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K-State Today

June 23, 2015

Summer Choral Institute recognized at State Day of Singing

Submitted by Jennifer Tidball

Gov. Sam Brownback has recognized Kansas State University's Summer Choral Institute by proclaiming Friday, June 26, as the first State Day of Singing.

To celebrate the proclamation, Summer Choral Institute students will spend June 26 in Topeka to perform and to promote music education. The students will join music educators, state representatives and individuals across the state in performing the state song on the steps of the State Capitol building in Topeka.

The June 26 schedule of events includes:

12:15 p.m. — Celebration in the Capitol rotunda, including the proclamation and a performance

12:45 p.m. — Performance on the south Capitol steps

3:30 p.m. — State Day of Singing concert at Grace Episcopal Cathedral in Topeka

The concerts are free and open to the public. Students also will perform a free concert at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at First United Methodist Church in Manhattan.

This year marks the 37th Summer Choral Institute, which is sponsored by Kansas State University and the Master Teacher Institute for the Arts. The institute is directed by Julie Yu, associate professor of music; Joshua Oppenheim, associate professor of music; and Bryan Pinkall, assistant professor of music. This year's institute is from June 22-27.

"The students at SCI represent some of the best and brightest young musicians from across the United States," Pinkall said. "Only because of help of many volunteers, staff and educators are we able to provide this great leadership and musical opportunity. We regularly hear from our institute students that SCI has been a life-changing experience. I am so excited to share our program as part of the State Day of Singing at the Capitol; it will be a unforgettable educational and musical experience."

The State Day of Singing proclamation contains language promoting the benefits of music education and leadership education, Kansas' musical heritage, and specifically honors both Kansas State University and the Master Teacher Institute for the Arts for providing free music and leadership education every year through the Summer Choral Institute.

"I've been thrilled to be a part of this institute," Oppenheim said. "It's inspiring and affirming to participate and observe how these students are forever changed in a dramatic and positive way after what they experience here."

The Summer Choral Institute was created by the Master Teacher Institute for the Arts in 1979 and has provided thousands of young singers with free leadership and music training. Every year, 40 of the nation's top high school sophomore and junior choral music students spend a week a Kansas State University participating in an intensive week of rehearsals, master classes, private coachings, musical performances, lectures, piano classes, as well as team-building and character building exercises.

"The SCI is a choral music institute like no other," Yu said. "The majority of the singers are Kansas students, but we also have a healthy representation from about six to eight states each year. Once selected, students receive a full scholarship to attend the institute where they create music on the highest artistic level and have opportunities to develop qualities in leadership and service."