ALTON - Spencer Domer, a 2019 Alton High graduate, has found a significant way to give back to the community. Domer is the founding artistic director of the newly organized "Riverbend Youth Chorale."

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Eddie Hitchcock will be Domer's partner in an upcoming choral festival. The festival will be June 3-8, 2024, with all rehearsals culminating in a finale concert at 6 p.m. June 8, 2024, at the newly renovated Alton Middle Auditorium.

Domer is also a Millikin University graduate in 2023, and is currently at Ball State University to receive a Masters in Choral Conducting.

Eddie Hitchcock, a known voice teacher and musician in the Riverbend, is the Alton Middle School theatre and drama director, worship director at The Bridge Church, previous Director of Encounter Youth Choir, and Director of Seasons Chorale.

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Domer said: "This choral festival will offer a music education and choir intensive for all students ages 10-18 with cost and availability at the forefront of our planning. We are offering two choir camps for both middle school and high school-aged students. If a student is registered for attendance in the Alton School District, ACUSD is waiving their registration fees.

"While at camp, students are welcome to register for faculty-instructed voice lessons, engage in rehearsals for our finale concert, and attend music education/masterclass lectures.

"If a student is registered for attendance in the Alton School District, ACUSD is waiving their registration fees along with providing optional transportation if needed. Students from other districts in the Riverbend can apply for application-based scholarships to attend. We fully stand by the idea that music should never be inaccessible to students due to cost or transportation. Through stripping down those barriers, we hope to best provide a wonderful experience to students in the greater Riverbend area."

Domer said the reason he and Hitchcock are doing the seminar is that music is so important to the Alton region and by creating a space for students to collaborate with singers from all over the Riverbend, "we are able to build skills not only musically but emotionally. I am very fortunate for my time in Encounter, that choir is the place I had met so many friends whose schools have recently cut their choral funding. Alton is very blessed to have 250-plus students in the high school and middle school program, and by welcoming outside students, we provide a musical home and build a tight-knit community around the creation of music.

"Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram for registration information. All registrations are due May 1, 2024, with our scholarship deadline being April 12, 2024."

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