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NORTHAMPTON — A favorite cultural event in the area returns in March when some 275 students will take part in the Five College Choral Festival at Smith College. The Choral Festival, which is presented every other year, will feature 11 different campus ensembles, each performing separately, and one final song that unifies the voices of the assembled students.

The festival, which takes place on Saturday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Smith College’s John M. Greene Hall, is free and open to the public.

The Choral Festival features groups drawn from Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Smith colleges and UMass Amherst. Each group will first perform alone, singing works ranging from spirituals to folk to world music. The combined choirs will conclude the concert with a piece titled “Because You Sang” composed by Arianne Abela, director of Choral Activities at Amherst College and conducted by Jonathan Hirsh, director of Orchestral and Choral Activities at Smith College.

The following ensembles and directors will be participating: Amherst College Concert Choir, Amherst College Glee Club, and Amherst College Madrigal Singers (conductor: Arianne Abela); Mount Holyoke Chamber Singers, Mount Holyoke Chorale, and Mount Holyoke Glee Club (conductor Rachel Feldman); Smith College Chamber Singers and Smith College Glee Club (conductors Jonathan Hirsh and Paige Graham); and UMass Amherst Chamber Choir and UMass Amherst Chorale (conductors Lindsay Pope and Stephen Paparo).