Taken from the Kingfisher Times and Free Press Monday April 5, 2010 edition, Story Written by Christine Reid.
Over its two-night run last weekend, "Rockin' Back to the Beginning" drew in hundreds of eager concert-goers, more than $7,500 for local schools and scores of community members who volunteered as singers, dancers, emcees and all manner of support staff to pull off yet another edition of the popular local event.
"It was definitely a group effort," Katie Davis, director of this year's production, said.
Davis, a 2008 KHS grad, is likely one of the youngest to direct the massive concert, but is no newcomer to the program. From a young age, she's served as a backup singer and dancer and assistant choreographer.
In addition to her director's role this year, Davis also performed as Joan Jett, singing the classic hard rock number "I Love Rock and Roll," joined the other principal singers in a finale performance of "We Are the World," worked with Johanna Adams to choreograph most of the dances and served as a backup dancer in four of the other numbers. But Davis was far from alone.
Joining her were concert veterans Drulaine Drake, Terri Stake, Worth Lambert, Dorinda Provenzano, Mason Eminger, Kaci Davis and Cherie Strickland and relative newcomers Danielle Barker, Jamie Mulherin, Alisha Wallace, Amy Duffy, Alena King and Karlee Peyton Yeoman. And those are just the singers.
Adding to the depth of the production are the dance numbers, which appear to grow more polished and professional with each successive concert. Adams, long-time Rockin' Boppin' choreographer, can always be counted on for at least one "big number" to delight the audience and this year was no exception.
Her rendition of Michael Jackson's "Thriller," the '80s pop number that set the standard for music videos, featured Adams and Davis in a clogging routine, backed up by a host of ghoulish dancers and a silver-gloved, moon-walking "Michal Jackson," performed perfectly by Ricky Garner. The high-energy number earned the People's Choice award at the Saturday night performance.
In addition to Davis, Adams and Garner, this year's dancers included Becky Hart, Sandy Murray, Deena Shepherd, Deborah Stolz, Dawn Wittrock, Carly Franks, Ellyn Reid, Melissa Willson, Jamie Mulherin, Ricky Garner, Valerie Gooden, Cherie Strickland, Kaci Davis, Jessica Swisher, Amy Wilczek, Jacob York and Mason York.
Also worthy of mention is emcee John Storm and his color commentary cohorts Jerry Copeland and Bill Naifeh, who do an excellent job of maintaining continuity. The apparently bottomless pool of talent available right here in Kingfisher is one reason why the Rockin' Boppin' formula never appears to grow stale. Another reason is the efforts to keep things fresh by adding new elements in each successive rendition.
This year's surprises included video clips of past performances, gathered and edited by Kurt Kaya's high school videography class and projected larger than life on both walls of the auditorium. And a community choir, directed by Molly Neuman and Roseann Lodes and featuring solos by Neuman and her husband Steve, served up two un-choir-like pop numbers, the Beach Boy's "Be True to Your School" and Journey's "Don't Stop Believing."
But another reason this longtime event never fails to deliver is the community-wide commitment to its success. KEF President Mike Frey read a daunting list of behind-the-scenes helpers at intermission: Bonnie Edwards, Linda Ellyson and the Chisholm Trail Technology Center cosmetology students helped with hair and makeup, Chad Sanders helped with sound and lights setup, Jimmy Ellyson, Harold Drake, Tony Provenzano, Kenneth Davis and Jason Mese operated the sound and lights during the shows, First Baptist Church and Nazarene Church donated the use of spotlights, school staff and KEF members helped with concession and T-shirt sales and the Chamber of Commerce and a number of local businesses also contributed to the effort.
In addition to Frey, current KEF board members include Erin Combs, vice president; John Storm, treasurer; Beth Evans, secretary; Jared Harrison, Randall Newton, Donna Stucki, Don Scales, Jeffrey Johnson, Steve Sanders, Jeff Hyatt and Derek Daugherty, and school representatives Dana Cheap and Joline Oldenburg.
If you missed this year's event, or you just want to relive the high points, the KHS photography department has photos for sale at khsphotography.com and DVDs filmed and edited by the KHS videography department will be available for sale in a few weeks. Forms are available at the KHS office to reserve an $8 copy of the DVD, which will include highlights of both nights' performances as well as clips from older concerts.