Monday, February 15, 2010


UW-Parkside’s student vocal chamber group, the Voices of Parkside, recently received a standing ovation from members of the Wisconsin’s Choral Directors Association. Led by Dr. James B. Kinchen, the group performed at the organization’s annual meeting in Eau Claire.

KENOSHA, Wis.—Several Racine area students recently helped the Voices of Parkside, the student vocal chamber group at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, earn a standing ovation from some of Wisconsin’s toughest music critics. Under the direction of Music Professor Dr. James B. Kinchen Jr., soprano Kathryn Brownell, TinaMarie Skinner and Michaela Usher, altos; and Timothy Keith Griffin Jr., bass of Racine; along with alto Desirey Olsen of Sturtevant and Julianne Frey, a soprano from Waterford, were among the 19 choir members who dazzled the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association during its January convention in Eau Claire, Wis.
With a program that included music by Aaron Copland, Anton Bruckner, and Reginald Parker, Kinchen said his student vocalists survived a “stringent process” to become one of a handful of choral groups to perform on the convention’s opening night. And Kinchen knew from experience that this audience would be tough to please.
“When you’re (a choral director) listening to a musical performance, your ears are ‘on.’ You’re listening to whether this chord is in tune, whether that vowel is matched across the section, whether the pacing, tempo, and phrasing are what they ought to be. It’s very daunting,” Kinchen said.
In addition to the Racine students, the Voices of Parkside features sopranos Kaytlyn Johnson, Kylie Ratliff, and Elizabeth Wermeling, and altos Amy Gabrielse and Jane Wermeling. The tenors are Joshua Holte, Adrian O’Connor, Jackson Palmer, and Jacob Retasket while bass vocals were performed by Timothy Hassler, Cody Miller, and UW-Parkside graduate David Ramsey. Piano accompaniment was provided by Fumi Nishikiorim and Dr. Kinchen.
The Wisconsin Choral Directors Association Convention was held in the Robert Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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