by Bruce Strand, Arts editor
The most popular entertainment event of the school year with ERHS students is the annual “Snowstorm” talent show. Zabee Theater was almost packed for the 2013 edition of this DECA-organized fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy Association on Wednesday evening. Of all ERHS offerings, only the top football or hockey games rival “Snowstorm” for the number of students who turn out.
At five bucks each, the line of ticket-buyers stretched down the hallway almost to the gymnasium. The jocks and math geeks and actors and all segments of the student body are eager to enjoy the musical and/or dancing talents of the school’s best entertainers, with parents and faculty also helping to pack the auditorium.
The entertainers enjoy boisterous applause as some have pockets of personal fans and some sweep away the whole crowd.
Proceeds are earmarked to send students with MD to camps. Two of them, ERHS senior Moriah Rostum and 2011 Zimmerman graduate Brant Akre, gave upbeat messages to the crowd halfway through the show about their lives and how “Snowstorm” funds help.
Snow Week royalty was introduced in the form of two formally dressed representatives from each of 22 school groups. The most points earned were by LINK, represented by Emma Hohlen and Logan Lenertz.
The excellent entertainment included eight solo singers — Madeline O’Connor (“I Dreamed a Dream”), Carly Hagstrom (“Blown Away”), Morgan Shryock (“The Cave,” with guitar), Ali Krohn (“Black Horse in a Cherry Tree”), Brianna West (“Fallen”), Miranda Olson (“Stay”), Annie Johnson (“I’ll Be There”) and Malea Bertsch (“Use Somebody,” with piano). Olson’s husky-voiced country ballad had dozens of her fans waving the lit screens of their cell phones.
Singers accompanied by pianists ware Viktoriya Komonash with Sammy Strand (“Titanium”) and Hannah Smith with Logan Grace (“Skyfall”).
One purely dance act was Elk River Dance Team co-captain Cassie Reimann with a very athletic performance to “Terrible Things.”
One act performed an original song. That was Elms, a trio of Chandra Walbot (guitar), Grace Heyne (piano) and Matt Jesperson (drums). Walbot sang a soulful joint composition called “Unimagined.”
The show started and ended with five-guy groups.
“Playside” (Nick Griffiths, Ryan Smith, Derek Cross, Lars Kragness, Sean Wood) belted out Jason Aldean’s “Tattoos on This Town.”
“Boyz W/Feelings.” a smooth, all-vocal group, lip-synched their recording of “I Want It That Way” while dancing and roller-skating, clad entirely in white. The Boyz (names in photo above), apparently well-known to students, had the crowd rising to its feet in a rousing conclusion to the evening.
Chosen by a student-faculty committee to perform at the Friday pep fest were the Smith-Grace duo and the Elms group.
DECA adviser Sonja Weiler said the goal for gate receipts was $5,000 and “we are close” but it hadn’t been tallied up yet. An additional $926 in small donations came from the crowd.
Jordan Vasseur and Janell Finkbeiner, DECA’s royalty representatives, served as masters of ceremonies.