College professor visits Seymour High School choral department

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Eleven pieces of paper were taped to the walls around the Seymour High School choir room.

The messages included “Random acts of kindness,” “Move, soar, sail,” “Just do it,” “No one can make you feel inferior without consent,” “How you do anything is how you do everything” “and “Positive attitude, charge ahead, enjoy yourself.”

These were among the thoughts Thomas King, assistant professor of music at DePauw University in Greencastle, shared while talking about vocal technique with three different choirs.

King’s hope is that the students apply those thoughts to music and life.

“It’s so that they realize that each one of them is an individual and needs to start at this point and go somewhere with it,” he said. “And if it’s not in music, that’s OK, too. It’s just in life.”

King has an extensive background in music education and performing. He has given voice lessons since 1970, and he taught high school choirs for 11 years. He’s now in his 28th year of teaching at the collegiate level. Also on his résumé are several operas and musicals.

King recently became acquainted with Seymour High School choral director Kyle Karum. Both are involved with the Bloomington Chamber Singers, and King heard Karum’s students when they recently performed with that group.

He decided to email Karum to see if he could spend a day with his students.

“I heard his choir in Bloomington at a concert, but I didn’t get to hear them the way they usually are because they were spread out,” King said. “I thought, ‘I know Kyle. I’ll just call him up and say, ‘Would you like me to come down sometime and work with them and say some things and maybe pep them up a little bit or give them some new ideas that they’ve not heard before?’ That mixture somehow speaks to some of the kids.”

Karum said he was excited about the opportunity for his students.

“Having sung with him in the past, I know he is a fantastic vocalist and that he could provide our students with some great feedback,” Karum said.

Read the full story in Wednesday’s Tribune and online at tribtown.com.

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.