Band and choir combine in fall music showcase
The concert Monday, Oct. 18 at Park Rapids Area High School featured both large ensembles, together and separately, as well as the jazz band.
Concerts are back at Park Rapids Area High School.
The school’s fall music showcase on Monday featured the concert choir and concert band, separately and together, as well as the jazz band.
Band director John Cook voiced excitement to be playing publicly again after a challenging 15 months of restrictions due to COVID-19.
Cook and choir director Lucas Ford each directed a combined band and choir piece, including arrangements of the Simon & Garfunkel song “Homeward Bound” and “When You Believe” from the movie “The Prince of Egypt.”
“We don't get very many opportunities to put band and choir together, so it has been fun to launch this new tradition to give our students that opportunity,” Cook said before the concert. “We are eager to start bringing back more opportunities for our kids, even though COVID has still been a rollercoaster.”
For example, he said, having different kids in every rehearsal while others are out on quarantine has been a challenge this year. Nevertheless, Cook called it fun to collaborate with Ford, who joined the faculty this year.
“It has been great working with him, and bouncing our ideas off of each other to better develop these opportunities for the kids,” said Cook.
A first-year teacher who now considers himself a “proud Panther,” Ford said, “I know music here at Park Rapids hasn't felt normal in a long time, so I think we're all excited to share what we've been working on this year.”
Other choir numbers included “How Fair a Rose” and “Shenandoah,” while the concert band played Larry Clark’s “Convergence” and pep band arrangements of “Sweet Caroline” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”
The jazz band opened the concert with two pieces by Les Taylor, “Two Bits” and “Dressed in Black.”