KMS Choral Program
Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg Public Schools
By Sandra Baker
Banner Photo — KMS Senior High Choir
The Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (KMS) Choral program has a rich history of performing highly respected choral literature and has been successful at cultivating good choral students who are interested in creating excellent choral music.
KMS is a consolidated school district (1978) in West Central Minnesota and some of the past directors include Sally Aronson Peterson (KSHS and KMS), Arline Gulsvig (Murdock), and Crystal Olson (Kerkhoven-Sunburg). The KMS Choirs have consistently received superior ratings at Large Group Contests, have had an excellent representation of choir members being selected into the ACDA and MMEA Honor Choirs, along with a high percentage participation in Solo and Ensemble contest.
ACDA Honor Choir Students
Twenty students (10 boys and 10 girls) from the KMS Choir also make up the KMS Pop Group, which performs at concerts and area community centers, churches, chapels, and living centers, bringing joy and hope through their vibrant and appealing performances.
KMS Pop Group
Performing the National Anthem has been a popular opportunity for students to stretch their vocal talents. Many duets, trios, quartets, and octets from within the KMS Choir have been given the opportunity through an online audition to perform the “Star-Spangled Banner” at the Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament at the Xcel Center, which continues to enrich the KMS Choral Program.
Mixed Quartet at Wrestling
In addition, many choir students participate in musicals, which are held every other year at KMS. Presently, KMS is rehearsing the musical, “Once Upon a Mattress,” which will be performed in November, 2021.
There is also a rich history of providing elementary students with an added choral opportunity. The “Singing Saints” is an extracurricular choir for students in grades 4, 5, and 6, and helps to prepare students for the rigorous choral music in grades 7-12 and also teaches community building and cooperation.
KMS Elementary Singing Saints
The KMS Choir has also been invited to perform in area churches, and has taken trips, including Chicago and New York City. While in NYC, the Choir performed at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine and attended a Broadway workshop. A consistent comment about the KMS Choir students when performing outside of KMS, is their kindness, enthusiasm, outstanding commitment to choir, and the talent shown from a small, rural school.
KMS Junior High Choir
The KMS Choir has been supported by the KMS administration, staff, the KMS Music Parents, and the KMS Community. It is a known fact that KMS is a school that supports both Band and Choir, and the KMS Music Parents is a longstanding support group that continues to go above and beyond to support the KMS Music Department.
About Sandra Baker
Sandra Baker is the present KMS Choral director, and continues to maintain the respected KMS Choral Program, and challenges the students with excellent choral music. Through leadership, beautiful admiral blue robes, sparkling royal and silver pop group costumes, red festive choir shirts, outstanding voices, supporting administration and staff, community support, and following the KMS logo, “Working Together in the Pursuit of Excellence,” the KMS Choral Program hopes to instill excellent musicianship and cooperation to all choral students, helping them to become remarkable men and women.