The popularity of the Ozarks Technical Community College choir has grown so much over the past several years that it will be expanding in the fall.
Kathryn Cole, the choir’s director, said a new ensemble choir will be established as an addition to the larger Concert Choir. The smaller-sized ensemble choir will be made up of members who will sing a cappella (singing without musical accompaniment).
This past spring, the Concert Choir had 25 members, more than double the number the choir had just three years ago when Cole took over.
“People are finally realizing we have a program and want to be a part of it. They hear us at school functions, commencements and picnics. The word is out and kids are excited to tell their friends about the choir,” Cole said.
Jennifer McAtee, lead instructor for the OTC music department and the piano accompanist at the concerts, said a lot of hard work has gone into making the choir a success.
“We have worked on visibility with our performances. President (Hal) Higdon has helped us a lot. Seeing his support and that of the rest of the administration really helps others spread the word about the choirs,” McAtee said.
While picnics have been good performance venues, they have also served at the site for choir auditions, which have become more selective.
“It used to be that we would take anybody. Now, it’s not just anybody,” McAtee said.
Cole agreed, adding that “southwest Missouri is rich in choral talent and we have students coming to us from schools that have great musical programs. They can continue to sing at OTC and not have to wait until they get to a four-year college.”
Cole, who has been singing since high school and graduated from Evangel University with her bachelor’s in music education and earned a master’s from Missouri State University, said she hopes that the addition of the second choir will help build momentum for the program.
“Everyone is becoming aware of the program. Attendance is up at the concerts and the program is growing; it’s not shrinking,” she said.
Steve Koehler is coordinator of media relations at Ozarks Technical Community College.
College Director of Communications
Coordinator of Media Relations
Phone: (417) 447-2666