Riverland Choir, Northwestern Singers create Partnership

Release Date: July 24, 2019

Categories: Riverland News Area Media Stories Media Release

The two performance choirs will join forces for the
Season providing more opportunities for musicians

Riverland Music LogoThe 2019-2020 concert seasons for the Northwestern Singers and for Riverland Community College’s College Choir will look remarkably similar.

That’s because the Riverland College Choir and the Northwestern Singers are joining their choirs together for the season. Although the missions of the two groups are different, their overall goal is the same: to make and share great music.

“By combining talent and resources in creative ways, we believe we can provide new experiences for both our performers and our audiences.” said Scott Blankenbaker, director of music at Riverland Community College. This is a chance for all our students and local residents interested in vocal performance to join us for something very exciting.”  Blankenbaker will also be directing the Northwestern Singers’ season.

“About five years ago, our other college ensemble ‘Frequency’ joined forces with the Singers to produce a concert at the Paramount. It was a good experience for both organizations, so I thought we might be able to try something similar, but this time on an extended scale--no pun intended!” Blankenbaker quipped.

Aspects of both groups will remain the same. For instance, Northwestern Singers will rehearse primarily in the evenings and College Choir will have the bulk of their rehearsals during the day. However, there will be crossover and several fully combined rehearsals. Fans of the Northwestern Singers have come to expect choreography, and there will still be some movement, but not dance as it has been in the past. A Riverland College Choir concert has typically been about 90 percent “classical” art music and 10 percent popular styles. That ratio will shift to a more equal balance of both styles for the coming year.

Joining forces gives both organizations opportunities to do things that they could not do alone. The groups hope to demonstrate this in a concert of Broadway classics next April. It will feature favorite choruses of Rodgers and Hammerstein with an orchestra and youth choir(s). “We really hope to make this a big, enjoyable event for all,” says Faye Bollingberg, president of the Northwestern Singers Board of Directors.

Other performance plans include the Singers’ annual benefit concert in November and a December concert at the Paramount. Both organizations are looking at this as truly a community venture and are hoping even more of the community will join. “We would love to have people join us for this unique season. It is not going to be the same Northwestern Singers experience as in the past and it’s not going to be the same College Choir experience, either. It’s going to be something different and hopefully really fun!” Blankenbaker stated.

Interested singers only need to complete a short, simple audition and be available on either Tuesday evenings, for an hour on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, or any combination of those days. The first rehearsal will be Tuesday, Sept. 10 in room E102 in the East Building of Riverland’s Austin campus. 

For additional information can be accessed at www.northwesternsingers.com or by contacting Scott Blankenbaker at Riverland Community College at scott.blankenbaker@riverland.edu.

The Northwestern Singers is a mixed chorus that celebrates more than 50 years in the Austin community with members ranging in age over approximately a 50-year span: from twenties to seventies.

The Riverland College Choir is open to any Riverland student and focuses on building healthy singing techniques through a variety of choral styles. Students from the College Choir recently returned from singing in a festival choir on the legendary Carnegie Hall stage over during the summer break. This marked the fifth time the College Choir has been accepted to the National Two-Year College Choral Festival. The choir has also performed at Lincoln Center (NYC), in Minneapolis, and at Disney World.