Symphonic Choir collaborates with high school students


By Joey Bautista

Choctaw High School, Del City High School and Rose State College join Southeastern Oklahoma State University on stage in rehearsal for the Oklahoma Classical Festival.

Joey Bautista, Contributing Writer

The Southeastern Oklahoma State University Symphonic Choir went to Oklahoma City on Oct. 15 to perform with choirs from around the area in a collaborative concert. The choir joined forces with the Del City High School Choir, Choctaw High School Choir and the Rose State College Choir. The concert included music inspired and written by Franz Schubert, an Austrian composer of the late Classical and early Romantic eras.

The conductor of the Southeastern Symphonic Choir, Dr. Joshua Nannestad, put this event together in an effort to recruit more students to Southeastern’s music department. Currently, the music department pulls in equal amounts of students from both Oklahoma and Texas.

A solo performance from SE’s music department chair and voice/opera instructor, Dr. Jeremy Blackwood, started the concert, followed by a performance by voice instructor, Dr. Alicia Wallace.

The main portion of the concert consisted of a 25-minute performance of Schubert’s Mass in G by all of the students and faculty from each school, along with an orchestra. Although that length is typical of larger works, it demonstrated the amount of effort put into preparation for the concert.

Dr. Nannestad addressed the audience, saying, “Our primary goal was to get together and just make music. Our second goal was to make your students aware of the option of Southeastern, which is just a couple hours down the road.”

Mitchell Barnett, junior Southeastern choir member, enjoyed performing with the high school students. “I’m glad that we had the opportunity to provide this experience for these kids – when I was in high school we never did anything like this,” said Barnett.

On Monday, Oct. 7, the Southeastern Symphonic Choir also traveled to Sherman, Texas and performed a similar concert. It included the Denison High School Choir, Sherman High School Choir and Pottsboro High School Choir.

Dr. Nannestad hopes to continue planning and participating in events like these annually. He wishes to continue to make music with young students and keep them invested in their craft so that they, too, may go on to educate future generations.