In 1996, Dr.
Ashley Deans inspired the newly hired music director, Phyllis Khare,
to develop a choir that could be ready at a moments notice to sing for visiting
dignitaries. This non-auditioned choir, Maharishi School Festival Singers,
included students in all grades. Back when the girls worn dark blue jumpers and
the boys worn red ties, they sang for visiting teachers, VIPs and Dome
This year, 2001/02 is the sixth year for
Maharishi School Festival Singers. There are so many students who want to be
in the choir it’s been split into four different choirs; Festival
Singers (unison, grades 3-4), Concert Choir (2-part
singing, 5th and 6th grade), Ensemble Choir
(students interested in ensemble competition, grades 7-8), and Middle
School Choir (solo, 2 and 3 part singing, grades 7-8).
Over the years the Maharishi School
Festival Singers and Concert Choir have gained the reputation for fine singing
and beautiful stage presentation. They have sung in the Dome for several events,
for school Holiday programs, parents concerts, and as an invited guest choir for
the MUM Chamber Singers annual community program for the past three years. They
have sung in a local nursing home, an out-of-town community fund-raising event,
and with a small school orchestra. They have opened the Fairfield Bike Fest for
the past four years and many Pioneer basketball games with rousing renditions of
“The Star-Spangled Banner.”
They have recorded songs for radio station KHOE, and for projects that have aired on the Maharishi Channel. Many of the
members have auditioned and been selected for local, regional, and state honor
choirs. Maharishi School has been represented by these fine singers in all these
honor choirs; GOVAP, OPUS, and Southeast Iowa Honor Choir. Several Concert Choir
members joined an adult community choir this past summer and sang a Haydn Mass
with 50 other amateur and professional singers.
In brief, these choirs give the students an
opportunity to expand their musical abilities and sing for a larger
audience. They enjoy the effect of group singing to create happiness in
themselves and their world. They are a gift to the school.