Thursday, June 09, 2011

OUR TENTH ANNIVERSARY: VIVA DONDERO!

SHUFFLE FUNCTION TURNS TEN!
Thursday, June 23rd, from six to nine p.m.

A TRIBUTE TO THE

DONDERO A CAPPELLA CHOIR
AND POP CONCERT INSTRUMENTS

Featuring an interview with
Rick Hartsoe
Dondero Choir Director


It is astounding to us that we have been on the air for so long. It really doesn't seem like it, until we start looking at all the things we've done over the years. We've seen the station grow into a true music geek utopia on the radio dial. Even after ten years, our time spent making radio happen is the best time of our day.


Over the years we've dedicated our anniversary shows to musicians we love, and quite often we've featured interviews with them. This is where we first faced down The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, listened to Daniel Johnston speak of his love for The Beatles, met Peter Zaremba, did the first ever radio profile of Red Shadow, fell in love with BJ Snowden, and discovered The Mystery Record. We figured that for our tenth anniversary we had better come up with something BIG, since we've already hit so many of our radio landmarks. Well, we went and found something EPIC.


For years we've been in love with the recordings of the Dondero A Cappella Choir and Pop Concert Instruments. The choir hailed from Dondero High School in Royal Oak, Michigan, and for nearly 40 years they would put on something called Pop Concert. They would perform pop and rock songs and their mission was to come as close to the original recording as possible. The choir and solo singers would be backed by a full rock band, horn section, and orchestra, and the results were often stunning, exciting, funny, and most of all they were inspiring. The Dondero performances capture all the enthusiasm and energy of youth, and ultimately become a celebration.


For years we could hardly find a thing about the actual choir on the internet, with the exception of a series of concerts posted on the wonderful internet record label Comfort Stand. Then, thanks to Facebook, we found Rick Hartsoe (aka Mr. Hartsoe), the choir director of the Dondero A Cappella Choir. Fortunately, he wasn't freaked out by a random radio show in the middle of Minnesota wanting to talk about his experience with Pop Concert. In fact, what we got was one hell of an interesting interview.

Thursday, June 23rd, from six to nine p.m., Shuffle Function will be airing A Tribute to the Dondero A Cappella Choir and Pop Concert Instruments! That's right! It'll be a THREE HOUR tribute to this amazing choir, featuring an interview with Mr. Hartsoe himself. Believe us when we say that the music is amazing, and that the story is incredibly inspiring. Think Mr. Holland's Opus, but with a kick ass soundtrack. It's an honor to feature this story for our tenth anniversary show, and we think you'll agree with us when we say that Mr. Hartsoe is the coolest teacher we never had.
There was, however, one MAJOR problem with assembling the show. As it turns out, three hours wasn't nearly enough time to feature all the music we wanted! Soooo... That Thursday morning, from six a.m. to 8 a.m., we're featuring TWO SOLID HOURS of Dondero A Cappella Choir music! It's the only way we can possibly feature both sides of this amazing story. In the morning we'll play tons of performances that we have NEVER aired before, and then feature the interview and even more unheard performances that night. If you aren't already a Dondero fan, then you will be by the end of the day. At least you won't be able to say we didn't try to convert you.


ONCE AGAIN...
Thursday, June 23rd, from six to eight a.m. CST
PREVIOUSLY UNAIRED PERFORMANCES OF THE DONDERO A CAPPELLA CHOIR AND POP CONCERT INSTRUMENTS, SPANNING 39 YEARS OF RECORDINGS!

Thursday, June 23rd, from six to nine p.m. CST
A TRIBUTE TO THE DONDERO A CAPPELLA CHOIR AND POP CONCERT INSTRUMENTS, FEATURING AN INTERVIEW WITH RICK HARTSOE, DONDERO CHOIR DIRECTOR!

Thanks for ten great years, Radio Heroes! KMSU has the best listeners in the world!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a Dondero Graduate and former student of Mr Hartsoe, I would like to say thank you for bringing attention to all of the hard work that went into the performances. Mr. Hartsoe touched many lifes while we were students, and he continues to influence us to this day.

Jim Thornton

SHUFFLE FUNCTION said...

Thanks for the comment, Jim! Our interview with Mr. Hartsoe turned into so much more than just a simple interview. The concerts were already inspiring, but hearing about all the work and dedication that these performances involved was amazing. We hope you get a chance to listen!

Fortuna said...

My sister Madeline, sister-in-law Beth, niece Katey and nephews Josh and Nate were all part of this choir, spanning a 20+ year period. Mady toured Europe with Musical Minority in the 70's. (Summer of 1971, maybe?) This was a phenomenal choir that meant the world to the singers who worked so hard to participate.

Katey said...

will this be available any other time than just when it airs? I might not be able to listen live, but as a dondero choir member from 1992-1996, I would love to hear it. mr. hartsoe and the choir made high school bearable for me. I still, more than 15 years later, hear a song and think to myself "this would make a great pop concert song".
-Katey Brent

Michael David Miller said...

Michael "Mr. Mic." Miller sez: I just found out about this program from Rick Hartsoe a couple of days ago. I'm looking forward to hearing both AM and PM shows. Rick and the A Cap Choir put on very challenging show for both the performers and the technical support crews which I was involved with during the last 13 years of the concert run. Many very good memories from these concerts.

mrr said...

My three siblings and I sang in Pop Concerts in the 70s and 80s, then 3 of my kids sang in them in the late 90s. We all remember those concerts, including all the work that went into them, as among the high points of our high school careers, and we all thank Mr. Hartsoe for giving us the opportunity to participate. I'm looking forward to listening to your programs later this month, and was thrilled to see my baby brother in the picture of the line of guitarists you've posted on your blog.

jdog2112 said...

I was blessed to be able to participate in 4 years worth of Pop Concerts wearing many different hats.

As a freshman & sophomore I was able to work on the production & technical side of things under the guidance and tutelage of "Mr. Mic" Miller.

As a Junior & Senior I was a member of A capella Choir and was able to participate as part of the choir, as an instrumentalist and also as a soloist.

Mr. Hartsoe was (and is) an amazing teacher & man. I can honestly say he helped shape me in to the person I am today some 20+ years later.

Thank you for covering everything Dondero and everything Pop Concert. Isn't the internet awesome?

Paul D. Keiser said...

Quite simply, the finest educator I have ever had. I would not be directing my own chorus now if it were not for Rick Hartsoe.

Just me said...

Will we be able to get this through our computers? If so what is the complete link? And will it be archived? I was only lucky enough to have him as a teacher for one year and be involved in the "Mini-pop" concert (much like the POP-Concert) and would love to hear every part of this aired.

mary said...

i never was in pop concert but attended all 4 while i was at dondero. so much fun! i still have all the records from those shows :)