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Singing Superintendents Make Annual Return to Concert Stage at AASA Conference

Singing Supes perform

One of the most distinctive traditions at AASA national conference is the concert appearance of the Singing Superintendents. The group is back and excited to perform at the start of the 3rd General Session on Saturday, Feb. 15.

The group is directed by David Cox, superintendent in Sullivan County, Tenn. He is a former music teacher and band director.

“Our main goal is to enjoy singing and promote music education in public schools,” says Cox, who has led the group for eight years. He encourages anyone who is interested in joining the group to come to one of their three rehearsals that will take place in San Diego.

The 20-minute concert always kicks off with “The Star Spangled Banner,” followed by “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor” to set a patriotic theme. Veteran member and pianist Barry Furze, a retired superintendent from South Dakota, will accompany the group on piano. 

Because the Singing Superintendents only make one public appearance a year, Cox said the final lineup of songs had not yet been decided heading into the event. This year’s contenders include “Mack the Knife,” “Never Enough,” “Africa,” “High Hopes,” “Make Them Hear You,” “YMCA” and “Hakuna Matata.”

Rehearsals will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on both Thursday, Feb. 13, and Friday, Feb. 14, in the Oceanside room at the Marriott Marquis. Anyone with an interest in singing with the group is strongly encouraged by Cox to show up.

The Singing Superintendents, which once routinely attracted more than 50 voices, recorded its performances on vinyl LPs for several years in the 1960s. Several of those recordings were discovered by the son of a former AASA executive staff member during the past year and were turned over to the fledgling AASA historical archives. The latter is being housed in the special collections library at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

(Joetta Sack-Min is a Virginia-based freelance writer for AASA.)

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