Free Concert Friday caps SMC choir camp

DOWAGIAC — Southwestern Michigan College Performing Arts’ July 25-30 Summer Institute Choir Camp for 16 area high school students culminates with a free public concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the theatre of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac campus.

Guest clinician will be Dr. Joshua Oppenheim, Professor of Music and Co-Director of Choral Studies at Kansas State University in Manhattan.

“This week-long choral intensive provides a unique collaboration with SMC faculty, current students and alumni,” said Professor David Carew, SMC Director of Choral Activities.

“It’s a young group,” Carew said. “A couple of juniors and seniors, but mostly ninth graders coming in from eighth grade.” They hail from Paw Paw, Berrien Springs, Bangor and Brandywine.

“This is the sixth iteration. They load in on Sunday night, stay on campus and I teach them the selections their clinician has chosen” until the former Lakeshore choral music teacher arrives on Thursday, Carew said.

Oppenheim, who earned his bachelor’s degree in music from Western Michigan University, where he met Carew, has served as guest conductor and clinician in England, Ireland, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia.

Oppenheim, who also holds a master’s degree in music from the University of Mississippi and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of North Texas, nationally has conducted the Southwestern American Choral Directors Association Region Collegiate Honor Choir, the Southern ACDA Region High School Honor Choir in Carnegie Hall and the National Cathedral and led honor and/or All-State choirs in Arkansas, California, Delaware, Kansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

He has presented lectures and/or adjudicated in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Nebraska.

His choirs have been selected to perform at state conferences (Men’s Choir 2007 and 2012; Concert Choir 2009), A cappella Educators Association (In-A-Chord 2015) and the ACDA Southwestern Region Conference (Concert Choir 2012, 2018, 2022; In-A-Chord 2016) and the National Collegiate Choral Organization Conference (Men’s Choir 2014; Concert Choir 2019).

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