Rock ’n’ roll, film favorites, pop standards … all were on the setlist of a Tuesday, Oct. 29 concert at North Dakota State College of Science, Wahpeton.
A near-capacity crowd filled the Bremer Bank Theatre on NDSCS’ campus. They enjoyed the performances from the Wildcat Jazz Band and Wildcat Singers, as well as the antics of Willie the Wildcat. Willie’s clowning included a Freddie Mercury impression during the climactic Queen medley.
The concert, while eclectic, did have a theme of sorts. It recreated the shows NDSCS’ musicians and singers put on for youth throughout North Dakota. For decades, the college entertainers have shown off their performance talent to countless audiences.
Under the direction of Dr. Adam Hollingsworth, the jazz band segued from the swinging sounds of “Sing, Sing, Sing” to the mellow “Yesterday.” Shortly after, director Bryan Poyzer and accompanist Karen Hendrickson led the Wildcat Singers through pieces including “Shallow,” “Rolling in the Deep” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
The evening included numerous soloists. Cassie Boelke performed “Straighten Up and Fly Right” for the jazz band before returning for “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” Madison Hagen and Timothy Wright led “Shallow,” which featured Poyzer’s guitar playing.
Danielle Maher soloed on “Rolling In the Deep,” followed by Grace Weller and Kierstyn Johnson soloing on “The Middle.” Whether a soloist or ensemble member, the 2019-2020 Wildcat Singers were well received by the Wahpeton audience.
Perhaps the most unique soloist was a non-human. Chris Church, a trombonist in the jazz band, debuted “MOPPY.”
Short for “Musical Floppy,” the soloist featured Musical Instrumental Digital Interface (MIDI) files. Twelve individual tones were exported to individual floppy disc drives. MOPPY performed the “Imperial March” from “Star Wars” and the “Wildcat School Song.”
The concert is the prelude for an autumn of performances on NDSCS’ Wahpeton campus.
“Clue” opens Thursday, Nov. 14. A mystery, “Clue” will be performed for one weekend only.
NDSCS will hold its holiday concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10. The event will feature guest artists The A’cappella Express.
Just a week after NDSCS’ holiday concert, “A Magical Medora Christmas” returns to Wahpeton. The fifth annual tour features performers from the Burning Hills Amphitheater in Medora, North Dakota. “A Magical Medora Christmas” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18.
Look to Daily News for coverage of autumn events in Wahpeton, Breckenridge, Minnesota, and surrounding communities.