Mars Hill University Hosts 69th Annual Choral Festival

More than 300 high school students from across North Carolina are expected to attend the 69th Annual Mars Hill University Choral Festival, February 3-4 2017. 

Craig Jessop, professor of music and founding dean for the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University, will conduct this year’s festival. The choral festival will conclude with a concert featuring the festival choir and the Mars Hill University choir, Saturday at 4:00 p.m. in Moore Auditorium. The concert is open to the public and there is no admission charge.

Among the musical selections in this year’s concert is the world premiere of internationally recognized composer René Clausen’s “Psalm and Alleluia.” It is the first composition published in the new Mars Hill University Choral Series, a joint venture with HW Gray Publishing (an imprint of Jubilate Music Group).  “Psalm and Alleluia” will be performed by the Mars Hill University Choir, under the direction of Dr. Rodney H. Caldwell, Mars Hill’s director of choral studies.

The choral festival was established in 1949 by the late J. Elwood Roberts as an effort to improve choral music in the high schools of Western North Carolina. From its beginnings with students from about 15 schools in the closely surrounding areas, the festival now attracts more than 700 students from across the state, auditioning for the approximately 325 available choir seats each year. The Mars Hill University Choral Festival is believed to be the longest continuously running festival of its type in the Southeast.

Mars Hill University is a premier private, liberal arts institution offering over 30 baccalaureate degrees and one graduate degree in elementary education. Founded in 1856 by Baptist families of the region, the campus is located just 20 minutes north of Asheville in the mountains of western North Carolina. Visit www.mhu.edu

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