Valley City Junior Senior High School’s senior choir director Sheila Zinke said her choir students are busy planning a fun show for Valley City’s 25th annual cafe concert in a couple weeks.
The show, held Jan. 27 at 3 p.m., and Jan. 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. is the biggest fundraiser for the music department. Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for children. Call Cindy Creviston at (701) 490-0231 to purchase them.
This year’s theme is “Fun in the Sun,” so “that conjures up all sorts of summer songs,” Zinke said.
“Hopefully everybody forgets about the cold and the winter weather and just has some fun,” Zinke said.
The event will feature five choirs from Valley City Junior Senior High School, which are the senior choir, consisting of juniors and seniors; the varsity choir, consisting of ninth and 10th graders; the seventh and eighth grade choirs, both under the direction of Carol Foth; and the Valley City swing choir, the school’s only audition choir. The school’s jazz band will perform under the direction of Tom Kjelland during intermission.
“The kids have a lot of input as to the music they perform,” Zinke said. “They also start their own choreography. They’re put together in groups and they make up all their own choreography.”
It’s a group-led project, Zinke said, which makes it good for meeting state and national standards.
“It’s a great thing, because they sing alone, they sing in groups. They’re learning culture and history, as far as some of the songs way back from early times,” she said.
The senior choir has two choral sets, each about 5-6 minutes. The first set is music from the 1960s, including songs like James Brown’s “I Feel Good,” and “The Sounds of Silence.”
The other set is a swing choir set, featuring Irish rock band U2’s “Beautiful Day,” and “Stormy Weather,” from 1933, and ending with American Composer Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies.”
The varsity choir’s will be singing some “fun stuff too,” Zinke said, including choral highlights from the musical “Jersey Boys,” and a set called “California Dreaming,” including the Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ USA.”
“Each class of girls and guys has got their own ensemble, that they picked music for,” Zinke said, including “Pocketful of Sunshine,” pop singer Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,” “It’s Rainin’ Men,” country band Zac Brown Band’s “Knee Deep,” “We Go Together” from the Greece musical.
Zinke said she’s also featuring a lot of senior soloists throughout the concert. Rachael Schauer will be singing “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess.
“We have guest choirs that come on different days,” Zinke said.
On Sunday, the seventh-grade choir will be opening up the show with a Beach Boys’ medley, and on Monday, Deb Bopp’s sixth graders and the Catholic sixth graders will be combining their effort, and on Tuesday, the opening choir will be the eighth graders.
The eighth graders will be doing a thunderstorm theme, where they’ll sing “Send Down the Rain,” and “Kokomo.”
The Valley City swing choir will perform the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra’s “Summer Wind,” Jason Mraz “I’m Yours,” Lionel Richie and Shania Twain’s “Endless Love,” and “Summer Nights” from Greece.
“They were all kind of popularized in the summer, so that’s how we came to that,” Zinke said.
Because the concert is in its 25th year, Zinke plans to celebrate by bringing back a couple acts. On Sunday, Jacob Denault, student at University of North Dakota, will perform Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line,” On Tuesday, Wayne Engelhard and Shelby Hatch, students at Valley City State University, will sing their duet they sang four years ago called “Islands in the Stream,” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.
Zinke said the Cafe Concert is “a Valley City thing.”
“It’s a real community effort,” she said. “Our parents work behind the scenes. We have many committees.”
Some helpers from the community are Mike and Kathy Lentz who are the overall chair people, and Mike Wadeson, who will operate the lights.
Penny Peterson is the music aide, and “I call her the choreography police,” Zinke said. “Because while I’m getting the kids musically ready and playing guitar like mad, she’s out there checking their choreography.”
Zinke and her son Tommy will be playing guitar, and Dianna VanBruggen and Cyndi Hill are the accompanists.