Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Cooksville Summer Food Drive

July 29 - August 12, 2018

Non-perishables are best.  Garden vegetables can be brought on August 12.

Food will be donated to local pantries.

Drop off donations anytime in the rubber tote located outside the front entrance at Cooksville Lutheran Church

Cooksville Christmas in Summer Show: Commemoration of the Old Cooksville Opera House

Known as Van Vleck’s Hall, the Cooksville Opera House was located above Van Patten’s and Newkirk’s meat market on the corner of Main (now hwy 138) and Dane Streets. At the time, the second-floor opera house was used by local and traveling performers as one of Cooksville’s social gathering venues, which also included the schoolhouse (now the Cooksville Community Center), the Congregational Church, and the Masonic Lodge above the General Store. Although no pictures of this structure have been found, Cooksville resident Chris Beebe has created an artist’s rendering of what this structure may have looked like in the 1890s.

After a one-year hiatus, the Cooksville Community Center is again presenting its annual One Room School House Christmas in Summer pageant on Saturday, August 11st, 2018 starting at 1:30 pm in the Cooksville Community Center, located at the junction of Church Street and Highway 59 in the village of Cooksville.  The theme for this year’s event is the Cooksville Opera House Extravaganza, commemorating the Opera House, built in 1845 and which burned down December 5, 1893.

The Christmas in Summer event will include performances by two Madison-based vocal ensembles, the Spare Parts Quartet, a women’s barbershop quartet, and Deliberate Vibration, a 5-member a capella group. In addition, there will be a performance by Warren and Cynthia Fremling, Opera Singers from the Chicago Area, as well as some local talent performances from Cooksville, including the Cooksville Opera House Chorus. 

 The Spare Parts Quartet was founded in 2016 as an affiliate of the award-winning Yahara River Chorus, a chapter of Sweet Adelines International. The Sweet Adelines organization consists of women vocalists dedicated to performing the tradition of the tight 4-part barbershop harmonies that originated in America in the late 19th century, and which have roots in both African and American vocal traditions. The Spare Parts Quartet includes JoAnn Bray (lead), Kay Hinck (baritone), Bonnie Senkowski (bass), and Gwen Torkelson (tenor), and performs a variety of music from the 1940s to present day.

Deliberate Vibration is a versatile and talented Madison-based men’s a capella band that performs at farmer’s markets, community events, and at local establishments. Their repertoire includes contemporary songs and standards, cleverly arranged for the unaccompanied vocal performance which is one of the most popular forms of choral music today.
Of course, no Opera House celebration would be complete without actual opera! Baritone Warren Fremling is a veteran Chicago-based opera performer and voice instructor and founding member of the Chicago Opera Theater. His wife, Cynthia Fremling is also a professional music instructor and will be joining him in performing opera in its most classical form.

 Sets designed for the show were created by local Evansville and Cooksville artists, Richard Krake and Meri Lau. As this is a Christmas in Summer pageant, there will also be a special guest appearance by Mr. and Mrs. SummerClaus and lots of surprises. The audience should also be advised that they may be asked to sing Christmas carols. This event is free of charge. The Cooksville Community Center is not handicap-accessible. For more information, please contact Jeanne Julseth at (608) 882-0505.