Jul 26, 2014

Chelsea Choir Director Earns State Conducting Honor

Students across Michigan will perform with Chelsea music teacher Steve Hinz at the 2013 Michigan Music Conference in Grand Rapids.

Chelsea Choir Director Earns State Conducting Honor

Chelsea Schools’ music teacher Steve Hinz will conduct the State Honors Choir at the 2013 Michigan Music Conference (MMC) in Grand Rapids on Jan. 19.

The MMC draws nearly 12,000 attendees and participants from Michigan choral, band, and orchestral associations. The purpose of the conference is to provide in-service opportunities for the professional development of Michigan music educators, through a wide array of educational workshops and top-level performances.

Hinz will conduct more than 100 singers in the closing performance of the conference on Saturday at the DeVos Performance Hall.

State Honors Choir singers have all been chosen through a rigorous series of auditions, beginning in October 2012. Those who pass the final round of auditions are placed in one of three choirs at the state level.

The final performance will be the culmination of the hard work and talents of these high school students and their director.

Hinz is eager to begin the three-day rehearsal process with the students.

“I’m honored to have this opportunity, and I look forward to engaging these students in the artistic process as we develop our music together,” said Hinz. “From what I’ve observed in the past, these students will come well prepared for the weekend. My challenge will be to bring their diversity of backgrounds and experience into a performance where they’re invested and connected to the poetry and music.”

The position of honors choir director at the MMC is one of the highest recognitions a choral director can achieve. This position is an accomplishment that is earned through a stringent nomination and election process, with the entire membership body of the Michigan State Vocal Music Association narrowing the field of nominees and ultimately electing the honors choir director.

Hinz considers the position to be both an honor and a privilege.

“I’m humbled to have been elected by the state body of my colleagues and peers. I have tremendous respect for the high quality of vocal music education that is happening in our state and I’m proud to be a part of that history. This opportunity is definitely one of the highlights of my career so far,” he said.

Hinz recently served as president of the Michigan State Vocal Music Association, completing his six-year tenure in the president track, including the last two years as past president. He also served as executive chairman of the 2010-2011 Michigan Music Conference.

Known both for his leadership skills and for the high quality of his choirs in the Chelsea Schools, Hinz is no stranger to the Michigan Music Conference. Last year, the Chelsea High School Chamber Choir earned the honor of performing at the MMC Choral Hour. The performance received critical praise.

Choirs and soloists under Hinz’ direction consistently earn top honors at state choral festivals and solo and ensemble festivals. His diversity of programming and commitment to musical artistry have been recognized statewide.

Three CHS choral students will also be participating in the State Honors Choir performances. Reeve Segrest, Marieke deMeijer, and Jonathan Obenchain, all members of the CHS choirs, will travel to Grand Rapids for the weekend of performances and workshop.

The conference runs from Jan. 17 through Jan. 19. The State Honors Choir Concert will be held at the DeVos Performance Hall and is open to the public. Tickets are available at the door for $5.

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