Archive for Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Dinner concert to raise funds for students’ trip

January 12, 2000

Tonganoxie High School and Middle School Music instructor Gordon Lankenau is also the director of a Kansas City, Mo., barber shop chorus chapter.

So it seemed only natural that when high school music students were looking for help that Lankenau would offer the help of the Heart of America Barbershop Chorus.

"We are always looking for an opportunity to get out into the public," Lankenau said.

They will have a chance Jan. 28 during a benefit dinner concert for the high school music program, planned at the junior high school gymnasium. The dinner starts at 6 p.m., and reservations are required by this Friday. The cost for both dinner and the concert is $10, and people participating in the dinner will have reserved seating for the concert.

The barbershop chorus will perform at 7:30 p.m. The cost for the concert-only is $5, and advanced tickets are not required.

Advanced tickets can be purchased from Lankenau at the junior high, 369-3450.

Funds from the concert and dinner will be used for vocal and music students' trip to Colorado in May 2001.

Lankenau expects to raise between $1,000 and $2,000 at the dinner-concert.

Because Lankenau is director of the barbershop chorus, that group isn't charging the Tonganoxie students to perform.

Lankenau grew up as part of the group, along with his two brothers and dad. When Lankenau returned to northeast Kansas from western Kansas, he jumped at the chance to direct the chorus.

"It is like a dream come true and a lot of fun," Lankenau said. "I love to see the final product, seeing their eyes sparkle during a performance. They really come to life."

Lankenau's chapter is the second-oldest one in the nation. It was founded in 1938 as a quartet and grew into a chorus in 1953. Currently the chapter has about 75 men between the ages of 14 and 85. Members live throughout the area, including Lawrence, Leavenworth, Lansing, Kansas City, Kan., and Bonner Springs.

"They are there because they like to sing," Lankenau said.

At the performance in Tonganoxie, the barbershop chorus will sing folk and spiritual songs, quartets and ballads.

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