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Combined A-State Choirs to Perform with Bluegrass Group Monroe Crossing

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Arkansas State University
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Monroe Crossing

JONESBORO – KASU, the public media service, and the Department of Music at Arkansas State University will present two collaborative concerts featuring the combined A-State choirs and the bluegrass band Monroe Crossing.

The first concert will be at 7 p.m. Monday, April 25, at the Collins Theatre, 120 West Emerson Street, in Paragould. This is part of the Bluegrass Monday concert series presented by KASU 91.9 FM. A second concert will be at 7:30 p.m.Tuesday, April 26, in Riceland Hall of the Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Dr.

The centerpiece of each concert will be a performance of “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass.” In 2006, music patrons Mike and Kay McCarthy commissioned composer Carol Barnett and librettist Marisha Chamberlin to create a new work that combines folk and bluegrass music with classical choral music.

The resulting composition is a 30-minute, joyous and unique mixture of both musical styles. The mass was written with Monroe Crossing in mind, and the band has performed it over 70 times with choirs across the U.S. and in South Korea.

Sixty voices from the A-State Concert Choir and the Jonesboro Chorale will be directed in the concerts by Dr. Ryan Sullivan, the director of choral activities at A-State.

Net proceeds from each concert will assist in offsetting travel costs for an upcoming concert tour by A-State vocal students in Portugal.

In addition to the performances of “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass,” at each concert, Monroe Crossing will also play a set of traditional bluegrass selections in addition to classic country songs, bluegrass arrangements of hit pop songs, and original melodies.

The A-State Concert Choir will present arrangements of two southern hymns by Shawn Kirchner: “Angel Band” and “Unclouded Day.” Audiences may recognize these familiar tunes but with added jazz harmonies that make them fresh and exciting. Also on this concert will be “David’s Lamentation” by early American composer William Billings. The choir’s chilling sound fits the sad tale of King David mourning the loss of a child.

The A-State Chamber Singers will perform music by early American composer, William Billings, and arrangements of several African American spirituals by Jester Hairston, William Dawson, and Joe Jennings. Their music will share some quintessential southern American choral repertoire: “Steal Away,” “There is a Balm in Gilead,” and “In Dat Great Gittin Up Mornin.“

Monroe Crossing is named in honor of the creator of bluegrass music, Bill Monroe. In their career, the group has performed over 2,000 shows at bluegrass festivals, churches and venues across the country. In addition to touring across the United States, the band has also toured through Canada, Europe, and Southeast Asia.

Monroe Crossing has recorded 17 CDs and has produced a concert DVD. A CD, including music recorded live at past Bluegrass Monday performances, was released by the band in 2015.

Based in Minnesota, Monroe Crossing is the only bluegrass band ever to be named “Artist of the Year” (2004) by the Minnesota Music Academy. The group has also been inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame and has received numerous awards from the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association.

The A-State Concert Choir is the flagship choral ensemble of the university. Students audition to be part of the group which performs multiple concerts on campus each semester as well as touring regionally, nationally and internationally.

The Jonesboro Chorale is open to all A-State students and also includes community members of all ages who desire to sing choral music. The chorale presents multiple concerts each academic semester.

Seating at each concert is first-come, first-served. Advance tickets for the Monday, April 25, concert are available at kasu.org/tickets. Advance tickets for the Tuesday, April 26, concert are available at AState.edu/tickets.

The Bluegrass Monday concert series is a non-profit presentation of KASU-FM, providing music fans with an affordable and outstanding evening of entertainment. These concerts are held on the fourth Monday night of each month. They are presented with support from sponsors including the Paragould Advertising & Promotion Commission, Bibb Chiropractic Center, Gardner-Milner Law Firm, the Posey Peddler, Hyde Park Café, Holiday Inn Express and Suites of Paragould, and KASU.

For more information, contact KASU Program Director Marty Scarbrough at mscarbro@AState.edu or 870-972-2367. Additional information is also available on the Bluegrass Monday Facebook page.

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Members of the respective groups:

Concert Choir

Soprano, Meg Amason-Hill, Sophomore, Psychology, Harmony Grove, AR, Abby Duvall, Freshman, Mid-Level Education, Conway, AR, Jordan Hearring, Junior, Music Education, Brookland, AR, Holly Henson, Junior, Music Performance, Paragould, AR, Jennifer Parr, Junior, Music Performance, Little Rock, AR, Angel Stacey, Sophomore, Music Education, Brookland, AR, Riley Stebbins, Sophomore, English, Bald Knob, AR, Ally Summers *, Senior, Music Education, Jonesboro, AR, Kimberly Troup, Senior, Music Education, West Memphis, AR, Madison Wilson, Senior, Music Education, Paragould, AR,

