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 KHS Choir Program Coming Back to Life

March 11, 2009 - Knightstown High School doesn’t have a regular choir program anymore. But, a local woman, Michelle Leonard, is ready to reinvigorate the program, at least as an extracurricular activity.

Leonard, a 1994 KHS graduate and daughter of KHS Guidance Counselor Susie Leonard, said she is looking forward to sharing her knowledge of vocal performance with interested students. She has a long history of vocal performance, which began as a student in Charles A. Beard schools.

“I did have the privilege of being selected to the Ball State High School Honors Choir as an eighth grader,” Leonard said. “I participated in the ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association) events vocally and instrumental beginning in the fifth grade, and participated in solos, duets, small groups, and large groups. Of course at KHS I was heavily involved in our mixed show choir, all girls’ choir, musicals and plays.”

With that experience under her belt, along with more at the collegiate level, Leonard hopes to draw any and all students in grades 9-12 into her after-school program. Although the extracurricular choir program is now open only to high school students, she said some younger pupils have expressed interest. “I have had some students interested in the seventh and eighth grade level,” she said. “This would be a great addition and a perfect way to build the program.”

Leonard said there are currently no fees associated with participation in the choir program, and meetings will take place twice weekly in the KHS choir room after school. She also said students are not eligible for course credits.

Building a robust and enthusiastic program is Leonard’s goal. “I would love to begin with anywhere between twelve and twenty,” she said. “However, I understand that this number may not be possible at first.”

Students who do participate will begin focusing their talents on a show choir format. “With this type of choir there is a lot of dancing along with singing more show tunes and contemporary music,” Leonard explained. “I’m afraid that beginning with a Latin or Italian piece might scare them away. I’ll save those for later!” Leonard said she hopes to develop a choir that not only learns and has fun, but can compete in the ISSMA’s annual contest.

“I would love to see a strong mixed show choir and all girls show choir,” Leonard said. It would be wonderful to eventually be involved in show choir competitions that are offered throughout the state. Eventually, a jazz group and or madrigal group would be wonderful as well. ISSMA is always a wonderful experience for students to work towards goals and experience other high school groups and soloist as well. Of course, I would love for the students in the program to be involved in workshops and clinics and become more aware of the incredibly talented individuals in this area within our fine state!”


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