September 29, 2011 in Washington Voices

Rogers choir alumni return for an encore

Former director making reunion concert happen
By The Spokesman-Review
 
Pia Hallenberg photo

A group of former Rogers High School students rehearse Sept. 16 for the choir reunion concert.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

Map of this story's location
If you go

The John R. Rogers High School Choir Reunion Concert is Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Rogers High School auditorium, 1622 E. Wellesley Ave.

Tickets are free; donations to the current choir program are welcome.

There are two very small babies and a couple of toddlers in the band room at John R. Rogers High School. That’s a little unusual in itself, but so is the choir rehearsing here late into the evening.

About two dozen men and women, all Rogers alumni and under the direction of former Rogers choir director Tamryn Parker-Carver, are rehearsing for a reunion concert on Saturday.

Parker-Carver got the idea for the reunion concert one night when she was online on the social networking site Facebook.

“I just threw it out on Facebook and within 24 hours I had 83 people interested,” said Parker-Carver. “We had our first rehearsal on the second Friday of September – we have only rehearsed together three times, but we’ll be rehearsing on Friday and all day before the concert, too.” She has 65 alumni participants confirmed, and she greets everyone who walks into the band room with a big hug.

“I always wanted to get people back together again, and I’m just so excited this is happening,” said Parker-Carver, who taught at Rogers from 1993 until 2006.

A group of Rogers alumni in Seattle are rehearsing on their own and will travel to join the Saturday concert, but most alumni are locals, like Richard Hovey, who graduated in 1996.

“I was proud to be a part of five out of seven choirs at Rogers for three out of the four years I attended,” said Hovey. His wife, Debra Hovey, attended Medical Lake High School but wanted to be part of this concert.

“We are participating in this reunion concert because it is giving us both a chance to relive the glory days of singing in our high school choirs,” said Hovey, adding that he also enjoys the opportunity to reunite with old friends and make new ones.

And he’s looking forward to the concert.

“What it all comes down to is this: For a long time I have always wished to walk back on that stage, butterflies and all, and have a chance to have some good clean fun again,” Hovey said.

The choir will be singing both gospel and classical pieces, but no pop. The participants chose the repertoire.

“Someone put that on Facebook, too, and the people gave me suggestions for 70 songs,” said Parker-Carver. “I narrowed it down to 20. We are probably going to end up with 13 songs on Saturday.”

Will this become an annual Rogers alumni event?

“I don’t know,” said Parker-Carver. “Let’s face it, I don’t know how many people will be there until I see the whites of their eyes on Saturday – but it’s been great.”


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