High school choir to host serenade at Elks Lodge

Published 8:00 am Friday, May 1, 2015

The chefs whipping up supper at the Elks Lodge have prepared a special dish for visitors Friday — chicken Parmesan, with a side of song.

The club will host members of the Dowagiac Union High School chamber choir that evening during their weekly Friday night dinner. The choir will deliver two 40-minute sets, one at 6 p.m. and another at 7:30 p.m.

Members of the Dowagiac Rotary Club got a sneak preview of the show the day before, during their regular meeting at the lodge Thursday afternoon. The 17 members of the choir, along with Director Jeff Robinson, were invited to perform in front of the group by Rotarian and Dowagiac Union Schools Superintendent Paul Hartsig.

The group sang several songs to the audience, including pieces from old rock bands like the Doobie Brothers to those featured in the classic children’s movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

For the concerts on Friday, the kids will be singing songs from their library throughout the year, Robinson told the gathered Rotarians.

“We will showcase a little bit of everything, from smaller technical pieces to popular songs like you’ve just heard now,” he said.

The choir has performed at the Elks off and on several times in the past, Robinson said. The event not only allows the kids to perform in front a large and diverse audience, but it also helps the Elks drum up some extra business for their weekly dinners, with choir member parents often coming to watch their kids perform, Robinson said.

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” he said.

The concert is one of several ways that members of local Elks Lodge supports the education system, said trustee Bob Peters. Last week, the club awarded two $1,000 scholarships to area students, including Dowagiac’s Sydney Brooks.

Peters and the other staff are always impressed with both the turnout and the choir’s performance in previous years, he said.

“We’re usually busy in the kitchen working, but we’ll take turns stepping out in the dining room to watch them perform,” Peters said.

The Dowagiac Elks Lodge is located at 300 Riverside Dr.