In June 1987, a children's chorus was needed for the Western Plains Opera Company's production of the opera "Carmen." A group of outstanding young singers was chosen for the production. The same fall a children's chorus was needed for "Song of Norway." Again a group of talented children was selected. The see was sown...
Sandra Starr, Dr. Joseph Hegstad, and Julianne Wallin envisioned a permanent, on-going children's choral group. Western Plains Children's Chorus was founded under the auspices of the Minot Community Opera (which later became Western Plains Opera Company). Both are sustained by Minot State University.
In January 1991 the name was decided, auditions were announced, and a group of fourth, fifth, and sixth grade children from Minot and the surrounding area were selected for the first Western Plains Children's Chorus. The director was Sandra Starr.
The following fall of 1991, a second group under the direction of Rebecca Petrik was added. They became known as the Western Plains Junior Choir. In the fall of 1993, seventh grade was added to the older ensemble. Presently, the chorus includes a 3rd grade group - the Western Plains Choristers, a 4th and 5th grade ensemble - the Western Plains Junior Choir, a 6th and 7th grade ensemble - the Western Plains Children's Choir, and the Western Plains Youth Ensemble.
Over the years, the choirs have enjoyed performances with the Minot Symphony Orchestra, the Minot Chamber Chorale Renaissance Dinners, WPOC opera productions, the "Norsk Høstfest," various conventions, as well as the annual Christmas and spring concerts in Anne Nicole Nelson Hall, MSU.
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