The Music Department at Williston State College, under the direction of Herb Parker Jr., will perform two concerts in May. Both events are open to the public.
At 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 9, the WSC Community Chorale, Concert Choir and Select Singers will perform at First Lutheran Church in Williston. The second concert will feature the WSC Community Band, Orchestra and Strings. It is set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 11. Admission price is $5. WSC students and employees will be admitted free with their college activity cards.
The music program at WSC, which started with group of eight vocalists during the 2008-2009 school year, has grown in just one year to include more than 100 musicians in six different groups.
"The concert choir has grown to include 30 WSC students and members of that choir audition to become the WSC Select Singers, which is 18 members strong," Parker said.
The Williston Concert Chorale, which used to be the community chorale, has 43 adults participating and is made up of members of the community. "WSC students are eligible for this group and we did have some of our concert choir members join this group as well," Parker said.
The college has added three instrumental groups this year, where there were none as recently as last year. "It wasn't even on the schedule," Parker said. The groups are the WSC Community Band is a combination of the college band and the city band and has a membership of 25 to 30. the Williston Community Strings, which used to be the Williston Strings, with 24 members; and the Williston Community Orchestra, which has about 40 participants.
Parker said he envisions the music department growing even more in the years to come. "That's why we need a building," he laughed. He hopes that the building is ready before he decides to "fully retire. I want to direct the first concert in it."