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UWF alumni returned to participate in Summer Festival Chorus

July 1, 2018 | By: Jordan Ardoin |

UWF chorus and others perform for the summer festival
UWF chorus and others perform for the summer festival.

“After participating last year, I could not wait to be part of this year's Summer Festival Chorus! I love everything about it - the challenging musical selections, the diverse demographics of the choir, seeing old friends and meeting new ones,” says Margi Baker, 2015 UWF graduate in music performance and current assistant director of UWF Advancement Services.

Baker is one of several UWF alumni that Summer Festival Chorus welcomed as members this year. The program, which consisted of two weeks of rehearsals and two public performances on June 9 and June 30, offered alumni a chance to return to campus as active participants in the university community.

Alumni who participated in one or both installments of the program say they are proud of their time at UWF and grateful for the opportunity to continue their relationship with the university. Baker says, “It is thrilling to me, as a proud alumna of the UWF department of music, to watch the programs in which I participated as a student growing and branching out into new directions, and then to come back and be part of them.”

For some who studied music at UWF and now work in the field professionally, Summer Festival Chorus presented an opportunity for further growth in education and skill. Marshall Corzette graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Music in voice performance. He currently serves as the patron services manager and community engagement coordinator of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra and the executive director of the Pensacola Community Music School. Corzette says the ability to sing with his former professors and Summer Festival Chorus director Dr. Peter Steenblik made the experience particularly educational.

Alumni say they appreciate the program’s success in engaging the community with music. Summer Festival Chorus welcomed community members of all experience levels to participate in a high quality chorus. In addition, all performances were free and open to the public.

Mary Holway, 2007 graduate in vocal performance and education, says, “It is a source of pride that chorus people from all over Pensacola and surrounding areas are in our university and experiencing what I experienced as a student.”

Alumni returned to UWF for Summer Festival Chorus for the educational benefits and community involvement, yes, but they also returned because they genuinely enjoyed the program.

Corzette says, “I've sung with plenty of choirs, good and not so, and the UWF Festival Chorus is not only good, it's fun and engaging.”

Summer Festival Chorus’s 2018 sessions took places on June 4-9 and 25-30. See videos of the performances at UWF Singers website.