by Bruce Strand, Arts editor
The second annual “Sing Out ” festival drew over 250 young participants who presented an hour-long concert after being coached by Land of Lakes Choirboys and Command Performance Choir directors last Saturday.
“This event is proof that the arts are very much alive in Elk River,” said Aaron Carpenter, Artistic Director with the Land of
Lakes Choirboys, as he welcomed the crowd and introduced the program at Zabee Theatre at Elk River High School.
There were about 140 students from District 728 including Hassan, Lincoln, Meadowvale, Otsego Parker, Rogers, Twin Lakes, Westwood, and Zimmerman elementary schools, and Rogers, Salk and Zimmerman middle schools, plus St. Andrew’s Catholic School, home-schooled kids, and some students outside the district. Also singing were members of the two host choirs.
The directors worked with the kids all day, helped by choir members, and an hour-long concert was presented by boys, girls, and mixed groups.
“A very special thank you goes out to all of the music specialists in the Elk River school district,” said Carpenter, “for recommending students to participate in this event celebrating the wonderful gift of music and the wonderfully talented students we have right here in Elk River. This event allows students to let their voice be heard.”
Amy Herfindahl, music specialist at Zimmerman Elementary and an Associate Director with the Command Performance
Choirs, was the main leader of the event and conducted the girls’ choir.
“It is our hope that events like this help to instill a love of music in our students,” said Herfindahl, “and support what music teachers all over the area are teaching every day.
“Choral music works at its finest when the community comes together to support it, and the Elk River area most definitely brought choral music to life this past weekend.”
Eileen Anderson, artistic director with the Command Performance Choirs, conducted the massed choir piece, “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from Les Miserables. Carpenter conducted the boys’ choir.
“What most of the mothers tell me,” said Anderson, “is that their kids are walking around the house singing, so, we just want to give them a chance to sing with a choir.”
Also working with the kids was Taylor Quinn, associate director with the Land of Lakes Choirboys and conductor of the Land of Lakes Men’s Chorus. Piano accompanists were Corrine Olinger, Dr. Crystal Rossow and Kim Hanning.