The Western Plains Children's Choirs began a Spring Tea fundraiser concert just three years ago, but it has already outgrown both its original purpose and venue.
"Now we are raising money not just for scholarships, as before," said director Rebecca Petrik. "Now we are raising funds for music tours that the children have an opportunity to go on."
When Petrik was beginning to plan the concert, she thought about a Disney theme, and began imagining the singers with speaking parts, costumes and choreography.
Terry J. Aman/MDN - - Presenting characters from “The Lion King” in the Western Plains Children’s Choirs Spring Tea event Sunday are, from left, Alyssa Ramsey, Tyler Johnson and Sydney Johnson.
This produced a "Disney Extravaganza," scheduled Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. in Minot State University's Convention Center on the third floor of the MSU Student Union.
"Because we're doing it there, we have to use their food service," Petrik said. "They're setting up tables with nice service ... a really nice event. I imagined the older kids serving the coffee and tea, all in waiters' costumes, but then scaled it back just a bit. They'll have trays of brownies to offer our guests."
In keeping with this, the first song on the program is "Be Our Guest" from "Beauty and the Beast." The four choirs, grade three Choristers, grades four and five Junior Choir, grades six and seven Children's Choir and grades eight, nine and 10 Youth Ensemble will be mixed on stage throughout, both in massed voices, smaller groups and solos.
The first segment will also have selections from "Mary Poppins" with basic costumes. Following this are the small groups with music from "The Little Mermaid" and then comes the Jungle segment.
"That has songs from 'The Jungle Book,' 'Lion King' and 'Tarzan,'" Petrik said. "The accompaniment for the afternoon is by Laurie Verbitsky, Lucas Brown and Olivia Christianson. Olivia is one of the many college students we have helping out with this."
Petrik also praised the many parents assisting, in particular Brandi Joiner, who is in charge of the silent auction. Petrik reserved special acknowledgement for her co-directors Laurel Livingston and Cherie Collins.
"Cherie has also done all of the choreography," she said. "She has been just amazing with the kids."
Cost for the Spring Tea is $3 at the door. Proceeds support Western Plains Children's Choir activities.