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Great State: Sound from Alva Choir Echoes Far Beyond NWOSU Campus

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ALVA, OKLAHOMA -- From the oldest structure on the Northwestern campus the chords of higher education echo from brick and mortar.

A solemn, vocal hymn feels at home in the halls of academia, cushioned by shady trees and the ghosts of students past.

But among the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Singers, the present is most important.

In its history, this group might never have been better than right now.

"We've really got an amazing group going here," says one of the singers.

"We've really adjusted well this year," echoes another singer. "We've gotten really good in a short period of time."

Dr. Irene Messoloras, the choir's director, hand picks the voices for this select choir.

Some are music majors.

Other members consist of students with voices that fit the others.

All of them must show a willingness to work hard in getting the right sound to fit the halls of the old Fine Arts Building.

Another singer in the group says, "One of Dr. M's favorite things to say is, 'by the end of each rehearsal, if you're brain isn't sweating, then you're doing something wrong."

Dr. Messaloras herself says, "This group can read music like nothing I've ever seen. They're incredible. Very, very committed."

Last spring these singers say something clicked.

The work began to pay off.

The new voices fit just right.

The group toured in China.

They started getting offers to perform outside their isolated campus in Alva.

Messaloras continues confidently, "I can't really explain it any better than, you know football is pretty big in this part of the country, but so is choral music in Alva."

The group loses members to graduation.

Each choir is slightly different for that reason.

But, for now, each of these Ranger singers appreciates what they can make, a sound that stirs the same feelings in others that they feel when they sing.

The NWOSU Singers have a busy schedule lined up. In October they will be a featured group for the Music Educators National Conference in Nashville, TN.

They also have a trip to New York planned which includes a performance in Carnegie Hall.

For more information on the group go to