By: Tatum Hunter ~Editor-in-Chief~
The campus show choir Xavier Singers is taking the group in a new direction this semester and operating without a non-student director for the first time in years.
According to senior director of student affairs Leah Busam Klenowski, representatives from the Office of Student Involvement contacted Singers’ leadership during the summer and suggested that the group reorganize its leadership and forego a fall semester performance. Klenowski said that budget and space issues were threatening the club’s vitality.
Since the Department of Music and Theatre was formed in 2012, it has become increasingly difficult for groups outside the department to reserve space in the Gallagher Student Center Theater. “It’s been really challenging for student groups to get access to Gallagher Theater, and it’s because the space is being used for academic events, first and foremost,” Klenowski said.
This semester, Singers will be directed by student leaders instead of former director Danny Manning and will look for student musicians to accompany them at shows. This will ease the pressure to fundraise in order to commission a non-student director and musicians.
Singers, as well as groups like Gospel Choir, used to exist as part of the Division of Student Affairs before the inception of the Department of Music and Theatre. After the department was created, groups were given the choice to function as an ensemble within the department or as a student organization. Singers chose to exist as a student organization and fund its activities through Student Government Association (SGA) budget allocation and fundraising.
There was no change in Singers’ SGA budget allocation from last year to this year. “This year Xavier Singers is working with the Office of Student Involvement to progress the group in a more student involved direction” Singers president Bill Bentley told the Newswire in an email. “The group saw the potential to have more students involved with the entire performing process, including directing, music arrangement, musicians, choreographers, and more. The group is actively looking for current Xavier students to be involved in these positions, giving them a unique experience to show off their talents and skills.”
Singers member Redmond Millerick said the group still plans on performing in the fall at new spaces on campus. Millerick said that the group is considering shorter, more frequent shows instead of one large production at the end of each semester. “There is so much talent among students and organizations on campus,” Millerick said. “We are revamping the group.”
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