"When we sing, we are our instrument," Hibbard
"That makes all the difference," Hibbard
"And that's because they are great teachers."
To begin the day, Hibbard
worked with students to warm up their minds and voices to music.
"I took a long time with warmups because I have to see not only how they will respond to me but how they will respond to the things I want to do," Hibbard
"They have been practicing this music for a very long time and the teachers have done a beautiful job - but they know their teachers' version."
During warmups, Hibbard
taught the choir a new song - an African folk song - that didn't require music on paper.
The exercise, essentially a behavior modification Hibbard said, proved to the director how easily she
could mold and fine tune the choir over the course of a few hours.
added that once a few students catch on to her
expectations, the rest of the choir will come around.
"The nice thing about these big festivals is group effect," Hibbard
"If most of them have it, I can move on because the rest will come."
said that as the students begin to see how she
teaches and adjust accordingly, the progress they make is visible throughout the day.
"I have the added advantage of being new, so they pay a little bit added attention," Hibbard
That extra attention allows Hibbard
the opportunity to teach the students the ins and outs of each selection.
One song, which repeats near the end, is a perfect teaching moment for Hibbard
"If a composer repeats himself, there is a reason," Hibbard
tells the choir.
wants it louder, clearer, more beautiful."
"Let's make it more beautiful," she
enjoys getting people together to sing.
"I like to help people sing together at any age," Hibbard
"It's amazing how much of what I do with my college students I'm doing here today."
The professor said singing in groups is a natural phenomenon and as a director, it is her
job to realize that and to coax out the best possible performance.
"It's about getting people to sing together and love music," Hibbard
"I think people have a natural desire to sing and a natural desire to sing together.
I find that wonderful and I'm especially honored to be here."
The youth in the choir will only continue to improve, she
said, and grow to become more appreciative of music.
"This is a delight to work at a place where they will grow and continue to love music more and more," Hibbard
"I think it's one of the nicest things Nebraska does.
For them to start at this level with a festival experience helps peak interest and makes us want to learn more.
It's lighting a fire that's going to keep growing and just glow."
"They are just making my heart sing today," Hibbard
Therees Tkach Hibbard, professor of choral music for the University of Nebraska, performs a warmup routine with choral students Saturday morning for Sing Around Nebraska.
A performance was given Saturday evening at the Hevelone Center at Beatrice High School.