By Will Rosson
Staff reporter

The college hosted Choral Performing Arts Day on Monday. The event brought 139 high school students from different areas of the state to spend an entire day rehearsing in preparation for district honor choir auditions.

“It is just a great chance to these students to work with a college professor. It really does help them prepare for their auditions for the district choir,” said Michelle Pentz, Performing Arts Recruitment Coordinator.

Pentz also spent time with the high school music directors that made the trip here.

“Realistically, most of the students that sing do something else, so it gives me a chance to make connections and provide information about the college so that the students can see what we have to offer here in the performing arts,” said Pentz.

Chance Gates, first year music educator, brought several students from Arkansas City to the event.

“It’s great for the students to come and get a chance to work with a top notch music program. Not only that, but they get to work at a new top notch facility,” said Gates.

The day started at 9 a.m. as the students arrived and got a chance to see the new Richardson Performing Arts Center. For a majority of the morning the students were split into sectional rehearsals that were led by the high school music directors.

A short lunch break was provided at noon and the students all met together to work with David Gardner, music director of choirs. Several members from the Southwestern Acappella Choir also joined in with the event.

“Having the college students sit in with the high school students was great. It gives them a role model here, and makes this whole event a lot more fun,” said Gates.

Alex Payniker, Winfield High School senior, enjoyed the entire day.

“My favorite part is meeting new people. I get to make new friends and work with a new conductor, and it really makes me focus and prepared for the district auditions,” said Payniker.

The day ended with a concert. The Acappella Choir and SC Singers opened the show. Then the 139 high school students performed one of the songs they prepared that afternoon. The concert ended with an amazing mass choir combined with the college choir and the high school students. By the end of the concert, the audience was giving a well deserved standing ovation.

Kaitlyn Holler, South Central High School senior, made the longest trip of all the high school students. However, she thought the trip was worth it.

“I learned a lot. Even the stuff that seems so basic, I learn I can make it even better. When you get a bunch of people together that really want to do well it is amazing,” said Holler.

Will Rosson is a senior majoring in communication. You may e-mail him at