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first_imgDuring its first appearance in the national competition, the Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir earned second place in the American Prize in Choral Performance competition in the college and university division in October. The contest recognized the College choir as one of nine finalists for the award. Conductor Dr. Nancy Menk said her group set a precedent for an all-women’s choir placing near the top at the competition. “We were the first women’s choir to place in the top three,” Menk said.  “That was an honor.” Menk is a professor of music, director of choral activities and the Mary Lou Judd Leighton Chair in Music at the College. She also serves as conductor and music director of the South Bend Chamber Singers, which also competed for the American Prize and placed among the top eight finalists in the community division. “I am proud of both choirs,” she said. Founded in 2009, the American Prize honors outstanding choirs that submit recordings to be reviewed.  There are six categories: professional chorus, college or university level chorus, community or faith-based chorus, secondary school chorus, youth chorus and children’s chorus.  The Women’s Choir, currently comprised of approximately 45 students, has performed across the country as well as internationally and recorded four CDs.  For the competition, the Women’s Choir submitted a CD entitled “Anima mea,” Latin for “My soul.”  The CD includes a number of relatively current, 20th– and 21st-century songs. Senior Ashley Stopczynski credited much of the group’s success to Menk. “Dr. Menk ensures that we get a well-rounded choral experience by including upbeat, slower and different styles of music,” said Stopczynski. Stopczynski said its “Anima mea” CD is a testament to the choir’s talent, an excellent tool for sharing that talent with others.  “Dr. Menk makes it a point to give a good example of women’s choral music to younger singers,” Stopczynski said.  Menk and Stopczynski both said being an all-female choir did not give them any kind of edge in this competition. “A good choir is a good choir,” Menk said. Stopczynski agreed, but she said the group is still unique. “I actually don’t think women choirs get enough recognition for the beauty of the sound,” she said. “However, being the only female group to win is an amazing experience. … It’s wonderful to be recognized for the work we put into our music.”last_img read more

first_imgLANCASTER – Departing from tradition, the Lancaster West Rotary on Monday honored public servants in management positions at its annual salute, recognizing six Antelope Valley leaders. Los Angeles County Fire Department Assistant Chief Mark Bennett and battalion chiefs Joe and Ted Lindaman, sheriff’s Capt. Carl Deeley, CHP Capt. Nick Norton and Lancaster Public Works Director James “Randy” Williams were honored at a Rotary luncheon at the Antelope Valley Inn. “Historically, we’ve honored the officers in the community, and this year we felt it was a good idea to pay honor to the commanders in the different areas because seldom times do they get the recognition they deserve for overseeing these programs,” Rotary President Sandy Smith said. Bennett, in effect the Antelope Valley’s fire chief, is a 20-year veteran who heads 18 fire stations. “We feel these vocations are worthy of being honored by the Rotary because we’re all about service,” Smith said. “It’s a natural partnership for Rotary to be honoring people in our community for making a difference.” gideon.rubin@dailynews.com (661) 267-7802160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Longtime Antelope Valley residents Joe and Ted Lindaman are the county’s first brothers to serve simultaneously as battalion chiefs. Deeley, a 28-year department veteran, commands one of the county’s largest stations, which in addition to serving the contract city of Lancaster, serves unincorporated areas including Antelope Acres, Lake Los Angeles and Quartz Hill. Norton is an 18-year Highway Patrol veteran who was assigned to command the Antelope Valley area station in Lancaster. Williams is a former Navy captain who has served in his current position since 2003. His colleagues say he’s established a can-do attitude in public works, coining the motto: “Fix it before others know it’s broken.” Smith said the honorees embody the spirit of Rotary, an international organization dedicated to providing community support services across socioeconomic and generational lines. last_img read more