Choir students get unique experience

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More than 60 current MHS choral students along with recent graduates performed at Concerts on the Square with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra on Wednesday, Aug. 2 in Madison.

A crowd more than 45,000 heard the choir the Mozart Requiem Lacrimosa, Rex Tremendae and Recordare Pie Jesu. The orchestra and choir were under the direction of Maestro Andrew Sewell. The concert also featured music by Dvorak, Jenkins and concluded with Beethoven's 5th Symphony.

"It was a very special way for those graduating seniors to say farewell to their high school choral program,'' MHS choral director Justin Wilder said.

The choral students had four practices leading up to the concert. They also had a dress rehearsal with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra on Aug. 1 at Madison College's Mitby Theater.

"As you can imagine, it is difficult to get students together in the summer, but the ones who participated were incredibly dedicated,'' Wilder said.

The MHS choirs have performed at WCO's Holiday Pops Concert at the Middleton Performing Arts Center for several years. Wilder said the concert is being discontinued this year due to scheduling issues but he and Sewell discussed how to continue the partnership and agreed to have the choir students perform at Concerts on the Square. Wilder is hopeful MHS choir students will continue to have this opportunity in future years.

Concerts on the Square take place annually for six weeks every Wednesday evening starting in late June. This year most of the concerts were canceled due to inclement weather. The concerts are free. For more information, please visit the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra website.

"To see our students standing behind the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra in front of 40,000 spectators was incredibly exciting,'' Wilder said. "This opportunity to perform with a nationally renowned orchestra at the State Capitol will be performance our students will remember for the rest of their lives. 

"Maestro Sewell and the team at Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra gave a lot to our students and we are so very grateful to them for asking us to be a part of this amazing event. There are very few events like Concerts on the Square in the United States and to see our students representing our District and community was a huge moment of pride for our families and the program.''

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