Music enthusiasts come marching into new year

As I begin my ninth year as a part of the Department of Music and Theatre, it is an exciting time on the campus of Fort Hays State University.

The campus looks ready for another record enrollment. A new indoor athletic facility is nearing completion, the groundwork is being done on the newest building -- the Center for Networked Learning -- and faculty and staff are making final preparations for the start of another academic year.

In the Department of Music and Theatre, we are also ready for a large enrollment of new and returning students. We not only have students majoring in music education, music technology or music performance, but we have a large contingent of non-majors who participate in our choirs, bands and orchestras, or study voice, piano or other music endeavors. We are proud to boast one of the highest numbers of non-majors active in our building of all the departments on campus.

We finished the 66th annual High Plains Music Camp in July. This was a fabulous event with more than 350 students who spent a week preparing concerts, recitals and attending classes to sharpen their skills. Nearly the entire FHSU music faculty is involved, along with many guest teachers, professional performers and numerous FHSU music students who teach and serve as counselors. We do a great job at this camp, and many campers make a commitment to FHSU based on their experience at music camp. They really have fun performing top-notch music concerts in the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center and the Ballroom of the Memorial Union.

Soon, Lane Weaver will welcome the students who are members of the Marching Tigers (more than 115 strong last year with musicians, flags and the Tiger Debs). Once Aug. 19 rolls around, I will have five choirs to conduct: Fort Hays Singers, Concert Choir, Women's Chorale, Men's Glee Club and the Smoky Hill Chorale. Ben Cline and the Hays Symphony Orchestra -- combining area musicians with student players -- will kick off its 100th season (Wow!) with a POPS Concert on Sept. 28. The fall musical, "Crazy For You," will go up on the Felten-Start Theatre stage during Homecoming (Oct. 3 to 6), and Jeff Jordan, director of bands, will have his top group -- the FHSU Wind Ensemble -- whipped into shape early for the fall concert we give together with my choir and his band on Oct. 25.

Many other recitals, vocal competitions, shows, tours, jazz bands and large ensemble concerts will be on the music and theater calendar this fall. Look for a complete listing on our website, www.fhsu.edu/music-and-theatre.

We hope to see you at our performances in the beautiful Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center, in Malloy Hall and around the campus and community.

Terry Crull is director of choirs at Fort Hays State University.