‘Transforming their world’

ICCC students ready for Spring Showcase

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
The Iowa Central Community College Show Choir practices its skills at a recent rehearsal.

Creating a better world will be the theme when Iowa Central Community College students take the stage at Decker Auditorium for the Spring Showcase Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

“These kids are genuinely hard-working students and the idea we have, ‘transform your world,’ they really buy into that,” Kathleen Schreier, director of choral activities, said. “They are anxious to create a better world that they are going to go on and live in as we move on. The young people are coming forward and taking over.”

She added, “The whole idea is to be good to one another and in order to sing about that, we have to believe that. That’s been our mantra here for many years.”

Lesa Dencklau is directing the choreography for the show choir.

Thirteen men and 13 women are in the group.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Daniel Mindermann, front, rehearses with the rest of the Iowa Central Community College Show Choir in preparation for Iowa Central’s Spring Showcase.

“It’s kind of a theme of accepting who you are and taking pride in the differences we all bring to the table,” Dencklau said. “Encore brings a visual component to the show. We have some ’70s rock tunes that opens our set. It’s a medley of ‘Crazy Train,’ ‘Long Train Runnin’,’ and ‘Don’t Stop Me Now.'”

“We slow it down for a bit with our ballad, ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.'”

The group will also perform “Good to Be Alive.”

“That’s a men, women feature song,” Dencklau said. “You will get to hear the men sing and dance by themselves first, and then the women will take over with that piece. We close with a couple tunes from ‘The Greatest Showman,’ which was very popular and still is very popular. It brings everything together about being excited for the future.”

Concert Band will lead the showcase.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Ashlyn Weidauer rehearses with the Show Choir.

“Part of the Concert Band connects with the Honor Flight,” Paul Bloomquist, director of bands, said. “We are doing a tribute to the Korean War conflict. The song is called ‘Inchon’ based on the landing in Inchon, Korea. The piece was written by Robert W. Smith. His dad was a veteran during the Inchon invasion, so it’s kind of cool.”

In addition, the band will play a march by Karl King called “Emblem of Freedom.”

They will also perform three movements of a piece called “Simple Gifts.”

Bloomquist will also lead the brass ensemble, which will play two songs, “What a Wonderful World” and “Queen of the Night Aria.”

“The theme for the show is transform your world,” Bloomquist said. “Between Mozart and Louis Armstrong, I thought those are two icons who have transformed our world.”

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Jamison Gibson rehearses with the Iowa Central Community College Show Choir ahead of the Spring Showcase.

The Jazz Band will finish the show.

They will perform “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be.”

“A lot of people know it as Ellington, but it’s not Duke Ellington, it’s his son, Mercer Ellington,” Bloomquist said. “Mercer wrote it.”

The Jazz Band will also play “Laura,” “Nica’s Dream” and “My Funny Valentine.”

“For a send-off, our last song is a mashup of ‘I’m Beginning to See the Light’ and it goes directly into ‘This Could be the Start of Something Big.'”

Bloomquist said he has enjoyed watching students improve throughout the year.

“We have been with these students for almost nine months and to watch them grow, develop, mature and buy into their musicianship, it’s really a culminating experience for the whole year,” he said. “I’ve thought that for years doing this job. It’s always hard to believe it’s coming to an end, both the school year and our time together as ensembles.”

Schreier has been impressed with the level of dedication shown by students.

“This student body, which is very diverse — if you look at the kids on stage, all the disciplines they come from,” she said, “they are not music majors necessarily. We have students in English, math, accounting. We have a girl who started out in diesel mechanics, even pre-med, we’ve got them all. It’s really heartwarming as an instructor to see these kids gel and come together and create music together.”

She added, “The final product is beautiful, but it’s the journey there. Starting day one at rehearsal to where we are now. That’s the thrill for me, is not the final product, but the journey getting there. It’s been wonderful, these kids have been spectacular.”

Showtimes are 1 p.m. on Wednesday and 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday on the main campus in Decker Auditorium at Iowa Central Community College. Admission to the concert is free.