High school students performed music of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s for appreciative Davis County senior citizens, who also enjoyed a dinner put on by volunteers and staff of the Davis County Health Department.
“We do this to honor our seniors,” said Sally Kershisnik, Senior Services Division director. “And it’s very important for the kids to learn the music from this generation – which is often called the best generation.”
Students performed in a jazz band, in a dance group and as soloists. Band director Steven Hendricks said the event is a highlight for his students. “I’ve had grads come back and tell me it’s the favorite thing they did in all of high school,” he said.
The Wednesday event was, in effect, a dress rehearsal for the three nights that followed, when the performances were open to the general public as a fund-raiser for the music department.
“We absolutely love it,” said Hendricks, calling it a “kind of service project” for the 40 or so students involved.
Verl Dahl was one of the seniors enjoying the meal and the music. He and his wife Donna have attended all of the big-band events since they started. Together with friends Barbara and Ordith Bourgeous, all of Syracuse, they reminisced about the years since they’d first heard the music.
Dahl graduated from Davis High in 1943 – 67 years before the student performers would be graduating. Bourgeous was called up to serve in World War II before finishing high school. At 18, he served as a tail gunner in a B-17 before returning to school and university studies.
The couples shared stories of attending various high schools in the state, working in Davis County schools and performing in musical groups of their own over the years.
After the dinner, the dance floor was filled with light-footed couples enjoying the music of Glenn Miller, Count Basie and Duke Ellington and old favorites like “Blue Skies,” “Blue Moon” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”
“Dancing is great exercise for health, as is staying active and seeing friends,” said Kershisnik.
Indeed, for a night built around the theme “Those were the days,” age didn’t seem to be an issue at all.