The concert season begins at this week, with the fall choral concert scheduled for 8 p.m. Oct. 4.
"We have a really talented group this year," said Jodi Frisbee-Reese, assistant professor of music at DCCC.
Three choral ensembles are preparing for the concert: the Concert Choir, which is the school's large choral ensemble; the College Singers, which is the smaller select group; and Choral Union, which is a community choir.
The theme of the evening is a Tribute to America.
"There will be patriotic music, songs by American composers, American poetry set to music and genres associated with America, like jazz, gospel and country," Reese said.
"We're covering all facets and all things American." she said.
Area veterans and military personnel have been invited to the concert and a special tribute will honor them.
"This will be an exciting concert," Reese said. "I was thinking about programming during the summer and the Olympics were on and then a colleague sent me a song on YouTube and it just seemed like it needed to be an American theme."
The song, sent to Reese by Larry Burke, history teacher at the college, is "Wherever You Are," composition based on letters and prayers written by military wives in the United Kingdom while their husbands were serving.
American poets Walt Whitman and Sara Teasdale will be represented on the program as will Dale Grotenhuis, a Midwestern choral composer and one of Reese's favorites. Grotenhuis, whose choral catalogue includes more than 300 pieces, died in August at the age of 80.
"We even have a Stephen Sondheim musical theater piece," Reese said. "We just wanted to include everything."
The next generation
Reese and students from the DC3 choral department spent some time last week investing in younger singers.
They hosted a day-long workshop for area high school students to help them prepare for the upcoming state choir auditions.
Over 130 students from 14 area high school attended.
Area high school teachers held sectional rehearsals focusing on the state choir music and the students also participated in mass choir rehearsals.
A mock audition was staged to let the students know what to expect when they audition on the first Saturday in November.
"The local teachers are experts in how the auditions go, so it helps to give these kids a needed boost in the process and answer some of their questions," Reese said.
"It gives us a chance to introduce out concert choir to the high school singers and it's great just to spend time with kids that are into the arts and music," she said,
The DC3 Fine Arts Department will have another chance to introduce area high school students to their curriculum when they host Sampler Day on Oct. 17.
Page 2 of 3 - The day is aimed at area high school juniors and seniors and introduces courses available in art and animation, instrumental keyboard and vocal music, fiction and communication.
On the menu for the day are such sessions as "Teach me how to play the piano," "Next stop, the Twilight Zone," "How do I make a great recording?," "I want that ole time rock and roll," and "Flashes of Inspiration — creating and performing flash fiction."
Another session explores the theme of the day — Innovation - Transformation - Regeneration — with a look at America in the 1950s and what is considered un-American.
"There were a lot of changes in America in the 1950s," Reese said. "Things like the was Elvis ushered in rock and roll and the effect television had on the culture — we'll look at those changes," she said.
Strike up the band
The DC3 instrumental department will bring their fall concert to the stage at 3 p.m. Sunday Oct. 7.
The concert, conducted by David McKinney, associate professor of bands and orchestra, is in three sections.
The first, Retrospectives, is presented by the Dodge City Symphony, the college's community orchestra.
"It's a collection of orchestral classics," McKinney said.
The program will include works by Bach, two Russian masters and Giuseppi Verdi.
The second section, Nostalgia, showcases the jazz ensemble, which will play a Santana hit from the 1970s, a World War II ballad from the 1940s and a Beetles hit from the 1960s.
The final section of the concert, featuring the wind ensemble, is called Wind Colours.
"I chose the alternate spelling to give the audience a hint that the music is from the European genre," McKinnley said.
A group of Irish folk songs and a Dutch composition will share the stage with a Japanese march.
McKinnley, who is in his first year with DC3, says he is pleasantly pleased and surprised with the performance level of the symphony.
"We don't hold auditions for that group, we welcome all players — and that's a good thing for a community group, but you never know what to expect. There's a strong commitment in the symphony and a great desire to do well. We've been able to fill key sections by word of mouth and we're close to 30 players in that group now," he said.
McKinnley says the public can expect to hear three diverse ensembles with a lot of community participation performing an accomplished program with a high energy.
"I've really challenged the wind ensemble," McKinnley said. "I gave them a handful of notes and a mouthful of music, and the expectation that every rehearsal come up to performance quality."
With the fall semester barely six weeks old, both departments are anxious for you the hear their progress.
Page 3 of 3 - IF YOU GO
What: DC3 fall choral concert
When: 8 p.m. Oct. 4
Where: DC3 Little Theatre
What: DC3 fall instrumental concert
When: 3 p.m. Oct. 7
Where: DC3 Little Theatre
Both concerts are free to the public.