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Milligan, ETSU combine ‘Men in Song’ and ‘Women in Song’ for first time

Contributed • Jan 25, 2019 at 4:14 PM

This year, the annual “Men in Song” music festival will occur simultaneously with “Women in Song” for a one-day event that unites and celebrates the region’s singers. Hosted by the music departments of East Tennessee State University and Milligan College, the combined festival is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2.

Participation is open to any interested male or female singer. After a day of rehearsals, the festival will culminate with a free public concert at 7:30 p.m. in Milligan’s Mary B. Martin Auditorium in Seeger Chapel.

“We are excited to host both festivals concurrently for the first time,” said Dr. Alan Stevens, associate director of choral activities in the ETSU Department of Music. “Over the years, these events have brought community members and students of all ages together, ranging in age from nine to 82. The festival is an example of what can happen when people come together for the common good. I encourage everyone to come spend the day making music together.”

Registration, which includes music and lunch, is $15 for adults. The festival is free for high school and college participants, made possible through a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.

“We sought and received a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission to make the festival open to as many students as possible,” said Dr. Noah DeLong, associate professor of music at Milligan. “We want this festival to provide high school students with a taste of college by visiting campus and singing with current college students. We also hope that combining both festivals into one day makes it easier for high school programs to participate.”

The Men in Song Festival Choir will be led by Stevens and DeLong. The Women in Song Festival Choir will be led by Kathryn May, adjunct professor of music theory and aural skills at ETSU. May previously served as a music teacher in public education in Tennessee for 37 years.

The finale concert will feature the Men in Song and Women in Song Festival Choirs, uniting over 200 voices. The concert also will feature performances by Milligan’s Concert Choir, Women’s Chorale and Herd Mentality, in addition to ETSU’s Chorale, BucsWorth and the East Tennessee Belles of ETSU.

On-site registration begins at 9 a.m. in the lobby of the Mary B. Martin Auditorium in Seeger Chapel. Advance registration is not required but strongly encouraged. No advance preparation is required; all music will be learned at the festival rehearsals.

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