About CSWS and the Honor Choirs

IMEA views Circle the State with Song (CSWS) and the Honor Choirs as integral components to supporting IMEA’s mission “To support and advance music education in Indiana by representing the united interest of music educators and students and by providing professional leadership and service in music education to enhance the arts in the schools.” We encourage elementary and middle school music educators from all schools across the state to be involved. State chairs and area coordinators will make every reasonable attempt to expand the number of schools participating in each area.


Circle the State with Song

In 1989, the Indiana Music Educators Association initiated and sponsored a children’s choral festival called “Circle the State with Song.” This statewide festival was organized for the following purposes:

  • To provide students with an exciting and quality choral performance with other students from their area;
  • To provide an opportunity for music honor students who are ready for more challenging music to work with guest choral clinicians;
  • To provide 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;
  • To sing quality children’s choral repertoire;
  • To provide a source of income for IMEA in its goal to support quality music education for all students in Indiana.

Circle the State with Song choral festivals began as a program for elementary students from grades 4, 5, and 6. The festivals were held at seven different sites throughout Indiana during the month of February, 1989. In 1991, the Indiana Music Educators Association expanded the festivals to include junior high/middle school students grades 6-8.


Honor Choir

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 13-area CSWS festivals to fill balanced parts. Both groups perform at the IMEA Professional Development Conference every January.