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Concert Choir Tour

May 1-14, 2023

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The Graceland choirs are delighted to present the Koonce Family Honorary Choir Tour.

Graceland University’s Music Program offers three choirs for students from all majors to sing and to share in music ministry and fellowship.

Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and the new Graceland Harmonium perform a minimum of four concerts during the academic year. All ensembles offer a wide variety of both sacred and secular music to audiences both on and off campus.

The singers come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. In addition, rehearsals and performances are a safe and inclusive familial space and welcome singers from all walks of life. In the spring semester, the choirs often combine in a Masterworks concert with the orchestra.

Scholarships are available for all students wishing to audition and participate.

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2023 Tour Schedule

May 1 – COC Central Congregation, 141 W. Kanesville Blvd., Council Bluffs, IA @ 7:30 p.m.
May 3 – Greenwood Village COC, 1695 E. Orchard Rd., Greenwood Village, CO @ 7 p.m.
May 6 – Las Vegas COC, 5401 W. Oakey Blvd., Las Vegas, NV @ 5:30 p.m.
May 7 – Orange COC, 395 S Tustin St Orange, CA @ 4 p.m.
May 11 – Phoenix Central COC, 4224 N. 44th St., Phoenix, AZ @ 7:30 p.m.
May 12 – Juan Tabo COC, 4701 Tabo Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM @ 7:30 p.m.
May 14 – E. 39th St. Congregation, Independence, MO @ 7:30 p.m.

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2023 choir tour members.

Choir Roster


Kaylee Baker;
New Hampton, IA

Ashlyn Byrd;
Carthage, MO

Justice Cunningham;
Fontanelle, IA

Mickenzie Fisher;
Redding, CA

Emily Hill;
Longview, WA

Sophia Lopez;
Overland Park, KS

Karalyn Millard;
Omaha, NE

Allison Rebling;
Fairfield, IA

Jullie Wheaton;
Independence, MO


Karryn Allen;
Corydon, IA

Abigail Allison;
Cordova, AK

Mackenzie Klinginsmith;
Trenton, MO

Riley Newendorp;
Knoxville, IA

Kenna Nickell;
Corydon, IA

Salume Osakue;

Sam Reinier;
Ollie, IA

Anna Miller;
Maryville, MO

Cassandra Tucker;
Kansas City, MO


Rinor Berisha;
Fushe, Kosovo

Danny Dennis;
Lee’s Summit, MO

Conner Holben;
Minden, IA

Breck Sullivan;
Woodbine, IA


Brian Allison;
Cordova, AK

Braydon Chase;
Allendale, MO

Konnor Chase;
Allendale, MO

Anthony Cray;
Lamoni, IA

Matthew Fierce;
Van Wert, IA

Matt Mangels;
Fontanelle, IA

Ethan Matlock;
Carthage, MO

Dustin Robinson;
Storm Lake, IA

Clayton Allen;
Leon, IA

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About the Conductor

Doctor Sara Blessing

Sara Blessing, DMA, is the Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa.

Additionally, she serves as the Department Chair for the Visual and Performing Arts Department, as well as Music Program Coordinator. Prior to her arrival at Graceland, Sara taught 6-12 grade music at Fillmore Central Schools in Harmony and Preston, Minnesota.

Sara conducts the Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and the Graceland Harmonium, and has taught various courses in music, including elementary and secondary choral methods, music history, diction, and vocal pedagogy, conducting, music theory and aural training. She has created two new classes over the past few years, driven largely by her passion for music, social justice, and contemporary issues, including “Musical Citizenship: Artistic Activism and Social Justice.”

Sara has conducted a variety of regional honor choirs and has been a guest clinician at several schools around the Midwest and was the recipient of Graceland University’s Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2016. In April of 2016, the choirs performed the world premiere of “You Guided Me” after commissioning the work from composer Michael John Trotta.

Sara has led the Graceland choirs on three tours since 2016, visiting Colorado, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, and in May 2023, a West Coast tour with stops at Community of Christ church congregations in Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Missouri.

In addition to teaching, Sara is an active soprano soloist. Throughout her studies, Sara has had the privilege to work with many choral mentors including René Clausen, Morten Lauridsen, Ola Gjeilo, John Rutter, Jo-Michael Scheibe, Rollo Dilworth, Eric Whitacre, James Mulholland, Michael John Trotta, Timothy Stalter, David Puderbaugh, and Tim and Sandra Peter.

Outside of teaching, Sara loves to travel, camp (“glamp”), hike, play piano, read, and spend time with her family and friends. She and her husband, Terry, along with their daughters, Aria, and twins, Ada and Edith, reside in Lamoni, Iowa.

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