Evening at Pops


On Saturday night, I had the privilege of attending Emmetsburg High School’s 2021 Pops Concert and I was very impressed with the talent on display all throughout the evening. This group of students has endured a number of obstacles over the past year due to the limitations placed on their lives by COVID-19, and it was great to see them all come together to put on such a spectacular show.

Pops holds a special place in my heart. From the many years I’ve spent attending the annual performances, through my own years on the stage and in front of the microphone, I’ve always felt Pops to be the one event to define the Emmetsburg music program each year. The diverse array of content and entertainment showcased in its 2.5 hour (or in some years, up to 4 hour!) run-time is a direct indication of the talent and skill of not only the musicians on stage, but of the administration, crew, and everyone else behind the scenes working to bring the performance to life.

This year was no different, with Brandt Roskens, EHS Vocal Director, turning in extra effort to build a spectacular variety show that blended music, comedy, and performance quite fluidly. The little over two hours spent in the gym seemed to go by at a breakneck pace, avoiding the lulls that can often accompany such large-scale events. Again, Roskens did a fantastic job in both building the show and in its execution.

Solo and duet vocal performances from Tatum Iverson, Olivia Chism, Shalaki Soukup, Isabel Nichols, and Jonah Hackbart-Morlock were incredibly heartfelt and beautiful, while a fun duet of Frozen’s “Love is an Open Door” by Lex Kassel and Colby Weir brought an extra dose of levity to the stage. You won’t often see Kassel sporting such luscious locks on his head!

Rachel Miner tickled the ivories with a show-stopping rendition of “Perfect”, and the EHS Jazz Band offered a glimpse into just how far the musical talents spread at the school.

The choir numbers have always had an emotional charge, especially as the seniors gather for some of their final performances together. Saturday night offered an extra layer of sadness as we watched these kids perform behind the masks that have donned their faces since the pandemic took hold of our community. It was a reminder of the harsh reality we’ve all shared this past year.

Closing out the show were the kinetic forces of Black & Gold and High Voltage, Emmetsburg’s show choirs, that continue to answer the question, “Is it possible to sing, dance, and remain in an upright position while wearing a protective mask?” These kids nailed it, and it was exciting to be reminded that a day will come when normalcy will return, and that talent shines on at Emmetsburg High School.


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