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Worthington to host choral festival

WORTHINGTON -- The halls will be alive with the sound of music Nov. 9, as students rehearse for an evening performance featuring seven area choirs.

The schools that participate in the Southwest Choral Festival -- Worthington, Pipestone, Luverne, Jackson, Redwood Falls, Windom and Marshall -- take turns hosting the yearly event, and this year, Worthington High School has the honor.

Honor choir students will arrive in the morning, working with one conductor, and all the choirs will begin arriving around noon, each working on their prepared pieces with a top-notch director.

"They started it (the festival) to give the kids an all-state (choir) experience of working with the conductors," explained WHS choir director Kerry Johnson. "The conductors we bring in are among the best in their field."

Later, all students will rehearse together on three common pieces: "Cry Out and Shout," by Knut Nystedt; "Sure on This Shiny Night," by Morten Lauridsen; and John Rutter's "Fiddler Man."

"The favorite of the kids is 'Fiddler Man," Johnson said. "It's really lively and a lot of fun. The voices actually imitate instruments; the bass section becomes like a string bass and the other voices become like fiddles."

The song has an Appalachian folksy style that will make it feel familiar to the audience, she said.

For the individual choir portion of the evening, the Worthington High School choir will perform Mozart's "Veni Sancte Spiritus" and Fonesca's "Muie Rendera."

The concert begins at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9 in the high school gymnasium. It is open to the public with an admission fee.