About Circle the State with Song

General Information:

For 32 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 CSWS 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 
  • 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. 

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 2023-2024 Deadlines:

Honor Choir Audition Deadline: Wednesday, October 4, 2023 
High School All Region Choir Deadline: Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Elementary & Middle School CSWS Registration Deadline: Wednesday, December 6, 2023 

2023-2024 Clinics & Performances:

High School All-Region Choir Clinics:

North Site: November 7, 2023 - IU South Bend
Central Site: November 8, 2023 - Marian University
South Site: November 9, 2023 - AIS-Diamond

Elementary and Middle School CSWS Performances:

February 10, 2024
February 17, 2024
February 24, 2024
March 2, 2024
March 9, 2024