The Lake Region Union High School Rangerettes. Photo by Peter Cocoros
by Tena Starr
This year’s Lake Region Union High School Winter Concert was something I would have paid money to attend. From first to last, it was spectacular.
There’s such pressure on academics, but arts matter as well, and it’s something to keep in mind as school budgets tighten and tests gain importance.
Hurrah to whoever decided that Lake Region’s budget should include money for the elegant clothes all those fine musicians and singers wore. It was mightily impressive to see the young people decked out in gowns, white shirts, and black vests and bow ties. The school should be commended for its commitment to its music program and providing an incentive for the kids to take it all seriously, which they did.
And Sara Doncaster should be commended for coming up with such an innovative program, which ranged from classics to Etta Brown, and included the funniest version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” that I’ve ever heard. I saw it on the program and sighed, being a Scrooge, I guess, and considering “The Twelve Days of Christmas” one of the most tedious holiday songs ever written.
Not this version. It was surprising and amusing, but it was also a complex song to sing — one that could have easily, and abominably, failed were it not for such a skilled group of singers.
Katie Lucas and the Rangerettes ought to go shopping for paid gigs. The audience found itself whooping and whistling and, eventually, doing a standing ovation for that terrifically talented little group of young women.
And when was the last time you went to a school concert and heard a trio of young men croon a Frank Sinatra tune?
They all looked like they were having such fun, as were the people listening to them.
Then there’s the bands. The Five Dollar Band, which backed up Katie and the Rangerettes, the Jazz Band, and the Orchestral Band. They were challenged, and they rose to it. What a fine, fine job those musicians did.
This is great stuff — for the kids, for those of us parents, for the future of music. Thank you Lake Region, Sara Doncaster, and in particular, all you promising singers and musicians for providing such a rousing and excellent performance. Rock on.
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