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Singing Hoosiers Spring Concert at IU Auditorium a farewell for director Michael Schwartzkopf

WHAT: Singing Hoosiers Spring Concert
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, March 31
WHERE: IU Auditorium, 1211 E. Seventh St.
TICKETS: $15 to $20 for adults; $10 to $15 for all students. Individual tickets may be purchased online at IUauditorium.com, in person at the IU Auditorium Box Office, at Ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. The IU Auditorium Box Office is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In a farewell concert for its retiring music director, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music professor Michael Schwartzkopf, the Singing Hoosiers -- widely considered one of the finest collegiate show choirs in the United States -- will present its annual spring concert at 8 p.m. March 31 at IU Auditorium.

IU's "ambassadors of song," led by Schwartzkopf for the past 17 years, will perform Broadway favorites, jazz selections and other American popular songs with choreography, energy and style. Designed to celebrate the history of the ensemble, the concert will showcase works taken from the 1950s to the present day.

"What an evening this will be, as so many will gather in Bloomington to express their love and appreciation for one who has meant so much to them," Jacobs School of Music Dean Gwyn Richards said. "Michael has reached countless IU alumni through his leadership of the Singing Hoosiers, and we cherish the opportunity to thank him during the upcoming concert and surrounding weekend events."

"This is a very humbling and emotional time for me," Schwartzkopf said. "The students through the past 17 years have been some of my most important musical companions. They're all wonderful, and it's been a joy to watch them evolve at IU and then develop their careers as they go into the world. Often, they remind me that their sense of discipline, dedication and responsibility in life is connected to their time with the Singing Hoosiers. I'm also forever grateful to the Jacobs School, the IU Alumni Association and the IU Foundation for their support and collaboration."

"Michael Schwartzkopf is that kind of exceptional colleague you encounter only very rarely in your career," said William Jon Gray, chair of the Jacobs School's Choral Department. "He has inspired students and faculty alike through his tireless service to the Jacobs School of Music, as a conductor, faculty member, chair of the Choral Department and chair of the Music Education Department. His dedication to teaching and mentoring, his generosity of spirit, his positive energy and his optimistic approach have changed the lives of all of us lucky enough to have worked with him. We will miss him, but his standards and commitment to excellence will continue to inspire us long after his retirement."

With approximately 90 vocalists, the ensemble is made up of collegiate performers from the Jacobs School of Music as well as students with a variety of other majors at IU Bloomington, including business, chemistry and political science. A busy calendar of performances around the U.S. each year keeps the ensemble in top gear.

In addition to the Spring Concert, the ensemble's Bloomington performances include participation in the annual Chimes of Christmas concert, IU Opera Theater and oratorio productions, and Big Ten basketball games.

WTIU Public TV recently celebrated the Singing Hoosiers with "Make Your Own Kind of Music: The Indiana University Singing Hoosiers," a documentary based on the 2011 Spring Concert in the IU Auditorium.

Weekend celebrations by the IU Alumni Association to honor Schwartzkopf include the annual pre-concert banquet and a special retirement luncheon. For more information on the special events, click here.

About the Singing Hoosiers
The Singing Hoosiers continue more than half a century of tradition as IU's ambassadors of song. In the early 1950s, the Men's Concert Choir was one of only three choral ensembles in the fledgling IU Jacobs School of Music and had 50 members.

The ensemble has entertained millions in 18 states and more than 26 countries, including Europe, Australia, the Far East and the Caribbean, appearing with such legendary entertainers as Bob Hope, Alan Sherman, Red Buttons, Tony Bennett, Duke Ellington and Indiana's favorite son, Hoagy Carmichael. The group has also performed with opera legend Sylvia McNair and with several professional symphony orchestras, including the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, Evansville Philharmonic, South Bend Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops.

With Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops, the Singing Hoosiers performed at Carnegie Hall in 1995 and appeared on a televised PBS Christmas special with Mel Torme. The partnership with the Pops resulted in the release of several recordings on the Telarc International label. These include the Grammy-nominated "A Disney Spectacular" and "The Music Man." The group has also recorded "The Magical Music of Disney," "Hollywood's Greatest Musicals" and "Magical Musicals."