Three Hannibal singers participate in OAKE national conference choirs in Chicago

Hannibal singers

From left, Katie Schisler, Annie Webb, Ayrabella Porter and Charleigh Grote enjoy a celebratory lunch in Chicago. | Photo courtesy of Katie Schisler

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Three Hannibal students sang in the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE) national conference choirs at Chicago Symphony Hall on March 16 as part of the national conference held March 14-17 Chicago. These audition groups include students from approximately 25 states and range from fourth grade through high school.

Charleigh Grote, daughter of Alex and Beth Grote and a fourth grade student of A. D. Stowell Elementary, participated in the children’s choir of 185 fourth and fifth graders directed by Judith Chan originally from Hong Kong. They performed eight songs in five languages in unison, two and three-part harmony.

Annie Webb, daughter of Derek and Katie Webb, and Ayrabella Porter, daughter of Jessie Mundell, both sixth graders at Hannibal Middle School, participated in the youth treble choir of 185 sixth through eighth graders directed by Sandy Knudson of Oklahoma. They performed eight songs in four languages in two, three and four-part harmony.

These students were sponsored by Katie Schisler, music specialist at A.D. Stowell Elementary and OAKE member. They submitted auditions in the fall and were selected out of hundreds of applicants. Schisler helped them prepare the music before heading to Chicago. Rehearsals, ranging in length from three to six hours a day were held at the historic Palmer House Hotel.

The OAKE National Conference brings music educators from all over the world together to sing, play and learn through the philosophy of Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály.

Next year’s conference will be held March 6-9 in Chicago. For more information about attending or auditioning, contact Schisler at kschisler@hannibal60.com.

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