A Day at Acappellooza Fall

Acappellooza Fall is a two-day field trip for high-schoolers from all over Missouri and the Metro-East. Dr. Jim Henry and the Ambassadors of Harmony In partnership with the Touhill Performing Arts Center have been putting this together for 15 years, and it is hosted at the University of Missouri St. Louis, with lots of help from the University Singers. Today was the boys session, and tomorrow is for the girls.

Dr. Jim Henry - September 20, 2016

Dr. Jim Henry - September 20, 2016

The first thing this morning, over 550 boys gathered together and Dr. Henry ran through the songs with them. This year, the boys sang 'Seize the Day' and 'Silhouettes'. The girls will be singing 'Nothin' Gonna Stumble My Feet' and 'Yesterday'.

This is my second year in this district and am looking to give my students some great experiences in all aspects of choral music. I’ve been to this event once with a different group a few years ago and my students (and I) LOVED the experience. I’m looking forward to giving my girls this same experience this year!
— Bethanie Ward, Vocal Music Teacher at Clinton High School

After running through the songs with some help from the University Singers, the boys broke off into either lunch or sectionals with excellent coaches. This year the boys were led by Tim Waurick, David Wright, Michael Wegener, and Jason Martin.

Tim Waurick - Tenors

Tim Waurick - Tenors

Michael Wegener - Lead

Michael Wegener - Lead

Jason Martin - Bass

Jason Martin - Bass

David Wright - Baritones

David Wright - Baritones

I’ve been bringing students since the beginning [2002]. Initially it was every year, but as it has become more popular, we’ve only been able to get in every other year. It’s funny—initially the kids aren’t too excited about coming, but they agree to it because it’s a day off school. Then they get here and start singing with all their peers and they get excited, and then by the end of the day they are eager to make some music!
— Missey Graville, Vocal Music Teacher at Valley Park High School

The kids can't resist an unoccupied piano after lunch, and when over 500 singers are in close proximity, of course an impromptu song is sung! (The exuberance is just great, even if it's a song that wasn't on the agenda and isn't too polished).

Then the singers gathered again under the skillful hand of Dr. Henry and sang their songs and enjoyed a show featuring Vocal Spectrum, UMSL University Singers, and the Ambassadors of Harmony!

Now that's a day well-spent!

Text & photos by David Revelle



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