Local News: A life full of songs (6/27/22)


(Photo provided) Steve and Candice Farrer, with their son Fletcher, at his final choir performance at Hinton High School. Candice has been the host of the annual Hinton Soundsational Show Choir event and both volunteer their time to help with the music program.

HINTON — A Hinton couple will be honored in July with the Choral Advocate Award from the Iowa Choral Directors Association.

Steve and Candice Farrer were nominated for this honor by Hinton Community School 7-12 Vocal Music Instructor Dustin Rusche. The appointments were made earlier in the 2021-22 school year.

“I nominated Steve and Candice Farrer for this award because they have given so much time, energy, supplies and money to Hinton’s music department – especially the show’s choir for over a decade,” Rusche said.

“Candice was the host of our annual show choir invitations for many, many years and Steve was responsible for our stage space for our event, including planning, set-up and tear-down. In addition to our event, they have spent many hours over the years planning events, helping with fundraisers, building props and sets, researching new ideas, driving the van and trailer to events, repairing equipment and much more.

The Farrers learned of the honor in May from Rusche.

“When he called he told me about this Iowa State Award, and I thought he wanted to think about some good candidates to nominate and maybe he wanted me to writes a letter or part of the nomination papers…then he said, ‘Don don’t be mad…we nominated you and Steve and you guys won it. I think I asked him why the hell? “said Candice.

The Farrers began volunteering in the music department when their three sons were in a band, choir, and show choir, since junior high school.

Candice said they just showed up at parent meetings and asked what they needed.

“When your children go to public school, you should volunteer to help strengthen the program. Whether it’s T-Ball or Little League and volunteer coaching or running the scoreboard or on the field as a volunteer umpire…or in high school working in a concession stand for the baseball, softball or basketball. We did these things to support these sports programs.

“Well, the music program needs those volunteers too. That’s all. We just asked where they needed help and they told us,” she continued.

At school, their three sons were active in the music program. Grady, now 27, played trumpet; Izaak, now 23, played the tuba; and Fletcher, 21, played saxaphone.

It’s all about the kids

So what does Candice like about being the host of the local show?

“The kids. Definitely the kids from a bunch of schools…they’re so much fun. In fact, the other parent volunteers are really fun too,” she said. a common goal, a shared vision, and want to support kids and have fun.”

Rusche added, “Steve and Candice have always been willing to go above and beyond to help the students of Hinton High School.”

Candice said she and Steve would do just about anything the school or Rusche asked.

“Chaperoning the kids at group competitions, driving the equipment van and trailer for Show Choir, fundraising, setting up, tearing down, helping the kids,” Candice explained.

Always ready

She shared some of what she called really weird things while chaperoning the Show Choir kids.

“There are a lot of issues with glitter, hair and makeup. If the boys have white suits on stage, they need white underwear because colored underwear or camo underwear appears on stage with the lights on, so it’s a weird question to yell at a group of high school students,” she recalls.

The couple had a backpack full of things the kids might need, like extra socks, boys’ underwear, hairpins, safety pins, lots of bandages and different types of tape.

“Some of these sequin dresses can be rough and cut the girls, especially under the arms, so we would put clear tape on the dresses in that area so the girls don’t all get scuffed there,” a- she continued.

She noted that some of the scenes are more slippery than others and that the show’s choir shoes don’t have good tread, so they put tape on the bottom of the shoes and then scratched the tape off. with a wrench or coin to give them some traction so they didn’t slip and fall while dancing.

“There’s so much behind the scenes and behind the scenes that we never would have known if we hadn’t been asked to help out,” she said. “Some of these kids get super nervous before they go on stage while some get really emotional after they come off stage and they just need a familiar face,” she said.

Music directors also need help.

“Just as every sports coach has assistants or volunteers to help their teams, these choir and group ‘teams’ need more than one person. Some of these groups are really big – kids on stage, the band, stage crews – each group has a lot of individuals. They are some of the biggest kids we have ever met. These kids are fun, kind and will share instruments and help other teams, while being extremely competitive,” she added.

Presentation scraps during the Fair

The award will be officially presented on July 27 at 7 p.m. in Douwstra Auditorium at Central College, Pella, but the Farrers will not be able to attend.

“We really wanted to go there. It would have been super fun to go with the directors and be with a bunch of other people from all over the state who are doing this stuff. Then we found out it was July 27th. Well it’s the first day of the Plymouth County Fair and I’m on this board and very busy at the fair that day and Steve is the superintendent of one of the cattle shows which happens to be this Wednesday, July 27, at the fair, so we just can’t go,” Candice said.

“But it’s okay. It’s just an honor that these people took the time and energy to do the paperwork to even name us. Super nice of them,” she said. and honored by it.”

An inaugural honor

The Outstanding Choral Advocate Award was established in 2022 and recognizes individuals who have supported the advancement of choral music in schools, churches and communities. Winners can be administrators, boosters, community organizations/leaders, workers, patrons, philanthropists, etc.

The purpose of the ICDA is to celebrate the efforts of dedicated supporters whose work supports choral activities in Iowa.

According to the ICDA website, the award criteria are as follows: Applicants have demonstrated dedication to choral programs in a school, church, or community. Leadership, hard work, financial support and legislative support will be strongly considered.

“The ICDA is thrilled to raise them without whom we simply could not exist,” the website said.


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