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KCEA All-State Choir

KCEA All-State Choir


Nine high school students from Penn View Christian Academy recently traveled to Harrisburg where the students participated in an All-State Choir seminar and concert.  The Choir, sponsored by the Keystone Christian Education Association, was held on November 17-19.

The students from Penn View Christian Academy who participated include Bethany Snyder, Kayla Lenhart, Cherilyn Brenizer,  Ashley Plank, Shaniah Heidler, Melissa McDonald, Brandon Hoffman, Darren McDonald, and Ethan Hommel.

Students in grades 9-12 had to be screened and nominated by the local school administration and music faculty.  Subsequently each nominated student auditioned for the Keystone organization.  Approximately 130 students participated from schools across Pennsylvania, representing Christian schools from every geographic region of the state.

This year’s guest conductor, Dr. Russell Shelley is Professor of Music at Juniata College (Huntingdon, PA), where he serves as Director of Choral and Vocal Studies and as Chair of the Department of Music. He also conducts the Concert Choir, Choral Union, Alumni Choir, and Chorale. Under his direction, Juniata choirs have performed in 21 states and 20 countries on more than 25 extended concert tours.

A native of New York, Shelley has baccalaureate degrees in music education and sacred music, a master’s degree in vocal performance from Mansfield University (PA), and a doctorate in music education from Penn State. Prior to his graduate work at Penn State, he taught junior and senior high school general and choral music in New York and served as a church musician. Active as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician, he has appeared as a guest conductor more than forty times in seven states.  This was Shelley’s ninth appearance as conductor of KCEA’s All-State Choir.

Shelley has received numerous honors and awards and is a member of a number of national music honorary societies.

The young people joined voices in singing ten religious, classical, and patriotic works from a variety of time periods.  Two days of rehearsals gave way to a pair of final concerts, which were performed in the capitol rotunda at Harrisburg on Saturday, November 19, at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.  Shelley noted not just the beautiful acoustic qualities of the rotunda, but also the recognition of religious history and biblical foundations upon which Pennsylvania was founded and which is depicted throughout the original building.

The Executive Director of KCEA, Dr. Ted Clater, views the annual event as one of the key components of KCEA’s program.  The Association offers various activities to help students prepare themselves for the future.  It encourages students to develop Christian character and to achieve academically.  Athletic competitions in volleyball, soccer, and basketball, as well as Bible Quizzing and Festivals in Bible, academics, and fine arts, are a major part of the activities provided students in KCEA schools.

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