Fort Hays Singers to tour, singing, for five days in Kansas, Colorado

The Fort Hays Singers of Fort Hays State University will travel through Kansas and Colorado to sing for nine high schools and two churches from Nov. 19 to 23.

The choir is conducted by Dr. Terry Crull, assistant professor of music. The tour will visit high schools in Atwood; Cimarron; Garden City; Greeley, Colo.; Goodland; Hoisington; Lakin; Oakley; and Syracuse. The choir will also sing for churches in Canon City, Colo; Colorado Springs; and Greeley, Colo.

"Matters of the Heart" will be the underlying theme behind all the music performed by the Fort Hays Singers. Songs include "Bashana Haba'ah," a melancholy Hebrew song that means "next year" and is about the peace to come in Israel; "Harambee," a Swahili song emphasizing unity and working together; "A Mexican Psalm"; and "Ride the Chariot," which is a rousing spiritual.

Secular pieces will also be included. Among these will be "I Carry Your Heart," with words by E. E. Cummings based on his poem "I carry your heart with me"; "Two Cats," a charming modern piece about felines; "Listen to the Mocking Bird," a mournful American folk song that was popular during the Civil War; "My Mind Thou Art Confusing," a Renaissance piece; and "I Will," composed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

With these selections, the choir seeks to induce an emotional response from their audience, said Crull. The theme is based on the quote "The heart has its intelligence ... and when it is touched, everything is understood." The author is unknown, but Crull has carried it with him for years, and he said it is the motto of all the choral activities for the school year. The driving idea behind this motto is to inspire choral students to not simply perform the selections but to emote them.

"The goal of the concerts will be to have listeners catch a glimpse into the time and setting described in the music that words alone cannot recount," said Crull. Whether it is the Renaissance piece "My Mind Thou Art Confusing," the Civil War-era selection "Listen to the Mocking Bird" or a contemporary Israeli song such as "Bashana Haba'ah," any patron will surely find that delight and fullness of heart abound at the performance, he said.

The tour schedule:

Friday, Nov. 19:
Goodland High School, 10:45 a.m. (Mountain time).
Oakley High School, 9:45 a.m.
Rawlins Co. High School, Atwood, 2:15 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 21:
Christian Family Fellowship Church, Canon City, Colo., 7 p.m. (Mountain time).
First Congregational United Church of Christ, Greeley, Colo., 10:30 a.m. (Mountain time).

Monday, Nov. 22:
Greeley Co. High School, Tribune, 11 a.m. (Mountain time).
Syracuse High School, 12:45 p.m. (Mountain time) for elementary students, 1:15 p.m. (Mountain time) for junior high and high school.

Tuesday, Nov. 23:
Cimarron High School, 8:15 a.m.
Garden City High School, 9:45 a.m.
Hoisington High School, 2:30 p.m.
Lakin High School, 11 a.m.

Fort Hays Singers are listed by hometown, classification and vocal section.

BISON: Steven Cornwell, junior, bass.
CANON CITY, Colo.: Jessica Ammel, senior, alto.
CHICAGO, Ill.: Luke Fairbank, junior, tenor.
ELLIS: Vanessa North, junior, alto.
GARDEN CITY: Seth Cramer, senior, tenor.
HAYS: Stephanie Demuth, senior, soprano.
HAYSVILLE: Deanna Godshall, freshman, soprano.
HOISINGTON: Joseph Doze, senior, bass.
LAKIN: Trevor Waechter, senior, tenor.
LAWRENCE: Margaret Bireta, freshman, alto.
MARYSVILLE: Rachel Rayner, sophomore, alto.
MINNEAPOLIS: Jenny Labes, sophomore, soprano.
MONUMENT, Colo.: Alexandra Hutchison, junior, soprano.
OTTAWA: Michael Ritzel, freshman, tenor.
PRATT: Greg Jones, sophomore, bass.
RUSSELL: Calder Craig, senior, bass.

For more information, contact Crull at 785-628-4258 or e-mail him at

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