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U. of I. Men's Glee Club to host choral conference

Lianne Zhang, News Bureau Intern


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Varsity Men’s Glee Club at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will host its first men’s choral conference on campus April 21-22.

“Songfest 2006” is expected to attract high school and collegiate singers from throughout Illinois and Indiana, according to glee club president Justin Swagler.

“Songfest will highlight the importance of music, brotherhood, and intercampus cooperation,” Swagler said. “We hope this becomes a triennial tradition at the U. of I, and we believe this event will further propel the excellence of not only the Varsity Men’s Glee Club, but also the University of Illinois.”

On April 21, the event will feature clinics for high school groups, hosted by faculty members from the U. of I. School of Music. A “Songfest Prelude,” from noon to 3 p.m. in the recital hall of Smith Hall, 805 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana, will feature choral workshops by clinicians and participating ensembles, including the U. of I’s Other Guys Octet. The prelude session is free and open to audience observation.

“April 22 is our main conference day,” Swagler said. “There will be clinics and music reviews held by our group and other participating groups.” Students also will have the opportunity to work with acclaimed composer and pianist Jackson Almeda Berkey and his wife, vocal concert artist and conductor Almeda Berkey.

The event will culminate with a concert at 7:30 p.m. on April 22 in Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana.

The concert will feature performances by the U. of I. glee club, directed by music professor Barrington Coleman, and men’s glee clubs from Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame, and from Naperville, Ill.

The program includes two commissioned works by Jackson Almeda Berkey, which will be performed by the combined choral ensembles.

Concert tickets are available through the Krannert Center box office, 217-333-6280 or 1-800-527-2849;