While it's challenging for non-military people to voice the true amount of appreciation felt to military representatives for their protection, dedication and defense, Rockwood School District's new Rockwood Adult Community Choir found a way to sing an appropriate tribute. Choir members will perform a concert at 2 p.m. Sunday at Lafayette High School in Wildwood. The choir is comprised of adults throughout the school district, and is intended to honor all walks of military service.
Tickets are still available at the door for this performance, though limited.
Patch was there Friday when the choral group rehearsed. Wildwood resident Andy Vosburgh was the first member to show up. He was early, so he could go over some of the music one more time. "This has been fun. We've practiced every Monday night since August," he said. "It's wonderful music, and I'm really looking forward to sharing it with veterans and those who come on Sunday."
After the Presentation of the Colors, four songs will be sung: "Kyrie from Memorial;" "Seeds Grow To Plants;" "The Gift to be Simple," and "Swingin' With The Saints."
Choir leader Michele Rodgers said the first song was composed for the first-year anniversary of 9/11. "It includes different languages, and is about the whole world crying out for peace."
Concert speakers then will include:
- Tim Raines, Navy, Enlisted Programs: Officer, NRD St. Louis. Lt. Raines is a St. Louis native who graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in professional aeronautics. He then attended officer candidate school in Pensacola, FL and was commissioned in 2001. He has a master's degree in operations management from the University of Arkansas. He is married to the former Lori Schmeckebier of Eureka, and they have two boys, Carter and Colin.
- Lori Sanders, Air Force: She served for eight years as a fuel specialist with the National Guard. She currently is teaching family and consumer sciences at Lafayette High School. She holds a master's degree from Webster University. She is in her 33rd year of teaching culinary arts to Lafayette's TOP CHEFS soon to appear on the Food Network Channel.
- Ron Rigdon, Navy, 2nd Class Petty: Officer/E-5, retired. He served in both Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. He then served eight years after in the Reserves. He currently is employed at Charter Communications. He and his wife, Lisa, also operate their own photography business, called Cheap Seats Photo.
- Bernie Widdis, Marines: He served active duty in the U.S. Marines Corp from 1985-1989, and as an active reservist from 1989-1991. In the Marine Corp, he served as an explosive ordinance technician and scout sniper. He earned two meritorious promotions; a Navy Achievement medal, a Good Conduct medal, two Meritorious Mast commendation letters; two Sea Service deployment ribbons, Over Sea Service Deployment ribbon and the 4th Award Rife and Pistol Expert Designation badges. He has served as a police officer since 1991, and has been a School Resource Officer and DARE officer with the Rockwood School District since 2008. He received the 2009 Rockwood Outstanding Service in Education (ROSE) award.
The various Armed Forces songs—or military hymn as the U.S. Marines would call it—will be performed:
- The Caisson; the United States Army
- The Marine's Hymn; the United States Marines
- Anchors Aweigh; the United States Navy
- Semper Paratus; the United States Coast Guard
- The U.S. Air Force; the United States Air Forces
The final song will be "Like A Mighty Stream."
Rockwood Adult Community Choir Members: Mickey Bollam, Debbie Cloud, Alan Coperhaver, Ashley Curry, Judy Curry, Kim Doyle, Gordan Gilatt, Jennifer Guye, Eunice Halverson, Nina Hayes, Linda Huizenga, Wendi Johns, Nancy Klipfel, Burt Knip, Mary Lewis, Ann Lindemann, Cory Marshall, Tracy McKillips, Amy McQueen, Nancy Moore, Yolanda Mortimer, Natasha Mullen, Lisa Naegerm, Lola Nosker, Erin Pagliaro, Bill Pauley, Marian Peterson, Ann Philiph, Jennifer Saguto, Paula Sherrill, Andy Vosburgh, Mary Williams, Bernie Widdis.
The choir is directed by Michele Rodgers, with Jeremy Melton as assistant director.
This choral group is offered by and organized through the Rockwood CommunityEd program.