More than 700 Students Put on Free Concert Monday

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More than 700 students from Fort Smith schools will put on a free concert at the Stubblefield Center at University of Arkansas-Fort Smith Monday evening (Sept. 30).

Bill Cromer, choral director at Northside High School, said the "mass choir" is a collaboration between Northside and Southside high schools as well as Kimmons, Chaffin, Darby and Ramsey junior high schools.

"The students get a chance to participate in some music that normally their choir, by itself, would probably not be able to handle, but combined it works out beautifully," said Cromer.

Northside High School senior Christopher Jones said usual rivalries are forgotten about during the collaborative event.

"We're all in one room, and we're all united in the sense that we're just making music today," said Jones.

Keith Reeves, choral director at Ramsey Junior High School, said the City Choral Festival gives his students a chance to learn from the high school choirs.

"It's always nice to give them an opportunity to hear what the more mature, older voices sound like," said Reeves. "The music level is more difficult at high school as well so it's great for those guys to be able to hear where they are now and where they're headed."

The annual event began in the 1960s and has become a tradition for the schools and the community.

Each choir will perform and the final number of the evening will be a grand performance featuring all six groups. Concert-goers can expect to hear classic choir songs as well as more contemporary pieces sung in foreign languages.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

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