Students from around region offer special concert in Marion this weekend

Publish Date: 04/12/2021

This weekend, hundreds of students from our region will gather here in Marion as part of the Indiana Music Education Association’s 32nd annual Circle the State with Song festival.

This year, schools had the choice to participate in person or virtually, due to COVID concerns. Because of that the onsite festival will be smaller this year. About 110 talented young singers from elementaries, middle schools, and junior high schools in Adams, Grant, Huntington, Kosciusko, Wabash, Wells, and Whitely counties will be onsite at the Walton Performing Arts Center here at Marion High School. 

All singers 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. April 17 at the Walton Performing Arts Center at Marion High School, 750 W. 26th St. 

The concert is open to the public, with capacity limited to 700 help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Tickets are $3 each for ages 6 and older, free for ages 5 and younger. Masks and social distancing will be required for spectators, in keeping with Marion Community Schools requirements and in line with state and local health guidelines. 

>> Click here to buy tickets online and print them for admission 

If there are tickets remaining at show time, they will be available at the door. 

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. In a typical year, about 5,000 students around the state participate in this annual festival series.

Elementaries and middle schools/junior highs participating in the Walton Center performance include Akron Elementary, Carmel Elementary, Carroll Jr./Sr. High School, Frances Slocum Elementary School, Justice Thurgood Marshall Intermediate, Kendall Elementary School, McCulloch Jr. High School, Mentone Elementary School, Riverview Elementary School, Thompkins Middle School (Evansville), and Tippecanoe Valley Middle School.     

After weeks of practice on their own and at their schools, students will spend most of the day April 17 rehearsing the concert selections with a guest clinician at the Walton Center. At our region’s festival, the middle school clinician is Ja'Shon Burks, director of the Lafayette Jefferson High School choirs, and the elementary clinician is Tim Cahalan, director of Logansport children’s choir, an internationally known ensemble that performs extensively.

The 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. In 2018, a high school festival was added. 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.

Here are the Marion students participating in this special opportunity:

McCulloch Junior High:

  • Chloe Byrd
  • Nathaniel Beck
  • Shaun Caldwell
  • Brooklyn Deaton
  • Noah Gilreath
  • Cambria Hamner
  • Nyla Hubartt
  • Caleb Huff
  • Sara Lootens
  • Damien Martin
  • Emma Miller
  • Halle Mims
  • Mia Moreno
  • Anthony O’Neil
  • Trista Parker-Wright
  • Aubry Roedl
  • James Seybold
  • Raven Sollars
  • Zoey Wayman
  • Xavier Wood
  • Kyliegh Yeakle

Justice Intermediate School:

  • La’Niah Abrams
  • Audrey Alsup
  • Tristen Hall
  • Gwen Hawk
  • Hannah Huff
  • Naomi Hyde
  • Maizey Kuch
  • Kate Miller
  • Ari Mims
  • Drexel Mohler
  • Jethe Paduga
  • Natalie Rodriguez
  • Arabella Stanley
  • Jaelyn Watson
  • Macey Wayman

Frances Slocum Elementary:

  • Ja'mela Johnson
  • Molly Larnson
  • Christionna Villarreal

Kendall Elementary:

  • Laurynn Anderson
  • Kyletta Neal

Riverview Elementary: 

  • Raven Baxter
  • Zariyah Jones
  • Riley Popp
  • David Servin-Sanchez
  • Calvin Shrout