Byron High School choir director Susan Braun knows all about the Zumbro Education District's annual choir festival because she's been a part of all 25 of them.
The 25th anniversary of the ZED choral festival takes place in the Byron High School gymnasium Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. The event is free to the public.
The festival features seven area high school choirs, along with the only high school orchestra of those seven.
The participating schools include Byron, Triton, Hayfield, Blooming Prairie, Pine Island, Kasson-Mantorville and Stewartville, along with the Pine Island Orchestra.
Each choir will present two pieces, before they all come together at the end for four selections.
Not only will the concert be the first time in seven years Byron has hosted it, as each of the participating schools take turns, but it will also be the first time a choir event will be held in the BHS gymnasium.
Usually choir and band concerts and plays are held in the middle school auditorium.
"I think it will be big enough," Braun said. "And I hope it draws a wide range of audience members."
Braun said those in attendance can expect to hear a wide range of music, from showtunes to both spiritual and secular selections.
Braun said the seven choir directors get together ahead of time to decide what will be the collaborative pieces. The final piece of the program will be Daniel Kallman's "To Music." Kallman is a Minnesota composer who commissioned the selection specifically for this concert. It will be the world premiere and will feature both the festival choir and the Pine Island Symphony Orchestra.
"It's pretty remarkable," Braun said about the event. "There's nothing like it. These kids see each other on the football field or the wrestling mat ..., but this is the only thing I can think of where there is a non-competitive, collaborative venture.