For 31 years, Circle the State with Song (CSWS) has been an integral part of Indiana’s choral landscape. This program is a statewide choral festival for elementary and junior high/middle school choirs. Nearly 5,000 youth from hundreds of different schools participate in Circle the State each spring at one of 12 sites throughout Indiana. Over 15,000 community members attend these concerts annually.
Each year, IMEA announces the repertoire for the Festival at the beginning of the school year and music educators spend months preparing their students for the festival events in February and March. Each of the 12 designated areas of the state has an Area Coordinator that promotes the Festival and recruits school to participate. To date, IMEA has commissioned seven pieces of choral music for the festival choirs. The challenging repertoire helps elevate the music instruction at the participating schools, and it also provides an exciting and culminating experience for the youth. During the festival, the participating schools rehearse and perform together under the director of a highly experienced Clinician. The primary objectives of the program include:
- Provide students with an exciting and quality choral performance with other students from their area;
- Allow music teachers an opportunity to observe and learn from the clinician working with the students, plus to share and discuss vocal pedagogy with other teachers; and
- Provide students the challenge and opportunity to sing quality children’s choral repertoire.
An outgrowth of the festivals is IMEA’s commitment to further the cause of good choral music. IMEA has commissioned seven pieces of choral music for CSWS festival choirs.
An additional outgrowth of the CSWS festival is the IMEA All-State Children’s (1990) and Middle School (1993) Honor Choirs. Each of the Honor Choirs is a select group of approximately 140 singers chosen by audition tape and teacher’s recommendation. After two days of rehearsal, the Honor Choirs are featured guest performers at the Indiana Music Educators Association State Convention in Indianapolis. In 1992, the IMEA All-State Children’s Honor Choir was selected to perform at the MENC National In-Service Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Important 2019 Deadlines:
Wednesday, October 9, 2019 – Honor Choir Audition deadline
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 – High School CSWS registration deadline
Wednesday, December 4, 2019 – Elementary and Middle School CSWS registration deadline