Bringing the Festival experience to students
THREE RIVERS — Not all vocal music students have the chance to attend District Choral Festival, so they had some of the experience brought to them Friday, March 3 when Les Rowsey visited Three Rivers High School and Three Rivers Middle School choir classes.
Rowsey, who spent 30 years teaching in Jenison, is now “having a ball” doing clinics, workshops, adjudicating Michigan State Vocal Music Association events, and offering private voice lessons.
He came to help prepare the Aristocrats and Bella Voce for Festival next week, and to work with Concert Choir and middle school singers on their techniques.
As a clinician, he points out each group’s strengths and gives them different ways of looking at things they need to improve.
“Maybe I’ll say it in a way that makes a connection,” he said.
Since vocal music director Joel Moore already does a good job with his groups, “I can help put the finishing touches on,” he said.
Rowsey met Moore while Moore was a student at Western Michigan University. He was part of the University Chorale hosted in Jenison more than 20 years ago.
“Les is a humble guy,” Moore said. “But he’s been MSVMA Teacher of the Year, he’s had more choirs in MSVMA State Finals than probably any other director. He’s conducted for state honors choirs. Not only is he a great friend, but he’s as good as they come. That’s why I invited him to work with the kids because I know they’ll have an amazing experience.”
He pointed out that at a Festival, choirs usually only get 15 minutes with a clinician, but this way, they would get 45 minutes to an hour with Rowsey.
Elena Meadows can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 22 or firstname.lastname@example.org.