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SMC Choir Concert Welcomes Eastern Michigan University

Published on February 26, 2024 - 12 p.m.

Southwestern Michigan College’s winter choir concert Friday, March 1, “A Jubilant Song,” shares the bill with a guest choir from Eastern Michigan University under the direction of Dr. Brandon Johnson.

SMC is the next-to-last stop on EMU’s 2024 Michigan Tour, which began Feb. 22 at West Ottawa High School and ends March 2 at Chippewa Valley High School.

In between, Eastern sang at Reeths Puffer High School, Jenison High School, Hope College, Escanaba High School, Northwestern Michigan College and Traverse City Schools.

SMC’s portion of the concert features multiple ensembles, including Chorllennium, performing music by American composers and arrangers, including Rene Clausen, Eric Whitacre, Steve  Zegree and Randall Thompson.

“EMU will do their full program during the day with us,” Director of Vocal Activities David Carew said. “They’ll do an abridged version in the choir concert with us. This is their first time here. One of Brandon’s seniors sang at our camps for years,” Catherine Lietz from Buchanan.

“(Director of Bands) Mark Hollandsworth is an EMU alum,” Carew added. “The Friday clinic, we have two high schools, Lawton and Buchanan, coming in, along with our students. They’ll sing a song for Brandon that he’ll critique and SMC students will sing and he’ll work with them, and they’ll perform for us in that intimate, relaxed setting. We have several students looking into music therapy, and Eastern’s got a great therapy program.”

Carew likens Chorllennium, which combines the words chorus and millennium, to “my Brass Band.” It is a professional choral collective comprised of the area’s top choral educators and singers with extensive vocal training, including SMC alumni.

They do about three concerts a year and provide vocal support to the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra.

The free concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the theatre of the Dale A. Lyons Building on SMC’s Dowagiac campus.