On Feb. 10, hundreds of students from the region will gather in Marion as part of the Indiana Music Education Association’s 35th annual Circle the State with Song festival.
Nearly 250 talented young singers from elementaries, middle schools, and junior high schools in Adams, Grant, Huntington, Kosciusko, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley counties will spend the day working with guest clinicians — a chance to build their skill as singers — and then will put on a special performance together.
This concert will start at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 10 on the main stage at the Walton Performing Arts Center at Marion High School, 750 W. 26th St.; it is open to the public, and tickets are $5 (free for ages 5 and younger). Tickets are available at the door starting at 3 p.m. Feb. 10 (half an hour before the show), and are available online here - select “Area 4 - February 10, 2024 - Marion”. (Tickets purchased online must be presented for admission.)
The festival, which is held at several different sites around the state, exposes young singers to new music and gives them the chance to have a choral experience quite different from the regular school class or performance. Altogether, about 5,000 students around the state typically participate in this annual festival series.
Elementaries participating in the Marion performance include Bluffton Harrison, South Adams, Manchester Intermediate, Northview, Justice Intermediate, St. Paul Catholic, Kendall, and Frances Slocum, and middle schools/junior highs participating include Elwood Junior-Senior High, Manchester Junior-Senior High, McCulloch Junior High, RJ Baskett Middle, South Adams Middle, St. Paul Catholic, Tippecanoe Valley Middle, and Wabash Middle.
After weeks of practice on their own and at their schools, students will spend most of the day Feb. 11 rehearsing the concert selections with a guest clinician at Marion High School. At our region’s festival, the middle school clinician is Joyce Click, retired choral director from North Central High School in Indianapolis, and the elementary clinician is Melissa Garcia, with Indianapolis Children's Choir.
Circle the State with Song began in 1989 as a choral festival for elementary students. In 1991 it expanded to middle school and junior high students. Not only does it provide students the chance to sing challenging choral pieces with peers from around the area, it also provides music teachers an opportunity to observe and learn from the clinicians, and to network with colleagues from around the area.
IMEA’s mission is to support and advance music education in Indiana by representing the united interest of music educators and students and by providing professional leadership and service in music education to enhance the arts in the schools.