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August 29, 2008

Open auditions for ULM Children’s Chorus to continue Sept. 8

The brand-new ULM Children’s Chorus will begin this fall, open to young singers from grades two – six. Auditions will continue Monday, Sept. 8, beginning at 3:30 p.m. at Biedenharn Hall, room 249 (in the ULM Choral Room). Tryouts are open to children with no musical background, but who want to sing.

At the audition the students will be asked to sing any simple piece they know, asked to match pitches, and will be interviewed.

Students accepted in the chorus will participate in the ULM Opera’s “Hansel and Gretel” production at the end of October, and will present their own holiday concert at the recital hall Tuesday, Dec. 9. The Chorus director will be Donna Dugas, who has worked with many young singers in Monroe.

The rehearsals will take place each Monday afternoon from 4 – 5:30 p.m. The first hour of the meeting will be ongoing choral rehearsal, and the last 30 minutes will be exercises and games to build the student’s musical skills. There will be 14 rehearsal sessions during the fall semester, and the fee for the semester will be $125 per student, which includes the cost of printed music.

The ULM Children’s Chorus is considered part of the ULM Preparatory Academy of Music.

It is not necessary to call for an audition appointment, but Dr. Mark R. Clark may be reached for more information at (318) 342-3247.

More about Chorus Director Donna Dugas:
Donna Dugas has directed choirs at the elementary, junior high and senior high school levels for over 25 years. In addition, she has served as clinician and guest director for numerous choirs throughout Louisiana and Texas. Dugas holds memberships in the American Choral Directors Association and in the Louisiana Choral Directors Association.

In 1987, Dugas founded the Masterworks Young Singers, a children's choir in north Louisiana. Begun with less than a dozen singers, the organization grew; at its apex, it included six different choirs with over 200 singers.

The Masterworks Young Singers presented numerous local concerts, entertaining thousands of people in north Louisiana as well as performing at many state and regional conventions. They often performed with the Masterworks Adult Chorus and were featured on a couple of occasions with the Monroe Symphony Orchestra.

Masterworks Young Singers also traveled extensively throughout the U.S., competing in national choral festivals. They won top awards in Boston, Seattle, Nashville, Houston, San Antonio, New York, St. Louis, San Diego, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Toronto. They also gave concerts at locations such as the U.S. Capitol, Niagara Falls, the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal, Disneyworld, the St. Louis Arch, and the Statue of Liberty. The choir also had the privilege of singing the national anthem for the Chicago White Sox and the Baltimore Orioles.

More about the ULM Preparatory Academy of Music:
The ULM Preparatory Academy of Music is an enrichment program specifically developed to provide the highest quality of musical training for young artists. It is a balanced performance-based program designed to educate the whole child.

The mission is to complement the established music education programs of the northeast Louisiana region through the coordination and cooperation of artists/teachers of the Monroe/West Monroe area. The program is centered on three foundations of musical training: performance, theory and chamber music. Through a balanced integration of these three foundations and with the involvement of parent-student-teacher interaction, this curriculum encourages a life-long appreciation for and support of music.

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