K-State joint choral performance includes surprises

K-State Singer Mark Hay, senior in theater, fishes the ring out of his pocket as he prepares to propose to his girlfriend Ali Dawes, 2015 K-State alum, on stage during the Singers' portion of their joint concert with In-A-Chord on April 22, 2016, in McCain Auditorium. (Parker Robb | The Collegian)

A K-State Singers member surprised his long-term girlfriend and K-State alum during the first-ever joint performance between K-State Singers and In-A-Chord in McCain Auditorium on Friday.

Mark Hay, senior in theater and K-State Singers’ manager, proposed to K-State alum Ali Dawes at the conclusion of the performance.

“K-State Singers has been a big part of my life and I wanted to share a moment with something else I am passionate about, and that’s Ali,” Hay said.

Both of their families flew from opposite sides of the country to share the moment with the couple and the rest of the audience, Hay said.

In addition to a proposal, an unexpected visit by a K-State alum kicked off the K-State Singers’ performance.

Anna Meissbach, sophomore in History and French and K-State Singers member, was about to take the stage when she heard a familiar voice come over the microphone. Her brother, K-State alum Paul Meissbach, flew from Los Angeles to watch his sister perform.

“I was behind the curtain and all of the sudden, I heard his voice and started crying,” Anna said. “Everyone in K-State Singers knew he was there, and I have never been so surprised.”

Paul not only is an alum of the university, but he is also an alum of the singers’ group. During his time at K-State, he was a part of K-State Singers for his first three years and then became the music director his senior year, Anna said.

“He is the one who got me involved with singers,” Anna said. “He told me I had to audition. Paul loves the group, and he is someone who knows what all it takes to prepare for a show.”

In-A-Chord is an a cappella group while K-State Singers is a show choir. With a variety of music and a difference in sound, the two groups were able to bring in a crowd of all ages. Friday’s show was the first the two choral groups had put on together since their beginnings.

A half hour before showtime, the line for admission was looping around the hall as students, alumni, parents and other supporters waited for the doors to open.

“It was really great to be able to come together and show a sense of unity between the two choral groups,” Anna said.

Zach Seckman, senior in music education and K-State Singers music director, said the performers spend 10 hours a week rehearsing the songs and dances.

“In years past, there have actually been complications with the show, but this year everything went smoothly during the rehearsals,” Seckman said.

The performance showcased talents from an In-A-Chord member replicating an electric guitar, to K-State Singers members doing backflips and swing dance moves.

Amy Schulte, mother of K-State Singers member Suzanne Schulte, said she has enjoyed coming to the shows and watching the group perform.

The audience was electric from the very beginning, as halfway through the first song the crowd was clapping and cheering along.

“It was really special for K-State Singers to be able to perform in front of such a lively crowd, and being able to share that with In-A-Chord made it that much better,” Anna said.

Hi world! I'm Kaitlyn Cotton. I'm a junior studying English with hopes of going to law school one day. I spend my days writing, reading and working for the Collegian. I have had articles published in the Kansas City Star, the Collegian, and most importantly- my parent's refrigerator.