More than 30 middle and high school showchoirs will be in Hattiesburg Friday and Saturday, Feb. 4 and 5, for the Mississippi Showchoir contest.
Judges will be Dr. Mark Malone, coordinator of music education in The Winters School of Music at Carey and former choral director at PRCC; Michael Winslow, choral director at Mount Zion High School, Mount Zion, Illinois; Jena Adrianson, choral director at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis; and Eric Van Cleave of Lafayette, Ind., producer, musical arranger and director.
Carol Joy Sparkman of the Missisisppi College music faculty will be the solo competition judge. Dr. Jonathan Kilgore, chair of fine arts and choral director at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, will judge the final showchoir competition.
Middle school showchoir competition begins at 3 p.m. Friday. Schools expected to compete are South Forrest Attendance Center, Petal, Purvis, Pearl River Central, N.R. Burger, Baxterville, Northeast Jones, Clinton, South Jones, Columbia Academy, Jackson Prep and Brandon.
Three Class A high schools – Forrest County AHS, Purvis and Stone will also compete Friday, beginning at 9:10 p.m.
The Voices, PRCC’s jazz ensemble, will present an exhibition performance before awards are given at 10:40 p.m. Friday.
High schools expected to compete Saturday are Wayne County, Lumberton, Columbia Academy, Picayune, Oak Grove, Pearl River Central, Hattiesburg, West Jones, Pascagoula, Clinton, Madison Central, Northeast Jones, Opelika, Ala.; Jackson Prep, Sumrall and Petal. Competition begins at 7:55 a.m. Saturday and continues until 6:35 p.m.
Three women’s groups – Northwest Rankin, Opelika and Petal – will also compete Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m.
PRCC’s showchoir, RiverRoad, will present an exhibition performance at 2:25 p.m. following preliminary competition.
The Voices will perform again at 6:35 p.m. before finalists are announced at 7 p.m. Three soloists and five showchoirs will perform again in final competition, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Awards will be presented at 10:40 p.m.
Admission is $6 on Friday night, $6 for preliminary competition on Saturday and $6 for final competition Saturday night or $10 for both preliminary and final competition on Saturday.
PRCC started the Mississippi Showchoir Contest in 1987 and hosted it in Poplarville until Hurricane Katrina in 2005 destroyed the performance venues. The contest was held in Petal in 2006.
After a two-year break, PRCC revived the contest in 2009 with the cooperation of William Carey University.
LaDona Tyson is director of choral activities at PRCC, and Archie Rawls is chair of the Department of Fine Arts and Communication.