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McPherson College’s Spring Music Tour Brings Band, Choir Performances Across Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma

McPherson College’s Spring Music Tour will include jazz pieces ranging from standards to funk/rock fusion, and choir selections covering everything from medieval chant to Freddie Mercury.

The tour will run April 20 to 24 and will include stops in Winchester, Kan.; Meriden, Kan.; Warrensburg, Mo.; Cabool, Mo.; Stillwater, Okla.; Norman, Okla.; and McPherson, Kan. Performing groups are the 30-person McPherson College Choir, which includes the 13 students in the MC Singers, as well as the 14-piece McPherson College Jazz Band.

Dr. Josh Norris, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities, said the choirs will present a concert entitled “Madness or Genius?” with selections of works that might have considered “mad” by some in history, but true works of genius by others. Among the works are pieces composed or arranged by Aaron Copland, Henry Purcell, Igor Stravinsky, and – in fitting with the “Madness or Genius” theme – “Once Upon a Dream” from the musical “Jeckyll & Hyde” by Frank Wildhorn. The show will even include pop music selections, such as an arrangement of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Freddie Mercury of “Queen” fame.

“I know everyone will have an awesome experience,” Dr. Norris said. “The Stravinsky has been some of the most difficult music that my college students have ever undertaken.”

Kyle Hopkins, professor of music and director of bands, said the McPherson College Jazz Band will offer a mix of standards – such as Billy Strayhorn’s “Take the ‘A’ Train” and George Gershwin’s “Summertime” – and modern jazz funk/rock fusion pieces, such as “What is Hip?” by Castillo, Kupka and Garibaldi.

“Our brief set will really represent the development of America’s quintessential musical form over the past 100 years,” Hopkins said.

Taking the jazz band on tour is exciting, Hopkins said, as it’s a relatively new addition to the college’s extracurricular offerings.

“The band program is going through a dynamic ‘boom period’ and our jazz band represents that growth, energy and excitement,” he said. “These students give up their lunch breaks on Wednesdays and Fridays to come together and play some great jazz music.”

All performances for the Spring Music Tour are free and the public is invited and encouraged to attend.

McPherson College Spring Music Tour Schedule

Wednesday, April 20
11 a.m. – Winchester, Kan. (Choir-only performance)
1 p.m. – Meriden, Kan. (Band-only performance)
7:30 p.m. – Warrensburg, Mo.

Thursday, April 21
7 p.m. – Cabool, Mo.

Friday, April 22
2 p.m. – Stillwater, Okla., Stillwater High School
7 p.m. – Stillwater, Okla., University Heights Baptist Church

Saturday, April 23
5 p.m. – Norman, Okla., The University of Oklahoma

Sunday, April 24
11 a.m. – Norman, Okla., First Presbyterian Church

Monday, April 25
7:30 p.m. – McPherson, Kan., Brown Auditorium (home vocal concert)