Lakes Area Chorale to present 'Rock 'N Soul Meets Gospel' concert Saturday at Holmes Theatre

Third time's the charm for Lakes Area Chorale's 'Rock 'N Soul Meets Gospel." The concert was originally slated to be presented in 2020, but will finally be heard this Saturday, March 25.

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Director Barbara Schramm, far left, and pianist April Spaeth led the Lakes Area Chorale through its final full-group rehearsal at Detroit Lakes' First Lutheran Church on Sunday, March 19, 2023. The group will next be gathering this Friday, March 24 at the Historic Holmes Theatre, for a final dress rehearsal before their Saturday, March 24 concert, "Rock 'N Soul Meets Gospel." The 4 p.m. concert is free and open to the public.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune

DETROIT LAKES — Good things come to those who wait.

That has been the mantra for Lakes Area Chorale Director Barbara Schramm, who has had to wait a long time to showcase her singers' talents with their all-ages show, "Rock 'N Soul Meets Gospel." The concert will take place at 4 p.m. this Saturday, March 25, on the main stage of Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre.

"We received a grant from the Lakes Region Arts Council to present this show — in 2019," said Schramm.

The grant covered expenses for the show, which basically amounted to purchasing the sheet music for the Chorale's 60-plus members. But then, the COVID-19 pandemic happened; plans to present the show in 2020, 2021 and even 2022 had to be sidelined.

This past January, after seeing two straight seasons of chorale rehearsals fall by the wayside, Schramm picked up where she left off on March 15, 2020, which was the group's last rehearsal date before the pandemic shut everything down.


"It was so sad because we had prepared a great concert," said Schramm, who has served as the chorale's director since 2019. "It was the best rehearsal we've ever had as a group."

The Lakes Area Chorale currently includes 54 members, who come from about a half dozen area communities including not just Detroit Lakes, but also Audubon, Frazee, Perham and Pelican Rapids. When Schramm was making plans for the Chorale's 2023 season, she decided to keep with the same theme, because "everyone liked the music so much" — and deserved to have the fruits of all those hours of rehearsal heard by the public.

In addition to several selections being presented by the full choir, there will also be a variety of soloists and small ensemble groups performing — including the "Lakes Area Supremes" and the "Lakes Area Beatles." April Spaeth will be providing the piano accompaniment for the concert, and there will be some special guests as well.

" The Fat Cats (a popular local classic rock group) will be joining us for all of the songs in the second half," Schramm said, adding that the band will also be playing some of their own music to keep the crowd entertained during the intermission.

She noted that the idea behind the concert's theme is to show how all of the different genres are related. The varied program of “Rock ‘N Soul Meets Gospel” begins with early spirituals and progresses through gospel to Motown and soul, and then to classic rock.

The concert will consist of two halves, with each being about 45 minutes long, she said — including both the songs and their introductions, which will be handled by emcee Kathy Coyle .

There is no charge to attend "Rock 'N Soul Meets Gospel," but a free-will offering will be taken during the intermission, while the Fat Cats perform.

If you go

What: Lakes Area Chorale Presents "Rock 'N Soul Meets Gospel"
Where: Historic Holmes Theatre, 806 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes
When: Saturday, March 25 at 4 p.m.
Who: Director Barbara Schram, the Chorale's 54 members from around the lakes area, pianist April Spaeth, emcee Kathy Coyle and special guests The Fat Cats.
How: There is no cost to attend, though a free-will offering will be taken at intermission.

A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at
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