A college-level music experience
Prepare for college auditions.
Join us on campus for Honor Choir!
A summer choir camp for high school students
Honor Choir — July 9-14, 2023
Directed by Dr. Susan E. Shirel. Enjoy five days of advanced work in choral music and related fields, including music literature, sight-reading, and group voice instruction.
Come to Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas to:
- Prepare for college auditions! Improve your sightreading!
- Polish your vocal skills!
- Become a more secure singer!
- Explore your other talents!
- Earn an hour of college credit!
Here's what Honor Choir members had to say about their experience:
"Thank you for such an amazing summer memory! The skills and tools I learned about music I will certainly carry throughout high school and the friendships I made will be just as valuable. The repertoire was engaging and unique and the choreography was fun and high energy."
"I can't praise the program enough! I'm really happy that you do Honor Choir. I've been to a different choir camp and it just wasn't personal like Honor Choir was. I really love being there."
"I love Honor Choir and I plan on coming every year until I'm in college! The entire experience has helped me become a better musician and the friendships built and the memories made there are unforgettable."
Space is limited, so apply early!
The cost for the Summer Honor Choir is $395. That amount is reduced to $295 if you are an All-District Singer or to $245 if you are an All-State Singer. Please indicate if you qualify for this scholarship. A deposit of $100 (partially refundable) is required with this application. You may pay the remainder when you arrive. We now can accept credit card payments over the phone. Please call the music office at 501-279-4343 if you would like to pay by credit card. Please include a recent photo with your application.
Transportation from and to the Little Rock airport can be arranged ($20 each way). If you fly, please arrange to arrive on Sunday morning before 11:30.
Please ask your choral director to submit a note of recommendation on your behalf to Dr. Susan E. Shirel at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not have a director, ask us about special application procedures. Returning Honor Choir members do not need to submit another recommendation.
Your week at Harding University will give you an opportunity to work intensively in choral music and related fields, simulating a college-level music experience. You'll live in university housing and eat your meals in campus dining facilities. Each day you'll study sight-singing, music literature, and how to present yourself as a performer. And you'll rehearse some great choral literature, preparing for a final concert. There will also be special performances, events, devotionals and recreational activities. Registration is on Sunday afternoon, July 10, between 1:30 and 4:30. The Final Concert will be given on Friday night, July 15, and you may depart after the concert or on Saturday morning. Participants can receive one hour of college credit in Music 1310 (Chorus).
To qualify for participation in this experience you must have special interest and ability in choral music, as verified by your choral director's recommendation. You should have completed the ninth grade by the summer of 2022.
In order to receive college credit for Honor Choir, a student should submit the following by June 1, 2022:
- Application to Harding; check the First-time Freshman under Enrollment Status, plus $50 application fee
- Transcript showing 12 hours in solid subjects with a cumulative GPA of 3.0
- ACT score of 19 or SAT combined 90, sent directly from ACT, will not accept computer printouts
- Two reference letters (academic and character, one can be the letter from your choral director)
- Verification of two MMR vaccinations. These can be obtained from your high school office.
$395 covers everything—room, board, entertainment and instruction. A deposit of $100 (partially refundable) is required with your application. A scholarship of $150 is offered to All-State Singers, and $100 to All-District or All-Region singers.
The Director and Staff
Susan E. Shirel
As an assistant professor of music at Harding University, Dr. Susan E. Shirel serves as Coordinator of Music Education, directs the Concert Choir, teaches private voice and music education courses, supervises student teaching interns, and previously directed Belle Canto—Harding’s auditioned women’s ensemble for 5 years. She holds a Master of Arts in Vocal Pedagogy from Texas Woman's University and the Doctor of Arts in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Ball State University. Prior to joining the Harding University faculty in 2011, Dr. Shirel earned a Bachelor of Music Education – vocal and instrumental degrees from Harding University and was a secondary choral music educator for 10 years in three states. In addition to her work with the Department of Music, Dr. Shirel enjoys collaborating with the Harding Theatre Department. She has served as the vocal coach and music director for several productions including Annie, Suessical, Joseph, Pirates?!?, Shrek: the Musical, Hands on a Hardbody, and Spring Sing (2013-2015). Dr. Shirel also enjoys performing and was seen on the SSDT stage in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
About Harding University
Harding University is a private liberal-arts university affiliated with the churches of Christ. Harding's community includes approximately 5,200 students from 50 states and 50 foreign countries. The University is known for its strong academic offerings, for its international programs and for its commitment to spiritual training and involvement.
The school is listed in Peterson's Competitive Colleges and is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the South's best universities.
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