Mount Mercy to host second annual Chamber Choir Festival

Mount Mercy University will host the second annual Chamber Choir Festival on Thursday, February 21. Choirs from Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Vinton-Shellsburg and Linn Mar high schools will join the Mount Mercy University Choir for an afternoon of rehearsals, clinics and an "Informance" in the Chapel of Mercy on February 21, at 5:00 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public; seating may be limited.

Choirs will participate in rotating clinics with Mount Mercy Coordinator of Campus Music Dr. Gerald Kreitzer and special guest Allen Chapman, long-time choral director from Fort Madison, Iowa.

Named one of the top 12 music educators in Iowa by Music Educators National Conference (MENC), Chapman has taught music at levels ranging from elementary through college. His career spans more than four decades with choirs appearing on 12 divisional and national MENC and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) convention programs. Chapman and his late wife, Sandra, directed 10 concert tours in Europe and received the prestigious McCowen Award from the Iowa Choral Directors Association (ICDA). Show Choir Nationals established the Allen and Sandra Chapman Excellence in Education Award, presented annually during competition at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn.

Chapman's show choirs were competition finalists and champions across the Midwest, and he was a co-founder of the Iowa Show Choir Camp. He is renowned in southeast Iowa for directing outdoor community broadway musical productions, which drew audiences of 10,000 people. Soloists from Allen's voice studio have won the National Association of Teachers Singing (NATS) competition and nearly 500 of his students have been selected for membership in the Iowa All-State Chorus.

Most recently, Chapman was recognized by the Iowa High School Music Association with the national Federation Award of Merit at the All-State Music Festival in Ames, Iowa. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to music education at the local, state and national level. He is a graduate of Iowa Wesleyan College, holding a bachelor's degree in music education, and Truman State University, holding a master's degree in voice.

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