Spring Park Rapids choir concert carries note of farewell

The Park Rapids Area High School Concert Choir sang out the year with such goodbye-themed pieces as "Let the Road Rise Up to Meet You" and "The Old Mill."

The Park Rapids Concert Choir sings Kirby Shaw's "Seven Bridges Road" on May 18, 2023, with Sarah Kaufenberg, pianist, Cate Worner, guitar, and Gunnar Aas, director.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

The Park Rapids Concert Choir’s spring program on Thursday, May 18, had a certain sense of departure.

Seniors Levi Trygstad and Jillian Neubauer receive the National School Choral Award from vocal music teacher Gunnar Aas during the Park Rapids Concert Choir concert May 18, 2023, in the high school auditorium.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

Numbers included “May the Road Rise to Meet You (Irish Blessing)” by Glenda Franklin as well as Kenneth Riggs’ setting of the Thomas Dunn English poem “The Old Mill,” which muses on the things that change with the passage of time.

Then there was “North,” a song dedicated to the graduating seniors, which included the lyrics “Let the years we’re here be kind; let our hearts, like doors, open wide; settle our bones like wood over time; give us bread, give us salt, give us wine.”

Cate Worner played guitar in Kirby Shaw’s song “Seven Bridges Road.” The choir also sang John Legend’s “If You’re Out There” and Ruth Morris Gray’s “The Note Within,” with Sarah Kaufenberg at the piano and Gunnar Aas directing.

Toward the end of the concert, Aas recognized choir seniors Jillian Neubauer, Dawson Dahring, Levi Trygstad, Cynthia Schultz, Jack Worner, Eli DeVore and Tyler Hillukka. He also awarded varsity letters to 13 choir members, and the National School Choral Award to Neubauer and Trygstad.


“This is a choir of awesome, outstanding musicians,” said Aas, “but even more than that, they are rock-star students and just amazing human beings. They have been a blessing to work with over the course of this year.”

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at or 218-252-3053.
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