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Dawn Groszkruger


HAMPTON — The Old Fashioned Sing-Along begins its fifth year this Sunday, Feb. 14, in Hampton’s historic Windsor Theatre.

Doors open at 3:30 p.m. for the event, which runs from 4 to 5.

Songleader Dawn Groszkruger is usually joined by one accompanist on keyboards. However, for this anniversary sing-along there will be 13 accompanists.

Three keyboards will be on stage while musicians play”musical benches,” each accompanying six songs throughout the hour.

Spoons, accordion and bass guitar will be played as well.

Groszkruger was inspired to create the monthly event after leading a sing-along during a vaudeville show.

She contacted Jim Davies, theater manager, and told him her plans. The idea was presented to the theater board, which immediately approved it.

Groszkruger began looking for local piano players willing to accompany the community sing and searching for appropriate songs.

Davies and his theater employees printed and collated the first 20 songs into binders which were donated by the theater. They continue to print songs as they are added to the books, which now contain 113 songs.

The books include all types of tunes: love songs, camp songs, folk songs, hymns, winter and seasonal songs, Christmas carols, children’s songs, patriotic numbers and show tunes. The first song is always “The More We Get Together” and the last song is “May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You.”

In the past four years, 24 musicians have accompanied the sing-alongs on spoons, accordion, bass guitar, electric guitar and keyboard.

Special music from past sing-alongs has included a local women’s quartet, local singer/songwriter, children’s trio, duets and solos. Groszkruger’s family has performed every July.

The hour goes quickly, according to Groszkruger, who shares trivia about the songs and tells a joke or two while leading into the next song.

The sing-alongs have also gone on the road — to the Over 60s in Latimer, and Franklin General Hospital, Bandshell Park and Beeds Lake Park, all in Hampton.

Groszkruger said the event gets people to participate rather than just watching or listening.

“It keeps folks in touch with their roots, bringing back memories,” she said, adding that she often hears beautiful harmony by participants.

All ages are welcome to this community sing.

Free popcorn is always handed out with the lyric book. On occasion, there are homemade treats. According to Groszkruger, the Valentine’s Day sing-along will feature Ruth’s cookies.

There is no admission charge; however, a basket is provided for donations to the theater to help cover costs and renovations.

“Music is a very healthy activity,” Groszkruger said. “Bring your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day and ‘to your honey we’ll croon love’s tune.’ “

For more information call Groszkruger at 641-425-8716.


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