Every year, nearly 700 high school students from across the region audition for the J. Elwood Roberts/Mars Hill University Choral Festival. Approximately 350 students are selected for the two-day event that culminates in a finale concert held in Mars Hill University's Moore Auditorium.
Seven Asheville School students were selected to participate in the 2018 festival. Bethany Bunce '18, Allie Dent '18, Karen Mason '20, Bonnie Roy '20, Jack Temple '18, Addie Trivers '19, and Mac Waters '18 will travel to Mars Hill for the February 2-3 choral music clinic, practices and concert.
Asheville School Director of Music John Crawley says that students gain valuable experience by participating in the festival. "Being chosen to participate in a choral festival creates the opportunity for our students to join with other outstanding choral singers from across the state to sing at an advanced level," he said. "Working with nationally and internationally known clinicians also gives them the opportunity to delve into the repertoire they perform in a way that elevates the art of singing and interpreting music."
The 2018 guest clinician is Brad Holmes, the director of choir programs at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. According to the festival website, "Under Dr. Holmes' direction, the Millikin University Choir has gained national recognition due in part to six invitations to perform at national and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association. The choir's annual US tours have been punctuated by international tours to China and Taiwan, Ireland, Scotland, England, Russia, Norway, Haiti, The Dominican Republic and most recently to the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia."
Festival participants will attend workshops and learn from Holmes as they prepare pieces for the finale concert, which will be held on Saturday, February 3, at 4 p.m. in the Moore Auditorium. Admission to the concert is free, the event is open to the public, and you can read more about the festival here.