The Killeen Children’s Chorale performs at 6 p.m. today at Ellison High School. Accompanying the chorale here are Jimmy Baas, Killeen High School associate choir director on piano, and Jeremy Cameron, Harker Heights High School orchestra conductor. California-based Dancing Drum also will perform.

By Todd Martin
Special to the Daily Herald

Years of dreams will come to fruition when the first-ever Killeen ISD district-wide chorale takes center stage during an evening performance today that caps the district’s eighth annual visual art show.

Phyllis King, fine arts instructional specialist for KISD and director of the newly formed chorale, said the 75-voice group is a thrilling result of a longtime vision.

The Killeen Children’s Chorale will perform at 6 p.m. today in the Ellison High School auditorium.

The fourth- through sixth-graders auditioned in January and squeezed in five rehearsals to prepare for the big performance alongside the visiting Dancing Drum ensemble.

“The exciting part is to hear them sing with such feeling,” King said. “They are very sensitive and follow all my directions.”

Chorale members represent 20 elementary schools and seven middle schools. Killeen High School associate choir director Jimmy Baas will accompany the group.

The musical selections vary from high energy to smooth and calm. The finale, to be performed with the visiting duet Dancing Drum, will be in Spanish. It is called Cantar, the Spanish verb to sing.

Sheila Donahue, KISD fine arts director, envisioned the district-wide chorale 25 years ago when she was an elementary music teacher. Now, she is the artistic director for the newly formed group.

While the time has never seemed quite right, King said there is no doubt that Killeen has the talented students and the committed music educators to sustain the group.

“This is a historic occasion — the first performance of the first Killeen Children’s Chorale,” she said.

The performance will include a dynamic addition in Dancing Drum, a two-person drum ensemble set to perform with the children’s chorale and lead a community drum circle.

The drum circle, expected to start at 7 p.m. today, is planned in the small gym at Ellison High School adjacent to the auditorium.

Dancing Drum is Steve Campbell and Lindsay Rust. The Santa Barbara, Calif., pair has performed in schools this week and will lead their audience tonight in an interactive drum circle. The chorale performance and drum circle are free of charge.