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STLCC-Meramec Music Department Hosts Choral Festival Feb. 21

February 10, 2014

Derric Johnson  
Derric Johnson

Guest artist Derric Johnson, founder and director of the “Voices of Liberty” at Walt Disney World's Epcot Center, will be featured at the inaugural Meramec Choral Festival at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at in the theater on the campus of St. Louis Community College-Meramec, 11333 Big Bend Road.

Guest choirs will join Meramec's Chamber Singers and Voices of Magic in a performance with Johnson, culminating in the combined choirs performing the music of Johnson.

“For the first festival, we started small, said Jerry Myers, assistant professor in music at Meramec. “We have two guest choirs joining our Chamber Singers and Voices of Magic.”

Gloria West, the accompanist and associate conductor of the Chamber Singers and Voices of Magic, accompanied Johnson for more than 12 years with “Voices of Liberty.” Students are looking forward to working with Johnson as well.

“It will be an exciting and challenging experience,” Myers said. “Derric is a very talented composer, but he is known for running very rigorous rehearsals, so we are pushing our students to be very prepared on their music before they sing for him. For our students who already know of Derric, they are very excited to work with him. For some students, this is their first experience with Derric and his music, but they are working very hard in rehearsal to learn his challenging music.”

Myers hopes the number of choirs in the festival will grow in upcoming years. He thinks that the opportunity to work with a prominent artist and perform in a combined choir is something that every school and every singer should experience, not just those who can afford it.

“I plan to offer a festival each year to our area choirs and hope for this to quickly expand. We are offering this to our guest choirs at no charge, and I plan to keep this festival free to our guests in the future,” he said.

The festival is free and open to the public. For more information, call 314-984-7639 or email meramecmusic@stlcc.edu