Arts & Entertainment

Pasco High singers take on 'Bandstand' pop songs

The 10th Avenue Singers at Pasco High are too young to have boogied along with Dick Clark during American Bandstand.

But that hasn't stopped them from breaking out their dancing shoes and boning up on classic pop songs from the '50s, '60s and '70s for performances next week. Their tribute to the legendary TV show will run Feb. 5-7 at Gregson Auditorium at Pasco High.

"It seemed like a great hook that everybody could connect with," said Mel Haug, Pasco's director of vocal music. "People know the songs we're performing. They're songs that are proven and true and timeless."

Haug is keeping the set list a surprise. But you can expect plenty of familiar tunes coupled with lively choreography, he said. The group of about 25 singers is backed by a five-piece rhythm section.

Bandstand ran for nearly 40 years starting in 1952. Many of the biggest names in music -- Buddy Holly, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd and Run-D.M.C. -- dropped by to perform.

Haug and the 10th Avenue Singers are putting together the tribute from scratch with no off-the-shelf script. The group has been around since the 2002-03 school year and has staged shows with themes from Motown to American Idol.

The Bandstand tribute could be 10th Avenue's final show under Haug's direction. He's leaving full-time teaching at the end of the school year because of his work at The Living Room church in Kennewick.

Haug and Monte Ingersoll, another well-known Tri-City musician, started the church in 2007 and it's steadily grown. It now draws more than 500 people each week for services.

They've also taken their ministry international. The pastors traveled to Rwanda last summer to help establish a children's choir there.

The 10th Avenue Singers are busy preparing for their show. They put in hours of rehearsal, sometimes even on days when classes aren't in session.

The effort is worth it because the result is so much fun, Haug said.

"If people have never seen it, they've got to come out and try it," Haug said. "It's great entertainment for the whole family, for all ages."

*Sara Schilling: 582-1402; sschilling@tricityherald.com

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