Children’s Chorus to Join Performing Arts Festival

OTTUMWA—The American Gothic Performing Arts Festival is pleased to announce auditions for the Festival Children’s Chorus 2017 as part of their summer performing arts celebration June 9-23.


Students throughout southeast Iowa, who are currently in grades 4-6, are invited to audition for this regional ensemble of approximately 35 voices.  The chorus will perform a variety of repertoire during the 15-day festival throughout Wapello county and will be featured in a special Father’s Day performance on Sunday, June 18.


“As in the past, we plan that this chorus will be representative of our entire southeast Iowa region,” say Dennis Willhoit, music director for the ensemble.  “We seek young musicians who love to sing, move, and desire an immersive musical experience.”


Willhoit will once again join with Miriam Kenning, creative dramatics specialist and choreographer.  The two have worked together on numerous occasions with various children’s groups, and are happy to collaborate in this manner once again.


“The connection between the body (movement) and singing is a ‘no-brainer’ when working with kids,” says Kenning.  “It helps young people focus, and it builds a trust and confidence with one another and in their own bodies.”


Willhoit adds that it just makes better singers.  “No one is interested in stiff and tight singing.  It isn’t pretty,” he laughs.


Auditions will be held Thursday, March 16th beginning at 5:30PM and again Saturday, March 18th beginning at 9AM.  Both auditions will take place on the campus of Indian Hills Community College in room M118 located near St. John Auditorium in the Arts and Sciences Building.  Interested young singers and families are invited to go or by emailing