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Singers Standards of Excellence September 2011
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Lindsey Wilson Singers Commit To High Standards at Annual Ceremony

Posted on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 [9:24 PM]

Lindsey Wilson Singers Standards of Excellent September 2011
Veteran members of the Lindsey Wilson Singers encircle new members of the
Lindsey Wilson Singers duringthe "Standards of Excellence" ceremony in
the W.W. Slider Humanities Center.

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Lindsey Wilson College student Kailyn Conner understood what the Lindsey Wilson Singers are all about when she participated in last year's "Signing of the Standards of Excellence."

Now in her second year with the co-curricular choral group, Conner was one of 27 Lindsey Wilson College students who participated Wednesday night in the 13th edition of the annual fall ceremony, held in W.W. Slider Humanities Center.

"The signing ceremony is where I really started to understand what the group was and what the group was meant to do, and the ministry the group has," said Conner, who is a math major from Albany, Ky.

Created more than a decade ago by the Lindsey Wilson Singers' officers, the ceremony asks the co-curricular group's members to pledge themselves and the group to high artistic, intellectual, spiritual and personal standards. As part of the ceremony, each member signs their name into a book that contains the choral ensemble's "Standards of Excellence."

The Singers are under the direction of Associate Professor of Music and Religion and Director of Choral Programs Gerald Chafin. He calls the annual fall event a "sacred ceremony" because of what Singers pledge to the group throughout the school year.

"Everything the signing ceremony instilled in us last year we saw played out through the rest of year," Conner said. "What we sign on to is what we promise we will do -- and we actually do it."

As Singer Allison Chafin said, the signing ceremony "sets a serious tone."

"It brings the true meaning of the group to the forefront, which the new people may not be aware of yet," said Chafin, who is a third-year member of the group and a math major from Columbia.

One of the unique characteristics of the Lindsey Wilson Singers is that the 27 student members are not music majors -- which 2011-12 President Jessica Massingale of Vine Grove, Ky., said creates an exciting dynamic.

"I think over the years my favorite about being in Singers thing has been the family unit that is created," said Massingale, who is a human services and counseling major. "We all come from different areas and we all have different backgrounds, and we can all come together and be one."

One common thread that does run among the Singers is a passion for music.

"Last year's ceremony showed me that we all share the same passion and energy for music," said Emily Ramage, a second-year singer who is a communication major from Columbia. "And we just want to create music and minister to others as well."

In addition to performing several times on campus and in the community in 2011-12, the Lindsey Wilson Singers will tour the southern Atlantic states in the spring. They will also give a couple special performances: the national anthem before the Sept. 20 Reds-Astros game at Great American Ball Park, and on Dec. 4 they will be the featured concert at Mammoth Cave National Park's 32nd-annual Cave Sing.

The Sept. 20 event at Great American Ball Park is a 10-year remembrance for the Lindsey Wilson Singers. In September 2001, the ensemble performed the national anthem before the Sept. 18 Reds-Cubs game, which was played at Cinergy Field. It was one of baseball's first post-9/11 games.

And in June, a select group of Lindsey Wilson Singers will perform at St. Peter's Basilica as part of the Rome International Choral Festival.

"Just in the two years I've been in Singers, I've gone to Alaska and Texas … things I could only have the opportunity to do if I was in this groups," said John Brown, a second-year Singer from Albany, Ky., who is a biology major. "I think the signing ceremony sets a tone that if we are all willing to commit to something that serious, then we are serious about our music and serious about our performances and everything that's involved."

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Click here to see more pictures from the ceremony. 

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