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The Massed Chorus for a Big Sing is huge and the sound is incredible. This picture is from the Big Sing held in Eau Claire, Wis., in 2008. The Staples Area Men's Chorus will host the event at 7:30 p.m. on April 17 in the Staples Motley High School Auditorium.

'Big Sing' coming to Staples

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From the audience's perspective, the sight itself is an awesome experience. A 300-voice massed choir tends to have that kind of an effect. Then, a hush settles over the crowd as the conductor approaches the podium. Facing the choir he raises his arms in a cue for attention. As the concert officially begins, a tremendous sound fills the room.

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Each year, a Midwest community fortunate enough to have and support a men's chorus, hosts what has become an annual tradition for men's choral singing enthusiasts -- the "Big Sing."

Male choruses from throughout the Midwest district gather for two days of singing, choral workshops, special performances and to renew old friendships. At the event's conclusion, a grand finale concert is held. All choirs in attendance join together as a mass chorus, creating an overwhelming listening experience.

The Staples Area Men's Chorus has been named host choir for this year's "Big Sing" Convention. It will be held at Staples Motley High School and Cragun's Resort and Conference Center. During the convention, to be held April 16-18, 11 AMCA male Choruses will be participating from Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.

The "Big Sing" schedule of activities will get underway Friday evening, April 16, with all of the choirs singing before a panel of judges. The Clinicians are Michael Smith of Concordia College, Bryan Johnson of Aitkin High School, Brian Stubbs from Brainerd High School, and Matt Culloton Director of the Singers, one the best professional choirs in the Twin Cities. Mr. Culloton will also be on hand at the Concert Saturday evening to conduct the massed chorus in his composition "Let the Music Rise." "Let the Music Rise" was commissioned by the Staples Area Men's Chorus.

Saturday begins with massed and solo chorus rehearsals and moves into a convention format after lunch. There has been an incredible amount of behind-the-scenes work involved. There will be sessions in vocal technique, the art of accompanying, composing and arranging music for male voices, sustaining a vision for a choral group, new technology for music groups, attracting singers, and a reading session of new music written for male choirs.

There will also be a performance by a guest choir, the Central Minnesota Boy's Choir. "This is a special concert for singers in male choirs," said Carlson. "After singing in male choirs the guys realize how much joy and richness music-making has brought into their lives and there is a special feeling for the realization that these boys are on the same road to lives filled with the joy of singing and that the art form they love will continue into the next generation.

Concluding the 2010 "Big Sing" Convention, will be the Grand Concert Saturday evening, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Performing will be select individual male choruses, including the Staples group, as well as the mass chorus extravaganza. The finale concert is open to the public and Gold is hopeful that people from throughout the area will take the time to attend this large-scale musical event.

Reserved seat tickets are available online at staplesmen.tix.com. They are also available through the Centennial Auditorium Box Office at (218) 894-5416 or (800) 213-6877.

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