Archive for Monday, December 3, 2012

Tonganoxie High’s Chieftain Singers performance puts group in running for $5,000 from radio station

December 3, 2012, 3:42 p.m.

Updated: December 5, 2012, 3:44 p.m.

The Chieftain Singers vocal group is a finalist to receive $5,000 for the Tonganoxie High School vocal music department through a local radio station and will need residents’ help in being the top group.

The THS group is one of eight finalists in 99.7 The Point’s Christmas Choir Contest. The group’s performance will be broadcast about 7:10 a.m. Wednesday on the station. Voters then can text 47183 and type the word “Chieftains” between 7:15 a.m. and 6 p.m..

Chorus director Tom Gifford encourages texters to “vote early and often.”

The Chieftain Singers recorded “Throw Open Your Shutters” for the contest. In the first round, THS will face off against Shawnee Mission South High School, which recorded “Let It Snow.”

Tonganoxie is the smallest school represented in the contest. Olathe North, Olathe East, Shawnee Mission South and F.L. Schlagle are other high schools on the Kansas side of the Kansas City metro competing. Missouri schools Liberty High, Lee’s Summit West and Blue Springs South also are represented.

A total of 17 high school choirs entered the contest.

Gifford said the growing vocal department could use the winnings if the Chieftain Singers were awarded the $5,000. He said the Chieftain Singers have grown from a group of 18 to 56 during the past six years.

Judges for this year’s contest are KMBC meteorologist Bryan Busby who also is principal timpanist for the Kansas City Civic Orchestra and Liberty Symphony, soprano Sarah Tannehill Anderson with the Kansas City Chorale and music promoter Bill Rusch.

Choirs advancing to the semifinals will be announced next week and the top two finalists will be announced the following week. The judges’ final decision will be announced about 7:10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, on the radio station.

To hear performances, go to and look for a link to the contest in a slideshow at the top of the website.


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