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Choral Festival to feature top high schools, renowned conductor

The 2008 Choral Festival at Austin Peay State University will feature three of Tennessees top-rated high school choirs from Memphis, Oak Ridge and Brentwood.

Slated for 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19 in the Music/Mass Communication Concert Hall, the annual Choral Festival will feature the APSU Choir and Chamber Singers, as well as the Ravenwood High School Chorale from Brentwood, Overton High School Chamber Singers of Memphis and Oak Ridge High School Ensemble Choir.
The 2008 Choral Festival at Austin Peay State University will feature three of Tennessee's top-rated high school choirs from Memphis, Oak Ridge and Brentwood.

Slated for 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19 in the Music/Mass Communication Concert Hall, the annual Choral Festival will feature the APSU Choir and Chamber Singers, as well as the Ravenwood High School Chorale from Brentwood, Overton High School Chamber Singers of Memphis and Oak Ridge High School Ensemble Choir.

This festival's guest conductor is Dr. David Rayl, director of choral studies at Michigan State University (MSU). Under his baton, the MSU Chorale has appeared at the national convention of the 2007 American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the Central Division convention of the ACDA and the national meeting of the College Music Society.

Recent appearances by Rayl include his Carnegie Hall debut in which he led the Beethoven Mass in C. He also recently led the all-state and honors choirs in Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan and made presentations at the annual meeting of the National Association of Teachers of Singing in St. John's, Newfoundland. Upcoming engagements include the national convention of the Music Teachers National Association.

The Choral Festival is the culmination of a two-day workshop and residency by Rayl.

According to Dr. Karen Kenaston-French, director of choral activities at APSU, each of the choirs will perform individually on the concert and will combine for two pieces.

“All three of the high school choirs have made superior ratings at the state choral festival, and each has many students who consistently make All-State Choir,” Kenaston-French said. “The audience can expect a high level of talent, 180 energetic young singers and a nationally recognized guest conductor.”

For more information about the Choral Festival, which is free and open to the public, contact Kenaston-French by telephone at (931) 221-7002 or e-mail kenastonk@apsu.edu. -- Dennie B. Burke