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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.

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Cymbals crash as John Cook directs the concert band in the piece "Convergence" by Larry Clark, part of the fall music showcase Monday, Oct. 18, 2021 at Park Rapids Area High School. Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

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.”

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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.

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Lucas Ford conducts the Concert Choir in the folksong "Shenandoah" during the fall music showcase Monday, Oct. 18, 2021 at Park Rapids Area High School. Accompanying them is pianist Louise Bass. Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

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.”

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The Park Rapids Area High School jazz band, directed by John Cook, opens the fall music showcase Monday, Oct. 18, 2021 with two pieces by Les Taylor. Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

Related Topics: MUSIC
Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at rfish@parkrapidsenterprise.com or 218-252-3053.
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