UK Choirs hit high notes of success

Jacob Powell

The UK Choirs program, under the direction of professor Jefferson Johnson, has encountered unique opportunities throughout the years that have allowed them to send more students to national and regional music conferences than most universities in the U.S.

With conferences ranging from American Choral Directors of Association (ACDA), National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO), and Intercollegiate Men’s Choruses (IMC), that stretch across the entire United States, UK Choirs has done it all. 

“It is a real honor to be invited to perform at these conferences of music educators, for both the Men’s choir and the Women’s Choir,” Johnson said. “Speaking for the Men’s Chorus it’s really the students who make that achievement possible, it’s nothing that I’ve done except to try and foster an atmosphere that’s conducive to learning.”

With the Men’s Choir traveling to IMC in Chicago, and the Chorale, an auditioned choir, going to ACDA in Chattanooga, Tennessee, this year alone UK Choirs is sending more than 100 students to national and regional conferences.

Over the past 15 years the choral program has began to grow exponentially, especially with the Men’s Choir joining the picture in 2002. UK Choirs includes the Men’s Choir, Women’s Choir, Chorale and Choristers, as well as three a cappella groups: BlueNote, Paws and Listen, and the AcoUstiKats

“I believe that all choir members afforded the opportunity to participate in regional and national conferences gain exposure to music-making of the highest caliber, as both performers and audience members,” said Beth Wilson, doctoral student for choral music education.

These conferences expand further than just education in music. John Larson, an English sophomore, talked about his experiences and takeaways as student outside of music.

“As a non-music major, conferences like ACDA are a truly singular experience. I have four years as an undergraduate to pursue activities that I enjoy, even if they are outside of my major. So, my takeaway is the entire experience of preparing for and performing at the highest level I ever will.”