Windjammers prepare program of champagne music

by: REVIEW PHOTOS:  - The Windjammers open the variety show, 'Call Us Old Fashioned' Feb. 28 at Lake Oswego High School. Pictured from left are Anna Ketterling, Kurt Schimmelbusch, Molly Agan, Jase Jacobson, Libby Johnson, Sam Schelonka, Naomi Porter, Clay Dirkse and Sheridan Foy.Teens generally cringe at the thought of being associated with anything old fashioned, but the Lake Oswego High Windjammers are all smiles. They are getting quite a kick out of being tagged as foggies as they rehearse for this year’s variety show, “Call Us Old Fashioned.”

This year’s show is quite different from variety shows in the past; it’s a takeoff of the champagne music of the Lawrence Welk Show, complete with bubbles, chandelier, fancy costumes, great dancing and lots of fun.

“This is the first year I haven’t had to remind the kids to smile,” said choral music director Cole Blume. “The songs are happy and fun! You can tell they really do enjoy singing them.”

The performance includes 23 songs such as “You Make Me Feel So Young,” “Anything Goes,” “A Tisket, A Tasket,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Mr. Sandman” and “Once in Love with Amy.” The grand finale is the Carol Burnett show’s theme song “Adios, Au Revior, Auf Wiedersehen.”

“’Call Us Old Fashioned’ speaks to how folks love to wax nostalgic about the good old day in the midst of a modern, ever-changing and faster paced world,” said Blume. “Old fashioned is just another way of calling something timeless. Good singing, snappy dancing, elegant costumes, a live big band — our show is full of the things that people love. And, it’s produced by 27 talented, youthful men and women.”

Accompanying the Windjammers will be the school’s jazz band, under the direction of LOHS instrument music director Dave Mathys, with longtime Lake Oswego elementary teacher Karl Gustafson on the piano. Additional credits go to Richard Allen for scenic design, Allison Hergert, April Robinson, Audrey Voon and student Celeste Spangler for choreography.

On March 1 the Windjammers will be joined onstage by 40 “Windjammers in training.” These young students attended the annual Windjammer Performance Camp earlier this winter to learn a routine, which they will perform with the Windjammers during the show.

“The elementary Windjammer Camp on Martin Luther King Day involved 40 students from around the district and several friends from outside of LOSD,” said Blume. “The kids — Windjammers and elementary students alike — had a blast learning a song (“Old Time Rock and Roll”) and a dance. They will be featured in our March 1 show and, based on last year’s elementary student participation the fun that they bring to the performance is incredible. We love having them so much that our day camp is now indeed an annual event.”

Windjammer Celeste Spangler said she wasn’t sure that all the ensemble members know who Lawrence Welk was, but they all were enjoying singing the songs. She added that audiences are sure to get a kick out of watching the performances.

“What makes the Windjammers so great? They remind us of a very important fact in education and the performing arts: set the bar high and young people will exceed all expectations,” said Blume.

“Call Us Old Fashioned” opens at LOHS Thursday, Feb. 28 and continues March 1 and 2 with all shows starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 for students, children and seniors; adults are $10. Reserved tickets are available online at or at the door.

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