About the Honor Choirs

Elementary & Middle School Honor Choirs

Elementary Rehearsal Recordings


Since 1990, IMEA has sponsored an elementary and a middle school honor choir. Selected students who are participating in Circle the State with Song Area Festivals will have the opportunity to audition for these All-State Honor Choirs. These choirs are select groups of approximately 150 singers chosen by teacher recommendation and audition. Our goal is to choose singers from each of the 12 area CSWS Festivals to fill balanced parts. Both groups will perform at the IMEA STATE CONFERENCE, JANUARY 13, 2017 at the Embassy Theater, Ft. Wayne, IN.
The 2017 fee for this choral experience will be $165 for students in both the Elementary Choir and Middle School Choir. This fee includes four meals, All-State music, on-line rehearsal recordings, and an overnight stay at the Hilton Hotel (Elementary Choir) and the Marriott Hotel (Middle School Choir) in downtown Ft. Wayne. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Please make sure that any student whose teacher submits a Scholarship Form on their behalf understands that they are responsible for the balance of the cost, and that the full fee is to be sent pending approval of scholarship. If the scholarship is approved, a reimbursement will be provided from the IMEA office.  
Honor Choir Selection
Final selection will be made by the CSWS Committee in mid-November, 2016. Students and teachers will be notified of the decision no later than the third week in November, 2016. Rehearsal recordings for honor choir will be available on the web-site for each participating singer along with the honor choir repertoire.  Please read carefully, follow the instructions, and meet the deadlines as stated in the audition process. FAILURE TO DO SO WILL DISQUALIFY THE AUDITION. It is our pleasure to offer your students this quality opportunity to learn and grow musically. Thank you for your continued interest in and support of IMEA and its programs.
If you have any questions regarding information or procedures, please contact the CSWS State Chair Alicia Rankin, or your CSWS Area Coordinator.

2017 Clinicians

Elementary Honor Choir

Sarah Hassler


Sarah Hassler is the music specialist at Cherry Tree Elementary School in Carmel, Indiana, where she teaches grades K-5.  She has taught students ranging in age from toddlers through college in general as well as instrumental music. Mrs. Hassler is Associate Conductor of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir.

Mrs. Hassler is a graduate of Capital University with a Masters of Education with Kodaly Emphasis and The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Music Education.  She received her Orff-Schulwerk Certification and Curriculum from the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minnesota).  She was the recipient of the Gregory Von Stein Scholarship from Capital University and the Gunild Keetman Scholarship from the American Orff-Schulwerk Association. 

She teaches Orff-Schulwerk Certification Level at Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana and DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.

Mrs. Hassler has presented sessions at the National AOSA Conference;  the Indiana Music Educator’s Association conference; and, the National OAKE Conference.  Mrs. Hassler is a frequent Orff Schulwerk workshop presenter and enjoys serving as guest conductor of children’s choirs. 

Elementary Honor Choir

Janel Baker


Janel Baker currently teaches grades 6-12 vocal music at Western Middle-High School in Russiaville, Indiana.  She began teaching at Western in 2008. Prior to teaching for Western School Corporation, Janel taught for sixteen years at Rossville Jr.-Sr. High School in Rossville, Indiana.  Now in her 24th year of music education, Janel’s current responsibilities at Western include directing 9 choirs.  While at Western she has taught advanced music theory, advanced music history, directed the Western Vocal Jazz ensemble and taught both piano and voice privately.  Through her teaching experiences, Janel has seen her vocal programs excel and experience tremendous growth and recognition.  Her choirs annually participate in ISSMA contests receiving Gold division ratings and receive with distinction recognition. The Western Choir Department was awarded the All-Music Award in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Janel completed her undergraduate degree from Taylor University where she named the Secondary Student Teacher of the Year.  A cum laude graduate of Taylor, she holds a bachelor’s degree in music education, and a minor in piano pedagogy.   Janel completed her master’s degree in music education from Ball State University in 2000.  Under her mentorship, Mrs. Baker has guided many student teachers and has seen many former students choose music education as their career path.  Two of her former students from Rossville are currently teaching music in the Western School Corporation, Michelle Schneider and Autumn Smith.

Janel has served on the IMEA Board of Directors as the Area III Representative.  She has served on the concert committee for ISSMA, been a guest conductor for CSWS, served as a guest clinician for IMEA Non-Competitive Festivals and directed the IMEA Middle School Honor Choir in 2003.  Her professional affiliations include.  NAFME, IMEA, ICDA, Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and ISTA.  She was honored to receive recognition as Teacher of the Year for Western School Corporation in 2015.

Janel and her husband Mark currently reside in Kokomo with their three boys, Seth (age 11), Isaiah (age 9) and Levi (age 5).  Janel feels honored to once again be asked to direct the IMEA Middle School Honor Choir.