Frustrated by continuing cuts to arts and music education in schools across the state, three School District 196 choir directors are fighting back—by creating the Dakota Valley Show Choir.
The group—which includes 80 fifth- through seventh-grade students—is the brainchild of Eagan High School Choir Director Jim Cox, Eastview High School Choir Director Kari Douma and Black Hawk Middle School Choir Director Megan Cox.
Under the guidance of the three directors, the choir held several rehearsals, which will culminate in a public performance at 4 p.m. on Feb. 3 at Eastview High School.
Cox and his fellow directors to a page from the playbook of the popular TV series "Glee" when creating the show choir. Students not only sing, but perform choreographed dance moves on stage. A handful of local high school students have assisted the choir directors by becoming mentors for the younger students, Cox said.
"With the amount of required classes continuing to add up as well as the pressure of the standardized tests, students participating in music ensembles has greatly decreased over the past several years," Cox wrote in an email statement. "Kari, Megan, and I have created an opportunity for [Independent School District 196] students that will give these kids a small sampling of the music education they deserve."