By Carmen Miller
(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)- Chanticleer men’s acapella choir visited IU Southeast on Friday, Oct. 4, to perform selections from their Grammy award-winning repertoire and to teach a masterclass for local high school students and IU Southeast choir members. This visit was thanks largely to the efforts of Kirk Randolph, director of the Paul W. Ogle Cultural and Community Center.
Chanticleer is an all-male ensemble choir whose mission is to present choral music at the highest level of excellence and to encourage a worldwide appreciation for the art of ensemble singing through live performances, education, recording and the creation of new choral work.
Chanticleer’s education program informs more than 5,000 individuals every year through a variety of classes intended to reach students at all musical levels. Their visit to IU Southeast was partially made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the Arts Midwest Touring Fund—applied for and secured by Kirk Randolph.
Arts Midwest is a non-profit regional arts organization based out of Minneapolis that promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership and engages people in meaningful arts experiences.
“Arts Midwest has an incredible touring grant to encourage artists to get more involved with the community,” said Randolph.
Randolph wanted to open this opportunity up to more than just IU Southeast students and share the learning experience with the community, so Randolph reached out to Jeremy A. Nichols, assistant professor of music education. Nichols then contacted New Albany High School (NAHS) choir teacher, Sarah Tubbesing.
“We can introduce so many people to the university and to the arts in our community,” said Randolph. “It’s incredible to have high school students here and, hopefully, they will think about continuing their education, if not here, at least at some higher educational institution.”
NAHS acapella choir students were certainly ecstatic to work with Chanticleer.
“This is a very prestigious group. I feel that it is an honor for our choir to be able to come and do this masterclass with them,” said Matt Landon, NAHS choir student.
Many students were excited at the prospect of meeting professional artists succeeding in a field they dream of one day pursuing.
Jack Schad, NAHS choir student, said, “This is a still changing part of our lives and to be able to work with people who have actually been through that is a very rewarding experience.”