The Old Curmudgeon: ‘Do Re Mi’ dance puts smiles in the hearts of all

March 2010 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

By Vern Holmquist

My friend Jerry Lauzon touted the value of the beer mugs we received with the $10 admission ticket to our very successful Wurstfest celebration. Admittedly these are handsome mugs, especially when filled, but the real value was the presentation of “Do Re Mi” from the Broadway musical The Sound of Music, by our own friends and neighbors, ages from 6 to don’t ask, don’t tell; students, housewives, fathers, all dancing their hearts out and sharing their happiness with all in the attendance.

As it was told to me, this all came abut when Nan Fleck was so inspired by a performance she saw on the Internet of “Do Re Mi” being danced at the railroad station in Antwerp, Belgium. She knew then this could be a worthy event for Mount Angel’s Oktoberfest.

Kennedy High School student Alex Morrissey was looking for the perfect project for his senior year and Nan’s vision was a perfect fit. Work started on the choreography and dancers were recruited and Alex told me the excitement and enthusiasms grew with each rehearsal.

The group’s first appearance was in front of the bandstand during our 2009 Oktoberfest and from that day there was no turning back, “Do Re Mi” was established as the premier show for future Mount Angel events.

The music, not all that great, the dances not that complicated, the setting added little, but the sheer greatness of this production comes from the sheer joy of the participants, the infectious happiness as they danced and sang just bursts from their faces and invigorates the body and the soul.

At the Wurstfurt performance, I watched in awe, my heart beat faster and tears flooded my eyes and when it was over I wanted to hug all these wonderful people and of course shake hands with Alex Morrissey who pulled this off. A big thank you goes to Nan Fleck, who had the vision; and Molly Westbrook, Liz Schmidt, Marilyn Hall, Bev Fleckenstein, Theresa Bryant and I wish I could name you all…

Here’s looking forward to seeing the town dance in joy again!

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