitra, Maria Guleghina and Kenny Loggins lend his expertise to APSU and its students.

“Through Acuff, we are extremely pleased to provide our students with the opportunity to learn from a professional of this renown,” Foster said. “’The Big Sing’ will allow our students to learn (from Scheibe), as well as offer some recognition to the work of high-performing high school choirs in the area.”

For more information on the “The Big Sing” at APSU, contact Foster at fosterk@apsu.edu. For information on Scheibe, visit www.apsu.edu/music/jo-michael-scheibe.