‘Feel the Rhythm’

HUMBOLDT -A musical tradition in Humboldt since the 1950s will continue once again this year when the Humboldt Community Chorus takes the stage for its annual performance.

The chorus will present its show, “Feel The Rhythm,” on Feb. 7, 8 and 9 in the R. Wesley Carlson Auditorium at Humboldt High School. Showtimes will be 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

Fans of the chorus will have the chance to enjoy pieces from the entire 70-member ensemble as well as several small groups and the 20 piece big band.

The annual performance dates back to the 1950s, Judy Harklau, the group’s historian said.

“It started as a Christmas cantata in the early or mid-1950s,” said Harklau. “They would perform the ‘Messiah,’ it was more of a seasonal presentation back then. Later they turned it into a community chorus and more of a variety show.”

Harklau has been part of 47 shows since 1967.

“I didn’t do it for a few years and I really missed it,” said Harklau. “The music is always fun, but I enjoy the friendship and the company just as much.”

Director Terry Nelson said the audience can expect a wide variety of music from patriotic tunes to gospel and popular rock-n-roll and disco selections.

Small group selections include songs such as “For Good,” from the musical “WICKED,” and “Music, Music, Music” to “Don’t Be Cruel.”

Some small group ensembles will dress formally, while others will sport poodle skirts and tie-dye T-shirts to fit the theme of their song.

“The small groups are a lot of fun to be part of,” said chorus member Mary Matton. “

The big band will accompany the choir, and will perform selections of their own a half-hour prior to the show and during intermission.

“We like to produce a variety show,” said Nelson. “We don’t stick to a particular theme because that can limit you. Our shows always bring in crowds so, the bottom line is we do what’s popular with the audience and our singers.”

Nelson is joined by his wife, Barb Nelson, who said she does a lot of the “behind the scenes work,” to make the performance happen. The couple has been part of the Humboldt Community Chorus for nearly 40 years.

“This is something we truly enjoy being a part of,” said Barb Nelson. “Their dedication is truly unbelievable. It is something everyone is very proud to be a part of. They’re like our extended family.”

Matton said the group has grown over the years, and credits the Nelsons for making that happen.

“It wasn’t like this when I first joined,” Matton said. “The group only had about 20 members. Today this group is what it is because of Terry and Barb. It wouldn’t be the same without them and all of their dedication.”

Eric Amundson said he likes the variety of the music selected for this year’s performance.

“I like the variety,” he said. “We have everything; gospel, rock-n-roll, patriotic.”

Amundson also appreciates the bond formed among the chorus members.

“I like the camaraderie,” he said. “When it’s over you really do miss it until next year.”

Tickets to the show are $8 for adults and $3 for children 18 years old and younger. Tickets are available from any chorus member, at Floral Creations in downtown Humboldt or by contacting Terry and Barb Nelson at 379-1072.