Auburn Junior High choir performing world premiere of work by university professor May 9

Published: May 04, 2017
Updated: May 08, 2017
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Students in Teresa Rhyne's select girls' choral class at Auburn Junior High School will perform the world premiere of "When I Sing," a new work by Auburn University Professor Rosephayne Powell, as part of Auburn Junior High School's Spring Choir Concert and Show, Tuesday, May 9, at 6:30 p.m., at Auburn High School, 405 S. Dean Road.

"When I Sing" was written as the eighth piece for the ChoralQuest music series for middle-school choirs published by the American Composers Forum. The series is designed to place world-class choral composers in the middle school classroom at no cost to the schools. The American Composers Forum received funding from Alfred and Ann Moore and additional donors to make the experience free for Auburn Junior High choir students.

Powell began a residency this winter at Auburn Junior High. Rhyne, the school's choir teacher, worked with Powell to engage the students in the composition process and introduce them to the composer and her work. This experience also gave the choral students an opportunity to get to know and interact with a composer and to learn about writing music.

"The AJHS Elites are a group that has a special musical camaraderie," said Rhyne. "It's been a joy to see the students work together to contribute to Dr. Powell's composition and come to understand that 'When I Sing' belongs to them–it's their song."

Powell has been hailed as one of America's premier women composers of choral music. She serves as the Charles W. Barkley Endowed Professor and professor of voice in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University. Recent commission and premiere highlights include: "Friendship," composed in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Jacksonville Children's Chorus and "What Shall I Come," composed for the St. Olaf Choir 2015 Winter Tour in celebration of the 25th anniversary of conductor Anton Armstrong, and which premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2015.

She travels the country and internationally, serving as a workshop clinician, conductor and adjudicator for solo vocal competitions and auditions, honor choirs, choral workshops and festivals.

For more information on the American Composers Forum, which includes ChoralQuest and BandQuest, go to Composersforum.org or contact Laura Krider, American Composers Forum, 651-251-2840, lkrider@composersforum.org.