It is, as the old saying goes, “show time.”
For St. Michael-Albertville High School’s music department, that is at the same time both gratifying and a bit petrifying this week.
“It’s like you’re building up with all of the excitement to prepare for this amazing opportunity, and now it’s here. And you wonder if you’re really ready,” said choir director Joe Osowski, whose group will be one of four full concert choirs performing at this week’s Minnesota Music Educators Association mid-winter clinic in Minneapolis this week.
The opportunity is incredible, both he and band director Adam Sroka said. Students will get to perform with some of the best choirs in the state, and the ensemble will learn from other directors along the way.
For the band, Sroka’s group will perform for educators who are learning to become judges in competition format, or those who are continuing their skill as a performance judge.
“It’s really a big thing for our district to have both of us – much less one group or the other – participating. It’s a validation of the work we’re doing here everyday within our district, from elementary school and middle school to here at the high school,” Osowksi said.
“It’s definitely a reflection of the instruction our kids are getting at every level, not just here,” Sroka added. “This is a district that has continued to be very supportive of musical programming.”
The choir will perform at a fantastic venue – Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis, one of the more historic churches in the state. They’ll be performing at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 13, and passes are currently available at the STMA High School office.
The band will have a performance Friday morning at the Minneapolis Convention Center, around 9 a.m. Sroka said.
Osowski said to qualify for the MMEA performance, he had to submit a performance recording from last year’s concert group to the association. Schools were selected on their quality of performance as well as other criteria than included Osowski’s recap of choir curriculum within the district and school enrollment.
“To be one of four high schools selected is a big honor for our group,” he said. “There are such a number of good, music traditions at schools within our state. It’s great for us to be recognized.”