Wednesday, March 26, 1997
Concert for a concerted effort
Music students perform for flood volunteers

Enquirer Contributor

NEW RICHMOND - New Richmond High School music students had to pull out of regional and state competition earlier this month when floodwaters forced the evacuation of their village.

Tuesday night, the students proved the show must go on, with a concert for more than 500 volunteers who came to the aid of their village.

The school's band and choir performed a number of selections that were reminders of the flood, including ''I've Been in a Storm,'' ''Water Dance'' and ''Bridge Over Troubled Waters.''

Principal Michael Chandler said some of the more than 200 performers were flood victims or volunteers who aided others.

''These kids are ready to give the performance of their lives,'' Mr. Chandler told the volunteers before the event began, ''because you deserve it.''

The event was organized by New Richmond senior Jeffrey Riel, the school choir president, who saw the destruction firsthand.

''The house we live in wasn't damaged, but a home we rented to a family in the village was,'' he said. ''A lot of my classmates had their homes damaged, too.''

Working with choir director Doug Heflin and band director Mark Bailey, Jeffrey invited federal and state workers who came to the aid of residents to the concert, as well as fire and police departments and Red Cross workers.

Regional political leaders and school district officials also thanked the volunteers who have helped with the cleanup in the community.

''It's amazing how many people donated their food, time and shared their prayers with us,'' Jeffrey said. ''A lot of those people had never been to New Richmond before, but they came when we needed them, and we just wanted to thank them.''