by Bruce Strand, Arts editor
Two hundred kids in grades K–12 turned out for a chance to experience choir last Saturday at Zabee Theater in a program co-hosted by Land of Lakes Choirboys and Command Performance Choirs.
“Sing Out: Let Your Voice Be Heard” lived up to its name, said P.J. Fanberg, director of LOLCB.
“The kids responded even better than we thought they would,” said Fandberg, who worked with Eileen Bowersox of CPC. “The kids were having a great time.”
“Sing Out” was a free activity for District 728 students thanks to a grant from Three Rivers Community Foundation with sponsorship by the Elk River Area School District. Kids spent the day rehearsing, then were presented to the public in a concert in the evening.
LOLCB and CPC choristers were present to give the novices support musically and socially.
“We exceeded our original plans to stick to 100 students because the response was so great,” said Fandberg. “We just couldn’t turn any of them away if they wanted to join us. A number were walk-ups that day.”
Additional music sheets that had to be purchased at the last minute and arrived a couple of hours after the program started.
Music performed included a medley of four songs from “The Lion King” by a mass choir of all age groups, along with “Firefly” (complete with small candles for the firefly tail) by the K-2 kids, and “Al Shiosha D’Varim” (a Hebrew piece referring to truth, justice and peace) by grades 3–7. LOLCB and CPC sang selections from their repertories.
Friendships and fellowship bloomed quickly and the young faces lit up once the music started, he said.
“They learned quite a bit about worldly music, contributing as members of a group, and being focused to learn an entire concert worth of music even though they just received the music that morning. They had to be focused and committed to make sure this went well, and it did.”
Fanberg added that many volunteers helped out and District 728 provided “incredible support.” Having superintendent Dr. Mark Bezek speak to the attendees of the concert was a wonderful bonus, he said.