Valley Troubadors Hoping to Increase Membership
The Valley Troubadors are looking to increase membership as they begin practice for their spring concerts, director Lance Dreveky said.
Kirk Dockter, who joined the Troubadors two years ago, said on a good night, the singing group can usually get 18 people together, but "we would like to see numbers grow."
"We'd really just like to appeal to people in the community who like to sing," Dockter said. "Because it's a lot of fun; it's a blast."
The group meets every Monday at Foss Hall at Valley City State University. Practice runs about 7:30 to 9:30, and coffee and cookies are usually served. Membership dues are $25 per year, and that includes a tuxedo, which singers wear at their concerts.
"Everybody knows that everybody's schedule does not work all the time, so get to as many practices as you can, and try to make as many of the events as you can," Dockter said, adding "we're a pretty laid back group."
Valley Troubadors ended 2012 with a successful Christmas concert season, according to Dockter.
The Troubadors hold three holiday concerts every December, one in Litchville, one at Epworth United Methodist Church in Valley City, and one at the Sheyenne Care Center.
The singers perform an annual concert and tour area churches in the spring and take the summer off before entering the Christmas season.
"The current programs that (the Troubadors) support are the Barnes County Courthouse carol sing, Memorial Day services in Valley City, community Thanksgiving services, and perhaps the most recent one is the annual spring tour of churches," Dreveky said.
"We do about three songs at about five or six different churches in one morning," Dockter said of the tour of churches.
The Troubadors perform a wide variety of music, including sacred songs, secular holiday music, patriotic music, "and good old classics," Dockter said.
"And excerpts from musicals and Broadway," Dreveky added.
"Pretty much we don't leave anything out," he said, adding with a laugh, "We don't do any rap."
The organization started with 25 members in January of 1976, preparing for the bicentennial celebration concert in the spring. Since that time, the group continues to perform an annual spring concert. The Troubadors has seen up to 50 members, but membership has been decreasing in recent years.
Gloria Peterson, who was a professor of music at VCSU, was the founder and first director of the group. Al Richter directed from 1995 until 2000, and Dreveky took over as director in 2000.
The group's accompanist is Cyndi Hill, who's been with the group since 1993.
In its 37 years of existence, the singing group has performed at the North Dakota Winter Show, the State House of Representatives' memorial services and the MetroDome at a Minnesota Vikings football game. The Troubadors also toured Norway in 1981.