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APSU Children’s Choir performs at Opryland

By: Kara Zahn April 19, 2024



The Clarksville Children’s Chorus, part of the Community School of the Arts at Austin Peay State University (APSU) was recently selected to perform at Tennessee’s annual music educators conference at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville on April 11. In its second season, this group of 4th, 5th and 6th graders was selected alongside a high school honor choir.

The 65th annual Tennessee Music Educators Association (TMEA) Professional Development Conference is held at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville. It brings together elementary general music teachers, secondary band, choir, orchestra directors, and higher education faculty from Tennessee and other states.

The Clarksville Children’s Chorus, consisting of 36 singers from 4th, 5th, and 6th grades, was invited through a blind review process by the TMEA selection committee. Choir director Dr. Michael Chandler submitted recorded selections from the choir's fall 2022 and spring 2023 concerts at APSU. Out of all Tennessee submissions, only the Clarksville Children’s Chorus and the Ravenwood High School Honors Chamber Chorus from Williamson County were selected to perform at the 2024 conference.

Under the leadership of Morgan Sharp (Part I Section Leader) and Lauren López Ochoa (Part II Section Leader), the choir’s performance included APSU Department of Music’s pianist Jan Corrothers and music professor Dr. Meghan Berindean on cello.

The April 11, 2024 trip to Nashville was funded by the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at Austin Peay (CECA), which provided bus transportation to the Gaylord Opryland Resort for the conference. The APSU Department of Music covered the cost of printed concert programs.

About Clarksville Children’s Chorus:

The Clarksville Children’s Chorus comprises 4th, 5th, and 6th graders from public, private, and homeschool programs in the Clarksville, Fort Campbell, and Hopkinsville areas. The choir rehearses and performs engaging, diverse, and age-appropriate choral music, emphasizing artistry and music literacy.

The choir began when Dr. Michael Chandler, with years of experience directing children’s choirs and serving as a pianist, recognized a need in Clarksville. In collaboration with CECA, auditions were held in May 2022, establishing the Clarksville Children’s Chorus for its first season during the 2022-23 school year. The choir holds a two-day camp in August, followed by Monday evening rehearsals and Saturday retreats each semester. They perform at least one concert per semester on the APSU campus and have collaborated with the Gateway Chamber Orchestra, APSU Chamber Choir, and Rossview High School Choir.

The chorus plans to host auditions for the next season at APSU on May 10 and 11, 2024. Dr. Chandler aims to expand the chorus’ membership to accommodate 70 to 80 singers.

For more information about the Clarksville Children’s Chorus, visit www.apsu.edu/csa or contact Dr. Michael Chandler at chandlermd@apsu.edu.


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