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King University News :: King Choirs Invited to Participate in the Annual International Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece

If you have ever had dreams of singing in a majestic theatre like the Apollo Theatre in Greece, now is your chance. The choirs of King University’s Music department, in partnership with the Highlands Youth Ensemble, have been invited once again to participate in the 10th annual international Festival of the Aegean held in the historic Apollo Theatre, “La Piccola Scala,” on the island of Syros, Greece.  Students and alumni who are interested in participating in this adventure of a lifetime must make their deposit with Pat Flannagan, professor of music for King University, no later than Friday, Nov. 1.

The festival takes place July 2 through July 16, 2014 and will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Apollo Theatre, which opened with a performance of Verdi's Rigoletto on April 20, 1864. The theatre is the 11th oldest opera house in Europe and the first opera house in Greece.

The festival will include performances of major works by Beethoven, Mozart, and Rutter in the Apollo Theater; a grand program of “Puccini in the Plateia;” and solo performances in St. Nicholas Church as part of the “Sacred Music in a Sacred Place” Sunset Series. Throughout the festival, major choral works by Beethoven, Mozart, Gershwin, Poulenc, Rutter, Verdi, and others will be presented.

“The Festival of the Aegean brings together people from all over the world for dance, theatre, art, photography, and music,” says Flannagan. “Students will have the opportunity to become not only acquainted with world-class artists with whom they would likely not have another opportunity to do so but also be able to sit down to lunch and get to know them.”

The choirs will be working with John Rutter, one of the most famous composers and conductors in the world, along with Françis Bardot, Patrick Gardner, Jerry McCoy, and Harold Rosenbaum.

“This is an incredible opportunity for both our students and the Highlands Youth Ensemble to work with some of the best musicians in the world,” said Flannagan.

The Highlands Youth Ensemble, under the director of King University’s Lecturer in piano Jane DeLoach Morison, is the premier four-part choir of the Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy. Selected by audition, members come from throughout East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Members, 9th through 12th grade students, have sung in Hungary, at Carnegie Hall, in yearly concerts at Biltmore Estate, and are regularly chosen for district, state, regional, and national honor choirs.

Approximately 40 HYE students with chaperones will be accompanying King University to the festival.

During the festival, those attending will spend two weeks on the island of Syros. All choirs attending the Festival of the Aegean will rehearse together every day from approximately 9 a.m. till noon. Afternoons and evenings will provide plenty of time for exploration of the island. Students will take a day trip to Delos, said to be the birthplace of the gods Artemis and Apollo.  The island is sacred to the Greek people and, to this day, no one is allowed to live on the island of Delos. Another stop will land students on Mykonos, which mythology tells is the location of the battle between Zeus and the Titans. The final two days will be spent in Athens to see ancient wonders such as the Acropolis and the Parthenon.

Cost for the trip is $2,000.  For those interested in participating in the trip to Syros, Greece, and the Festival of the Aegean, contact Pat Flannagan at or 423.652.4846 by Friday, Nov. 1.  Deposit is required. The trip is open to students, alumni, and the community.


King University is a Presbyterian, master's-level comprehensive university.  Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities.  Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing.  A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available.  King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity athletic teams.  For more information about King University, visit  King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability.  King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia.  For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.