Strumming up final grades
Christmas music filled the halls as an audience gathered in the Fireside Lounge at Central Lakes College Thursday afternoon, Dec. 13. Guitar students showed off their skills and hard work during an informal recital, which drew a bigger crowd than...
Christmas music filled the halls as an audience gathered in the Fireside Lounge at Central Lakes College Thursday afternoon, Dec. 13.
Guitar students showed off their skills and hard work during an informal recital, which drew a bigger crowd than the performers anticipated.
"I thought, 'There will be a few people walking by, but nobody's going to come to this,'" guitarist and singer Sam Schimpp said after the performance.
Schimpp and three other CLC softball teammates-Kate Olson, Lindsay Hendrickson and Lisa Kossan-began playing guitar together this past fall.
Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" kicked the performance off, followed by festive tunes like "Frosty the Snowman" and "White Christmas."
Calling themselves The Dingers-a softball term for a home run-the ladies have now performed for an audience twice. Hendrickson said the presence of roughly 20 or more people in the lounge Thursday made her sweat a little, but over all the musicians felt the recital went well.
"They did a fine job," guitar instructor Mark Lindquist said after the performance, which factored into the students' final grades. "They don't get graded on how well they play. They get graded on just coming and performing and being part of it, so that takes a little bit of pressure off."
Because CLC does not have any sort of music major, Lindquist said he gets students from all different departments taking his classes.
"A lot of the people that sign up for the music classes, it's like an academic bucket list item for them," he said. "And I get all different skill levels and different styles of music. We always try to take as many as we can and try to make part-time musicians out of them."
Performances like Thursday's, Lindquist said, finalizes the semester for the students.
"Performing in front of other people is a good way to judge how far they've come," he said.
Individual guitarists played earlier in the day Thursday, with the afternoon program featuring The Dingers and a spur-of-the-moment voluntary performance by CLC English instructor Adam Marcotte, a guitar student of about two years, who took the stage and told audience members about how he likes to "mess" with the lyrics of already-written songs and make them his own. He demonstrated his writing skills with unique renditions of "Superman's Song" by Crash Test Dummies and "Cats in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin.
The Dingers then finished out the performance with a couple more numbers, including "The Battle of New Orleans," which featured a few family members taking the stage with the group.
"They started from beginners," Lindquist said of Schimpp, Olson, Hendrickson and Kossan. "To even get them on stage and perform five or six numbers in front of people ... it was kind of exhilarating for them."
Lindquist applauded the work the ladies put in, as being a student athlete doesn't always allow for a lot of free time.
"For them to just take the time and rehearse, that is-I think-pretty special," he said. "And like I said, we try to reach out to the student athletes and students from different departments that normally wouldn't take music classes, make it fun and try to sneak in some music theory from time to time."
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