Drury Partners with Springfield Regional Opera

Students at Drury have had the unique opportunity to engage with the public through the school’s partnership with the Springfield Regional Opera (SRO), offering them the chance to perform for the Springfield community.

Part of Drury’s connection to Springfield Regional Opera comes from the faculty members themselves. Dr. Stephen Bomgardner has been involved with SRO for 12 years, most recently playing the role of Roderigo in Otello. He is also a professor of music at Drury, teaching voice-related courses and music history. Dr. Christopher Koch serves as both Executive Director and Music Director of the Springfield Regional Opera while working at Drury as an associate professor of music. Koch also works with several instrumental groups, conducting the Drury Chamber Orchestra, the Drury Wind Symphony and the Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra.

In October, Drury Chorale members were able to perform with SRO by serving as the chorus for Otello. Bomgardner noted that the chorus is responsible for more singing parts than any other member of the cast, creating a “wall of sound” that was a backdrop for the show. The role of the chorus is incredibly vocally demanding, a challenge for which Bomgardner feels Drury students “really stepped up to the plate.”

While Drury has maintained a loose association with SRO in the past, Koch serving as Executive Director provides opportunity for a more formal association in the future. Drury emphasizes professional development by fostering partner programs like the Drury Health Service Corps, striving for all students to form connections to the outside world prior to graduation, helping foster growth in their future career paths.

Any Drury student can enroll in the Chorale. If interested, contact the music department for more information, and stay tuned for more information about The Magic Flute, premiering in April at SRO.

Story by Payton Stringer, Student Digital Content Specialist