Making a joyful noise
Church youth raise money for food pantry
Like many other church basements on a Wednesday night, St. Paul United Church of Christ housed a recent youth gathering that flooded the room with music. But these tunes were less like John Wesley and more like Michael Jackson.
Youth from churches across Eudora came in on their spring break to practice for "A Walk Through Time," a variety show that features songs from the 1950s to today.
Although most of the students are high school-aged, second-grader Mason Kelso is participating in a performance of "Knock Three Times."
"I already know the words," Kelso said, adding that it made his performance easier.
Singing and dancing weren't a big deal alone, he said.
"I have to do them both at the same time," he said.
The evening of song and dance, beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, will take place at Eudora Middle School, 2635 Church St. Tickets are $5 per person or $20 for a family of four or more. Intermission will include refreshments, and proceeds will help restock the Eudora Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry, housed at St. Paul.The students will sing two songs themselves, "Joyful, Joyful" and "The Star Spangled Banner." The rest of the material they lip-sync.
The performers also choreographed their own pieces, like Alicia Howell's "Crocodile Rock," which she did at the variety show last year, the inaugural event. Although Howell wasn't a dancer, she said performing with the Eudora High School band had its benefits.
"It helps my rhythm some days," she said.
Alicia's brother, Michael Howell, recruited some help from his father for his song, Alan Jackon's "Little Bitty."
"It's not supposed to be a good dancing song," he said. "It's a funny song. We do stupid stuff."
At least one of fellow performer Jared Pringle's songs came with ready-made choreography -- "YMCA."
"I guess you could call it choreography," Pringle said jokingly of his skills. "I don't sing -- I lip sync."
In addition to bringing various talents and songs together, the St. Paul-based variety show provides an ecumenical environment for Eudora's youth by bringing teens from neighboring churches together at St. Paul.
"We've got Catholics; we've got everybody," Alicia Howell said. "We're all together."