The Halstead High School Concert Choir has a unique opportunity today — help premier a piece of music.
“We’re one of only six choirs in the nation asked to do this,” said director Ron Chronister. “I am very humbled by this.”
As part of its Radio Radiance partnership with the Young People’s Chorus of New York City (YPC), the Halstead High School Concert Choir, will sing the Kansas premiere of Paquito D’Rivera’s “Tembandumba,” a highlight of its annual fall concert at 7 p.m. today at Halstead High School Auditorium, 521 West Sixth Street, Halstead. Admission is free.
This will be the first live performance of “Tembandumba” outside of New York City.
“It is challenging,” Chronister said. “This is one of the toughest things I have put in front of my choir, and they are having a lot of fun with it.”
“Tembandumba” is
one of four Radio Radiance works being presented in collaboration American Public Media.  The piece is written by Paquito D’Rivera — a jazz and classical composer.
“This is a new concept,” Chronister said. “They ask composers who are not used to writing for voice, and they do some very unique things.”
Radio Radiance is a radio and digital media program created by YPC in association with American Public Media to attract new listeners to cutting-edge choral music. The Halstead High School Concert Choir is among only six youth choruses nationwide selected to bring this music to towns and cities across the country.  The other choirs are the Boston Children’s Chorus, the Children’s Chorus of Maryland, the Ithaca Children’s Choir, the Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart Chamber Choir in Bellevue, Washington, and the Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde, Georgia.
This is the second year choirs from each region of the United States has been a part of Radio Radiance.
The Halstead High School Concert Choir is made up of 50 students.  The Choir has received numerous “Superior Division” ratings at Kansas State High School Activities Association festivals, has been invited twice to sing at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, and has been featured on all local affiliates of the three major TV networks and PBS.
The Young People’s Chorus of New York City™ provides children of all ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds with a unique program of music education and choral performance, while advancing a model of artistic excellence and humanity that enriches the community.  Founded in 1988 by its Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez, a 2011 MacArthur Fellow, YPC is among today’s most celebrated and influential children’s choruses, as well as a social model that is being adopted by other U.S. cities and underdeveloped countries.