Department of Music

Delta State University Honor Choir Festival

February 6–8, 2020

The Delta State University Honor Choir is a special offering, sponsored by the DSU Choirs, for outstanding high school vocal students in Mississippi and the surrounding states. The festival takes place in the Bologna Performing Arts Center, a state-of-the-art performance venue located on the campus of Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi.

Guest Conductor – Clinician, Dr. Judy Bowers

JUDY BOWERS, currently holds the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Endowed Chair in Music Education at the University of Louisiana Monroe, a position she accepted in 2017 after retiring from 27 years of teaching choral music education undergraduate/graduate courses at Florida State University. Immediate goals at ULM included creation of a summer MME program for practicing music teachers, plus the revision and expansion of current undergraduate music degree programs to reflect current pedagogies and essential learning experiences; both programs are now in place. Bowers’ teaching and scholarship responsibilities are frequently paired through learning partnerships that focus on teacher preparation goals for university students while enriching community and school learning opportunities for K-12 students and community participants; examples include 20 year middle school partnership that provided a rich learning environment for music education majors, a 3 year, life-changing prison choir partnership serving singers from across many university programs who sang each week with women residents in a correctional facility, and approximately 40 semesters of Adopt-a-Choir with area public schools. Bowers frequently presents workshops and clinics for teachers, primarily focusing on developmental teaching methods that allow for students of varying ability and training to successfully perform music together with more advanced musicians. She is an active conductor of all-state and honor choirs across the United States and Canada; in 2014 she conducted the East Africa Middle School Choral Festival in Tanzania. Bowers received multiple Excellence in Teaching awards at FSU, and has been awarded the Wayne Hugoboom Distinguished Service Award from the state ACDA Chapter of Florida. In June 2014, Judy Bowers was named a Lowell Mason National Music Education Fellow and was inducted into this society by the National Association for Music Education in Washington D.C.

Auditions for DSU Honor Choir 

For general inquiries, please contact Dr. Julia Thorn, Director of Choral Activities.

  • Arrange an on-campus audition at Delta State University for any date before November 15, 2019 by contacting Dr. Julia Thorn

Timeline for DSU Honor Choir Auditions:

* November 1, 2019: Deadline to register for auditions

* November 3–11, 2019: Auditions in various locations

* November 15, 2019: All participating directors will be notified of accepted students

* December 20, 2019: Deadline to submit festival registration fee to DSU $50 per student.

Audition Form

Print the audition form, complete legibly & bring to the audition. There is no audition fee.

DSU Honor Choir Audition Procedures (for high school teachers): 

The audition consists of two parts, both sung in quartets:

  • Prepared audition excerpts
  • Sight-singing

For the prepared excerpts, each student will be evaluated as member of an SATB quartet. (If you are not bringing any students in a particular voice part, students will not audition in quartets. For example, if you do not have any tenors auditioning, then your students will audition in soprano-alto-bass trios.) If you bring an uneven number of students per voice part auditioning, some of your students will sing in multiple quartets. (For example, if you have 10 sopranos, 14 altos, 1 tenor, and 4 basses: Your one tenor will sing in all the quartets from your school; you will select students to repeat in other quartets, except for the altos, each of whom will only sing once.) Students singing in multiple quartets will be evaluated only on the first quartet in which they sing.

For the quartet sight-singing, each student in the quartet will be given a simple, four-bar, major-key, diatonic exercise. They will have one minute to look over and practice the exercise before singing it; teachers may coach students during this minute if they wish. Students may sing on solfège, numbers, nonsense syllables, or whatever system they wish. The quartet will sing together. This will be an easy but 4 part example.

Audition Material

Cantate Domino

Oh Had I Jubal’s Lyre

Honor Choir Repertoire

Cantate Domino  Brunner  Boosey & Hawkes M-051-47356-4

Nine Hundred Miles Silvey Santa Barbara Music Press 518

O Had I Jubal’s Lyre Handel/Mauldin  Santa Barbara Music Press 476

Pie Jesu Arnesen  Santa Barbara Music Press 303

Duond Akuru Dilworth Hal Leonard 08711381

Fences Thomas Heritage Press 15/1797H-3