Chorale Honored With Prestigious Invitation

Central Methodist University’s Chorale singing group continues to wow its audiences across Missouri and beyond.

The Chorale has been invited to represent the University at the 81st annual Missouri Music Educators Association (MMEA) Workshop/Conference, “Appear and Inspire,” at Tan-Tar-A in Osage Beach in January, 2019, according to Claude Westfall, director of choral activities and associate professor of music at CMU.

“For a choir, band, or orchestra, this is like a state title,” Westfall said. “This is an amazing victory that CMU has been chosen for our sound even against much bigger schools.”

According to Westfall, Central Methodist competes against larger institutions such as UMKC College of Arts and Sciences in Kansas City, Webster University and Washington University, both in St. Louis, Missouri State University in Springfield, University of Missouri in Columbia, and others.

Central’s Chorale has not been invited to perform at the event since 1984, Westfall said.

“The Chorale has continually grown,” he said. “They began really believing in themselves and developed the pride to become better.”

Their application was one of nearly 200 submitted for the opportunity to perform.

Also representing a Central Methodist musical experience at the MMEA Conference will be two Central alumni, who are directors of ensembles from Missouri high schools invited to perform. 
Dustin McKinney (’08) will be directing the Kearney High School Chamber Choir, and Chuck Moore (’91) will direct the Sullivan High School Symphonic Band.

In addition to the Chorale’s impressive invitation from the MMEA, they have also been invited to perform at the National ACDA Convention in March, 2019, as one of six choirs in Missouri to sing for the 40th anniversary celebration of the Robert Ray Gospel Mass, according to Westfall.

“What makes me so proud of the Chorale is the individual special traits – each and every student loves to perform. They each sing every day from their hearts,” Westfall said.

The Chorale goes on tours during the academic year, and has sung at impressive locations such as the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., the Nashville Symphony, and many United Methodist churches across the nation – gaining more acclaim each year.

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