MONROE, La. — The University of Louisiana Monroe’s Concert Choir will tour several Louisiana high schools Nov. 1 – 3 as part of the annual fall recruiting tour.
The choir will perform at six high schools in a three-day period. Members of the choir will also serve as recruiters, providing high school students with first-hand information about ULM and its programs.
Dr. Deborah Chandler, director of choral activities, believes the best way to recruit is to let the students do it.
“We don’t just recruit choir people and musicians. Well over three quarters of our choir members are non-music majors, so we represent the whole university,” Chandler said.
Chandler says the fall recruiting tours, organized for the past 13 years, are much-loved and highly anticipated by the choir members who, in addition to representing their university, also get to have fun.
“Everything is paid for, they stay in a nice hotel, they have the opportunity to sing and socialize…it’s just a lot of fun,” Chandler said.
The choir members highly value the opportunity given to tour, which they demonstrate through their effort in making these performances informative, engaging, and interactive.
“We interact with the students on-site, answering questions ranging from admissions to graduation,” Chandler said.
Chandler compares her recruiting experience to sales, saying it’s easy for her to do it because she sells a product she believes in and all she has to do is tell the truth about ULM.
“When I came here in 2004, I thought I would stay for a couple of years and then move on to somewhere else. Well, this is my 13th year, and I’ve stayed because I stay motivated due to these great students. We have wonderful faculty, we are very well supported by the administration, we are still doing good music, and we are still doing a good work,” said Chandler. “We are the best kept secret around.”
The ULM Choir has 60 members. For most of them, the tour will end in Slidell on November 3. However, 12 students followed by Chandler will travel to New Orleans as a part of the Louisiana Collegiate Honor Choir. This performance is scheduled for Friday 7 p.m. at St. Louis Cathedral.
Daily schedule of the tour:
Tuesday, November 1:
The tour starts at West Monroe High School, where the choir will perform at 9:50 a.m.
The choir then travels to Ruston, with two performances held at Ruston High School at 11:15 a.m. and then again at 12:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 2:
The tour continues at Pineville High School with a performance scheduled for 8:15 a.m.
The choir will then travel to Mansura to perform in front of the students of Avoyelles Charter High School at 11:30 a.m.
Thursday, November 3:
The choir will perform at Destrehan High School beginning at 9 a.m.
The tour ends in Slidell, with the choir’s performance held at Northshore High School at 12:15 p.m.