Four members of the Boyertown Area Junior High West Show Choir traveled to Penn State's University Park campus on August 3-4 to participate in the American Choral Director's Association (ACDA) Pennsylvania All-State Junior High Honor Choir. The four students -Dan Harris, Chris Chung, Shannon Cullipher, and Brett Kelly - joined 120 7-9 grade singers from all across Pennsylvania.Rollo Dilworth, the director of the choral activities and music education at North Park University located in Illinois, served as the guest conductor. Dilworth is an active composer, author, conductor, and nationally prominent clinician. He has conducted choirs on 5 continents and is highly sought after to conduct and compose music for American choirs.
The ACDA-PA honor choir students performed seven songs and sang in four languages: Japanese, Hebrew, English, and Latin. The honor choir also premiered a new African-American spiritual, Travelin Train composed by Dilworth. The concert took place at Penn State's Pasquerilla Spiritual Center on the afternoon of August 4 and was attended by family members and attendees of the annual ACDA-PA summer conference.
When asked about his honor choir experience Harris said, "I enjoyed working with Dr. Dilworth. He was fun and had tons of energy." Kelly added, "Dr. Dilworth never made the experience boring. We were exhausted by the end of the day, but we were never bored." Chung felt, "This is an experience that I will never forget. I met a lot of new friends at Penn State. It was even worth learning all the extra music during my summer vacation." Cullipher explained, "Performing at Penn State with students who all love music as much as I do was the highlight of my summer."
The Boyertown Area Junior High West Show Choir is under the direction of Mrs. Teri Hoffman. Jeffrey Brunner, the music teacher at Earl and Pine Forge Elementary Schools, directed the four honor choir students and traveled with them to Penn State. Brunner is also the director of the Choristers, a group within the Berks Classical Children's Choir, and he is also an active member of ACDA.