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College choir to perform in L.A.

Danielle Lerner | Wednesday, February 2, 2005

For the first time in College history, the Saint Mary’s women’s choir will perform alongside the top choirs in the nation this week at the American Choral Directors Association National Convention in Los Angeles, Calif. Under the guidance of Nancy Menk, conductor and music department chair at Saint Mary’s College, the choir will stay in Los Angeles Feb. 2-6 and perform three times, including at the new Walt Disney Concert Hall. While the choir has enjoyed many prestigious performances during the years, including national tours, state conventions and concerts at Carnegie Hall in 1999 and 2001, this week’s Convention tops the list for both faculty and students.”This is truly the first time the College has gone to the American Choral Directors Association National Convention,” said junior and three-year choir member Kathryn Karr. “It is by far a once in a lifetime opportunity.””It is a lot of fun to get to such a refined level,” said Menk. “We don’t often get to sing for thousands of people who really know what we do.”The choir submitted three unidentified recordings to the Association in order to be considered for the Convention. Chosen solely on talent, the 42-member choir will be one of the honored few in the women’s group. “I think we have a good program, with lots of balance,” said Menk. “I wanted music we knew very well in order to give the best performance we could.”Far from the small, intimate performances of the choir, the Convention will reveal them to more than 1,000 conductors, professors, Association members and singers. Anticipation continued to build as the choir finished up its final rehearsals in preparation for today’s departure. Kathleen Douglass, a senior and four-year choir member, is looking forward to the unique experience.”We are all so excited to go to Los Angeles and perform with the other groups,” said Douglass. “We hope people not only recognize our strong music department, but also the talent that comes from this school.”Junior and three-year choir member Lauren Condon feels these performances set the tone for the rest of the year. “This is such a great bonding experience for the choir and it will make the rest of our performances so much better,” said Condon. “It sets such a high standard for everything else we do this year.”Karr agreed. “This will be great for Saint Mary’s,” said Karr. “True, many people don’t know what a great program we have, but additionally, we will reflect the positive image a Saint Mary’s woman always presents.”