IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WZMQ) – The Dickinson County Community Chorus received a standing ovation last night for its Music Under the Stars concert, held at Lake Antoine Park’s bandstand. The ensemble showcased songs from the 1920s, and incorporated patriotic melodies that captured the essence of the nation’s love for baseball to include the well-known tune, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
During the performance, the narration included a mention of the time when a certain legendary baseball player, Babe Ruth, the Bambino himself, was struck out by Iron Mountain’s local baseball team. The chorus’s music director, Crystal Hogan, pulled out all the stops to make the concert such a big hit.
“When I was planning this program, I thought, what can I do to make it relevant to our community? And last year we did a great show honoring our prior director, John Calo. It was really fun, it was all Italian music, and I thought – well how am I going to top that? And then I thought, well they’re having the centennial this year, it would be really fun to hook into a hundred years ago. And there’s so much good music from the 1920s, so we did a lot that really fit into that era,” Hogan explained. She added that she found more and more connections to the local community within the music as she was researching to pick songs for the program.
“Babe Ruth came here to play with whatever team it was at the time, and one of the men from this town, they had a really good baseball team on the Northside of Iron Mountain. They actually struck him out – Babe Ruth! His name was Tedeschi,“ exclaimed Hogan.
This summer’s repertoire was carefully designed by the chorus director as a celebration of a milestone in local history, the neighboring city of Kingsford’s 100th birthday. The audience heard songs including the “Star-Spangled Banner”, “Up Above my Head/Swingin with the Saints”, “Michigan Morn”, and “The Music Man” just in the opening chorus. Ensembles including the Kingsford Alma Mater, “Hail Sons of Kingsford”, “It Had to be You”, “The Impossible Dream”, “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man”, “Yes, We Have No Bananas”, “What’ll I Do”, and “In the Good Ole Summertime/ My Wild Irish Rose”.
The finale topped things off with the famed “Take me Out to the Ballgame”, “It’s a Beautiful Day for a Ballgame”, “Song for the Unsung Hero”, “Twentiana”, and “May the Good Lord Bless You and Keep You”. The audience joined in for “God Bless America” immediately following the standing ovation.
Hogan expressed her excitement about the concert’s theme tipping its ball cap to the city of Kingsford, stating, “The fun thing about this one was tying it in to the Kingsford Centennial, to give it relevance to our community and to really share in their celebration.” A Ford Flivver Car from the era was positioned directly adjacent to the bandstand, thanks to Patty and Brett Ebertsch, who hauled it in for the show.
The Dickinson County Community Chorus is for all ages, and includes the kids chorus in its productions. There were a total of 45 singers in this summer’s performance, and the Chrismas Concert includes around a hundred voices. The Christmas Concert is the Dickinson County Community Chorus’s big fundraiser for the year, and that is only $10 to attend. The community choir raises funds in cooperation with local church organizations during Holy Week, and all the money raised during Holy Week goes to those in need in the local community.
Looking ahead, the community chorus is set to have a float in the Kingsford Centennial Parade on August 5th during the Kingsford Centennial Celebration. Following that, the chorus will begin rehearsals for the upcoming Christmas concert right after Labor Day.
For more information on Nello Tedeschi’s legendary strike-out of The Babe in Iron Mountain’s local sports lore, visit:
For more information on how to get involved with the Dickinson County Community Chorus, visit: