Two Choral Events Planned for November

Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, Ind.
(574) 284-4579

November 1, 2011 (Notre Dame, Ind)—Saint Mary’s College will host two special women’s choral events this month. On Wednesday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m., the Fall Choral Concert will be held in O’Laughlin Auditorium (ticket information below). The College will host the High School Women’s Choir Festival Thursday-Friday, November 17-18, also in O’Laughlin Auditorium. It is the 27th year that the women’s college has hosted the high school event.

The Fall Choral Concert consists of the Saint Mary’s College Women’s Choir, Collegiate Choir and Bellacapella, a student a cappella group. Nancy Menk, professor of music, director of choral activities and the Mary Lou and Judd Leighton Chair in Music, is responsible for the planning and execution of these two events.

“The Fall Choral Concert is a chance for us to show what we’ve been working on since the academic year started,” Menk said. “We will perform pieces by American women composers between the 20th and 21st century to showcase some of what women have accomplished in music the past one hundred years.”

The High School Women’s Choir Festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day on November 17 and 18. Approximately 800 students will participate with 20 choirs from Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin. Local choirs include Penn High School, Niles High School, Lakeshore High School, La Porte High School, and Concord High School. Each choir will perform three or four pieces and receive written evaluations from commentators.

Three well-respected commentators will evaluate the choirs. They are Scott Dorsey, director of education and communication for the American Choral Directors Association; Laura Lane, professor of music and director of choral activities at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois; and Phillip Swan, associate professor of music and co-director of choral studies at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.

“The commentators will work with the students and give them pointers on how to improve their singing,” Menk said. “The high school choirs will receive both written comments as well as an open clinic.”

Choirs will perform for each other during the morning and afternoon sessions. The day also includes a tour of the campus and a performance by the Saint Mary’s College Women’s Choir.

“The festival will bring a lot of prospective students to campus,” Menk said. “It also gives Saint Mary’s a chance to showcase our choir and promote good choral singing for young women. We serve as a good model to these high school students.”

Both events are open to the public. Admission to the High School Women’s Choir Festival is free. Admission to the Fall Choral Concert is $11 for adults, $9 for senior citizens, and $8 for Saint Mary’s College, University of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College faculty and staff. College students from these institutions are admitted free with a ticket. Tickets can be purchased at the box office at the Moreau Center for the Performing Arts or online at

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. Saint Mary’s College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Saint Mary's College ranks among the top 100 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” for 2012 published by U.S.News and World Report. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.