Get ready to dance at Northwood-Kensett’s annual POPs concert

Published 1:02 pm Thursday, March 3, 2022

What do Lady Gaga and Northwood-Kensett schools have in common? Dance.

That’s because the Northwood-Kensett Elementary School is getting ready to host the district’s 54th annual POPS concert, an event featuring the high school’s choir and jazz band, on Friday.

“POPS has been existing long before I got here,” said Nikkole Koenig, a vocal music teacher for the district.

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According to Koenig, the concert will feature more contemporary music under this year’s theme, “Just Dance.”  This will also mark her 19th time directing the show.

“We have dance songs from the 1920s, which is the “Charleston” and “Putting on the Ritz” all the way up through “Moves Like Jagger” and “Party Rock Anthem” from the early 2000s,” she said.

Besides music, there will be skits, and the entire event will serve as a variety show. According to Koenig, 40 students will participate.

“I would say it has our broadest appeal of all of our concerts,” she said. “We get the largest number of students that come to attend this show, compared to the Christmas concert [which] is a lot more parents and grandparents and that kind of thing.”

She said the appeal for the concert was the emphasis on current music, and it served as a good change of pace from the more traditional concerts.

Koenig said music selections were determined by her and the band director. Students wanting to do skits had to submit their proposal a month before the concert for her approval. 

She also admitted to never doing something like this when she was a student in Wisconsin.

“I have learned patience,” she said. “Because as the director you always want things to go the best possible or perfect, but at some point things like skits and things are in the student’s control, and as long as it’s appropriate and funny, it’s like maybe it’s not as well rehearsed as I’d have liked it to be. But you need to give them a chance.”

She also appreciates the creativity involved in the concert.

But her favorite part about this is watching students — both those performing and those attending— get excited.

“I kind of think this is more for them than it is for art for the sake of art,” she said.

The elementary school is located at 1200 First Ave. N. in Northwood. Tickets will be available at the door, $5 for adults and $3 for students. The event is free for anyone who can present a Northwood-Kensett Schools activity pass. The concert starts at 7 p.m., and doors open at 6:15 p.m. Masks are not required.