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A Brief History of the Maharishi School Festival Singers and Concert Choir

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 celebrations.

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.

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