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Park Rapids music students bid Ford farewell

High school choir and band students conjured "A Night on Broadway" for their spring concert on May 11.

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The Concert Choir sings "For Good," arranged by Roger Emerson, at the spring concert "A Night on Broadway," May 11, 2022 at Park Rapids Area High School. They are directed by Lucas Ford with Louise Bass at the piano.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise
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Students praised departing vocal music teacher Lucas Ford during the choir and band concert Wednesday at Park Rapids Area High School.

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John Cook directs the Concert Band during the spring concert "A Night on Broadway," May 11, 2022 at Park Rapids Area High School.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

Students Bianca DeRosa and Levi Trygstad called Ford the best choir director they’ve ever had and called him great to work with, both onstage and behind the scenes.

Members of the choir also presented flowers to both Ford and band teacher John Cook, as well as other gifts for Ford.

During the concert, Ford told the audience that it was an honor “to see the evolution and the growth of the ensemble. That’s something that I’m very grateful to have.”

Later, Ford told the Enterprise he has been hired to teach grade 6-12 music at MACCRAY High School in Clara City, Minn.

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During the concert, Ford presented the National School Choral Award to two seniors, DeRosa and Ollie Haas.

The choir sang arrangements of “Seize the Day,” “Seasons of Love,” “Journey to the Past” from “Anastasia,” and “For Good” from “Wicked,” accompanied by Louise Bass at the piano.

To start the concert, the jazz band played “Playing with Fire,” “Back Online,” “Colors of the Wind” and “Back in the Day.”

“This is an amazing group to work with,” Cook said of the jazz band. “All of the preparation that goes into this goes on on their own time. (They’ve) put a ton of time and effort in, to go above and beyond, to do more, and that makes it a lot of fun, and a real joy, a treat for me to work with them.”

The concert band wrapped up with a Broadway-themed set, including “Phantom of the Opera” medley, “Night Ride through Metropolis,” “Americana,” “You’ll Be Back” from the musical “Hamilton,” “Spiritual,” a “Les Miserables” medley, “Jungle Dance” and “Novena.”

Cook also praised the concert band’s hard work and accomplishments during the 2021-22 school year. “It’s been such a great group to work with,” he said. “I’m so incredibly proud of the students up here on stage with me.”

MORE RELATED COVERAGE:
The Park Rapids Class of 2022 walked through the school halls on May 17.

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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