FINAL PREPARATIONS: Madison Consolidated High School choir director Kristen Bremmer on Tuesday leads the school choir in “Make a Joyful Noise” in preparation of the Ohio Valley Choral Festival. (Staff photo by Steve Dickerson/sdickerson@madisoncourier.com)
FINAL PREPARATIONS: Madison Consolidated High School choir director Kristen Bremmer on Tuesday leads the school choir in “Make a Joyful Noise” in preparation of the Ohio Valley Choral Festival. (Staff photo by Steve Dickerson/sdickerson@madisoncourier.com)
Thursday night, more than 500 high school students will gather in the Madison Consolidated High School gymnasium to sing in the Ohio Valley Choral Festival.

This year marks the festival's 75th anniversary, making it the oldest high school choral festival in Indiana.

When the festival was founded in 1938, it was hosted by Madison in the Brown Memorial Gymnasium. The first show was designed as an effort, "to promote friendly cooperation in the advancement of music among southeastern Indiana schools," according to a letter by the festival's founder, Harold Rothert.

The festival's four charter members, Madison, Lawrenceburg, New Albany and Jeffersonville, are still involved in the annual event.

Today, the roster has grown to seven area high schools -  Charlestown, Switzerland County and South Dearborn, have joined the festival over the years. The festival travels to one of the participating high schools every year.

"It's going to be awesome," Kristen Bremmer, Madison Consolidated High School choir director, said. "We're getting to host the 75-year anniversary. It's very exciting and it means a lot to us."

Each choir will perform one piece and then all eight will join forces and sing six pieces under the guest direction of Dr. Paul Torkelson, the Director of Choral Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Bremmer said the other schools will arrive the morning of the show, receive their musical pieces and rehearse all day.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m., and admission is $5.