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Bemidji High School: Choir to perform in Orchestra Hall

Bemidji High School's A Cappella Choir was selected by the American Choral Directors' Association as one of 15 choirs in six states to give a special performance at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis Friday, March 5. Submitted photo

Bemidji High School choir selected to perform in Minneapolis' Orchestra Hall on Friday

Bemidji High School's A Cappella Choir was selected as one of 15 choirs in six states to give a special performance Friday, March 5, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.

The choir was selected to perform as part of the North-Central American Choral Directors' Association conference from March 3-6.

Every two years, the North-Central Division of the ACDA hosts a conference in which it features 15 top choirs. The division covers Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska.

Last spring, upon hearing that the conference would be held in Minnesota this year, BHS choral director Chris Fettig sent the ACDA an audition CD of the BHS choir's last three years of performances. He received a letter from the association in June notifying him that his choir was selected as one of the top 15 in the division.

"A lot of other schools in the metro area, I'm sure, were throwing their hat in the ring," Fettig said. "But I knew our school wouldn't be selected if I didn't submit a tape. I was very excited when I got the letter."

BHS was one of only two high school choirs chosen to perform. Other choirs selected were from universities, colleges, middle schools and church groups.

The 70 BHS A Cappella Choir singers will perform in front of choral directors from all across the division, a potential audience of over 1,000 people.

BHS made an appearance at the ACDA North-Central Division Conference 10 years ago when it was in Madison, Wis., Fettig said, but hasn't been selected since.

"For it to be hosted here in Minnesota, and to be the A Cappella group picked from Minnesota is pretty exciting," Fettig said. "I figure the competition was pretty stiff."

Some of the students who sing in the A Cappella Choir are also involved in the BHS show choirs. This, Fettig said, makes Bemidji's choral community unique.

"Our show choirs just came off a winning weekend at the Totino-Grace High School competition (Fridley, Minn.)," Fettig said. "These are two such contrasting styles of music. A lot of times schools will excel in classical music or only show choir. It's exciting for Bemidji that we are excelling in both areas. The kids have a more diverse experience."

The BHS A Cappella Choir will perform at 3:45 p.m. Friday in Orchestra Hall. They will sing nine selections.