2017-03-15, John Flanery, NMSU Choirs

President Christopher called the meeting to order at 12:13 pm.  Blaine Goss gave a gratitude inspired invocation with a Rotary twist.  Pres. Christopher then led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Mindful of St. Patty’s Day this Friday, Earl led us in singing “My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean.”  Don Dresp was named the mystery greeter.  Guests of Rotarians and student guests were introduced.

Happy $$: John H. – “mighty glad to be here!”  Daniel – Glad college basketball games are 40 minutes and not 20!  Jim P. – very proud of the Aggie basketball teams: women and men!  John P. – enjoyed 60 minute basketball proud of our Interact Club;  Gary E. – son played for LC BullDawgs 2nd in State!  Steve L. – happy there is more water for EBID this year;  Lya – “Please open your purses,” the can is going for RYLA student support!  Ana - $5 for RYLA, her new son-in-law, and that everyone here is Happy and Healthy today! 

Richelle announced that the date is set for The Taste of Las Cruces: June 8 from 6-9 pm at the Las Cruces Convention Center – please mark your calendars.  Rynni and Wendy are also on the committee for the event as part of their new member project.  President Christopher gives the second reading for Terry McGinnity and announced that we had raised almost $500 for the cancer patient.  

The Program

Steve Loman introduced John Flanery the Director of NMSU Choirs.  John and his wife are natives of Iowa.  He and his family arrived in Las Cruces in their van on August 2, 2015.  His children were to be enrolled in the Holy Cross School.  August 2, 2015 is the day the bomb went off at the school.  They definitely had an apprehensive start in Las Cruces.  The have since settled in and “love it here!” 

One of his goals is to make the choral programs as recognizable as the band programs at NMSU.  NMSU has been a notable band school for years.  The number of students in the choral programs has nearly doubled since August 2015.  He loves to recruit, not just for the choirs, but for all of NMSU as well.  His goal for this year is 80 recruiting visits – he has completed over 60 so far.  There are many choir members who are not music majors.  They are from all disciplines and include graduate students in masters and doctoral programs.  Last Easter, they took 30 singers to New York City and performed at Carnegie Hall.  They have partnered with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra and have given several joint performances.  Later this spring, April 23-25, they are hosting world famous choral composer James Q. Mulholland who has served 52 years on the faculty of Butler University.  He has composed a piece specifically for one of the NMSU choirs that will be performed during his visit.  Afterwards, 65 students will travel to Vienna and perform another of Mulholland’s compositions.  They will then go to Salzburg.  There were several questions.  Lya asked if she could be a “roadie” for the choir in Vienna and Salzburg.  The answer was that there will not be enough chaperones!

After the Program

Patty announced that we had Thank You letters from the NMSU College of Engineering, St. Luke’s, and The Battle of the Books.  We collected $65 in the can for RYLA students.  The pot is now capped at $500.  Ted had the winning ticket, but did not draw the joker.  The next pot will continue to grow!  Pres. Christopher asked us to cheer for the Aggies and then led us in reciting the 4-Way Test.

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Guests of Rotarians



Jeannell Montoya

Keith Houser

Silvia Avila

Elaine Szalay

Gonzalo Soto

John Hernandez

Visiting Rotarians


Home Club



Student Guests



Steven Lam


Darius Totten




Date Club




Submitted by Jay JordanJay Jordan