Dollars for Scholars fundraiser showcases student talent
It will be a night of total “CHAOS” this Thursday at the Historic Holmes Theatre, as the Concert Holmes Academics On Stage — otherwise known as C.H.A.O.S. — take the stage for an evening of freeform entertainment.
“It’s very easy to come up with a cheesy name for a show — so we did,” joked Holmes Theatre Executive Director Amy Stoller Stearns, who is one of the chief organizers involved in putting together this first-ever CHAOS Concert to benefit the local Dollars for Scholars program.
“I’ve wanted to do something like this for years,” Stearns added — “this” being a student-driven concert that is intended to showcase the best and brightest of the lakes area’s young musical talent.
She thought this month would be a good time to make it happen, as a send-off for Rok Juricic, the Serbian student who has been living in the lakes area since last fall as a Rotary International Exchange student. He will be returning to Europe on July 1.
“We were Rok’s first host family,” Stearns said (he has since lived with two other families over the course of the school year).
Juricic, an aspiring singer and actor himself, called up some of the friends he has made among DLHS’s musical theater community and asked them if they would like to be a part of the concert. About 10 of them answered the call to perform, as well as several more who wanted to be involved behind the scenes.
Though the performances will include some of the most talented singers and musicians that Detroit Lakes has to offer, what may surprise audience members who are familiar with their work from past high school musicals, choir and band concerts is the type of music they will be hearing.
“It’s a little sneak peek into their world — the music that interests them,” Stearns explained. “This concert will have some very loose parameters as to who and what the audience will see on the stage.”
Some of the performances to be showcased at the concert may be original songs composed by the performers themselves, or they may choose to cover songs by other artists, from a wide range of musical genres.
“Some stereotypes may be displaced about what these students like to play,” Stearns said.
Juricic, for instance, is a big fan of both Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan, while Lexa Anderson, who will also be featured at the CHAOS concert, is “a huge Bruce Springsteen fan,” and another of Thursday’s featured performers, Sarah Larson, is“really digging The Police right now.”
Of course, there will be some modern pop and country included as well.
Juricic said he isn’t planning on covering any Sinatra tunes — “but by Thursday, that may change.”
In fact, the song lineup had still not been finalized as of press time.
“It will be interesting to find out what some of these people are going to cook up,” Larson said, adding that for many of the students who will be performing, opportunities to sing and play the kind of music they are truly passionate about are rare.
“We’ll be going all over the place — touching every genre, every decade of music,” Anderson added. “It’s not just a bunch of pop songs.”
“People almost always sound better when they’re performing something they love,” Larson said.
Though it will be a showcase for local talent, “this is not a talent show,” Stearns pointed out. “No one is being judged.”
At the same time, many of the performers will be presenting themselves to the public in a way they never have before —“and that takes guts,” she added.
Not only will audience members have a chance to see and hear some of these singers and musicians performing in unexpected ways, but they can also enjoy refreshments — including cupcakes, which Juricic was excited to report were being made by a friend of his, Maren Daggett, especially for the occasion.
“It’s worth coming for the cupcakes alone,” he joked.
Though there is no reserved seating, and no admission fee will be charged, those attending will be asked to make a free will donation — with all proceeds to benefit the local Dollars for Scholars program, which helps fund local students’ post-secondary education.
“It’s for fun, and it’s for a good cause,” Juricic said.
The concert is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 19 on the Holmes Theatre stage. Besides Juricic, Larson and Anderson, other scheduled performers will include Jacob Kempenich, Dillon Spurlin, Austin Weber, Noah Mercil, Mia Martinez, Jacob Fritz and Brittany Ginnaty.
For more information, please call the Historic Holmes Theatre at 218-844-7469. The theater is located at 826 Summit Ave., inside the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center.
Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.