Alto, Madison Betz, Junior, Music Performance, Bryant, AR, Cassidy Gage *, Senior, Music Education, Brookland, AR, Savanna Harvey, Freshman, Music Education, Beebe, AR, Kylah Hood, Sophomore, Theatre, Jonesboro, AR, Sydney Koehler, Sophomore, Creative Media, St. Charles, MO, Tess Monroe, Freshman, Music Education, Cabot, AR, Avani Reynolds, Freshman, Psychology, Little Rock, AR, Aubrey Triplett, Junior, Music Performance, Cottonville, MS,

Tenor, Josiah Broussard, Sophomore, Music Education, Holland, MI, Branden Byrd, Junior, Business, Benton, AR, Genghong Cai, Senior, Music Performance, Zhaoqing, China, Tyler Jones, Senior, Theatre, Beebe, AR, Aaron Standridge *, Senior Music Education, Floral, AR, Cade Williams, Freshman, Music Education, Clinton, AR, Keyston Wright, Sophomore, Music Education, Jonesboro, AR,

Bass, John Caldwell, Sophomore, General Studies, Springfield, MO, Lawson Davis, Freshman, Nursing, Russellville, AR, Charlie Groves, Sophomore, Music Education, Blytheville, AR, Ryan Hartness Sophomore, Music Education, Paragould, AR, Ian Thomas *, Junior, Music Education, Conway, AR, Taylor Watkins, Senior, Music Performance/Comm. Disorders, Brookland, AR, * Section Leaders

Chamber Singers

Soprano, Jennifer Parr, Senior, Music Performance, Little Rock, AR, Angel Stacey, Sophomore, Music Education, Brookland, AR, Ally Summers, Senior, Music Education, Jonesboro, AR, Kimberly Troup, Senior, Music Education, West Memphis, AR,

Alto, Meg Amason-Hill, Sophomore, Psychology, Harmony Grove, AR, Cassidy Gage, Senior, Music Education, Brookland, AR, Jordan Hearring, Junior, Music Education, Brookland, AR,

Tenor, Josiah Broussard, Sophomore, Music Education/Performance, Holland, MI, Alex Jones, Sophomore, Theatre, Russellville, AR, Dean MacDonald, Senior, Music Performance/Political Science, Paragould, AR,

Bass, Charlie Groves, Sophomore, Music Education, Blytheville, AR, Ryan Hartness, Sophomore, Music Education, Paragould, AR, Ian Thomas, Junior, Music Education, Conway, AR, Taylor Watkins, Senior, Music Performance/Comm. Disorders, Brookland, AR,

Jonesboro Chorale

Soprano, Teri Modelevsky, Community Member, Catie Mueller, Senior, General Studies, Newport, AR, Kari Metheny, Community Member, Courtney Brewer, Community Member, Madison Beasley, Community Member, Elise Brazile, Sophomore, Biology & Business, West Memphis, AR, Sharon Ward Cooper, Community Member, Kasey Edwards, Community Member, Katelin Mobley, Community Member, Lisa Owens, Community Member, Rose Schmidt Riley, Community Member, Anna Claire Tracy, Community Member,

Alto, Alayna Harrington, Freshman, Exercise Science, Little Rock, AR, Jeaney Maxwell, Community Member, Glenda McEuen, Community Member, Dr. Colleen McNickle, A-State Faculty, Day Arnoult, Community Member, Susan Baugh, Community Member, Rebekah Howard, Community Member, Rebekah Jones, Freshman, Music Education, Brookland, AR, Aubrey Triplett, Junior, Music Performance, Cottonville, MS,  

Baritone, Travis Moore, Junior, Music Education, Forrest City, AR, Daniel Jackson, Senior, Biotechnology, Jonesboro, AR, Michael McEuen, Community Member, Clayburne Modelevsky, Sophomore, Biology Bono, AR, David Rickman, Community Member.

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Johnathan Reaves is the News Director for KASU Public Radio. As part of an Air Force Family, he moved to Arkansas from Minot, North Dakota in 1986. He was first bitten by the radio bug after he graduated from Gosnell High School in 1992. While working on his undergraduate degree, he worked at KOSE, a small 1,000 watt AM commercial station in Osceola, Arkansas. Upon graduation from Arkansas State University in 1996 with a degree in Radio-Television Broadcast News, he decided that he wanted to stay in radio news. He moved to Stuttgart, Arkansas and worked for East Arkansas Broadcasters as news director and was there for 16 years.
Marty Scarbrough has worked at KASU since 1992, and he serves as program director, overseeing the station’s content. Marty is a graduate of Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, and he has produced and hosted programs of classical music, jazz, bluegrass, and blues music. He also oversees KASU’s Bluegrass Monday concert series. When not at work, Marty loves spending time with his wife and his three sons, and he enjoys attending concerts of many different styles of music.