Choir’s Spring Spectacular celebrates the ‘Nifty Fifties’


If you were walking past room KO 150 this semester, you may have heard the charming sounds of music from the 1950s and wondered if you time-traveled to the age of Rock-and-Roll and poodle skirts. The truth is that you never actually left 2023. You just heard the IU Kokomo Cougar Choir practicing for this year’s Spring Spectacular, which was held on Apr. 28 and 30 in Havens Auditorium. 

Each spring, the choir makes a specific era or type of music their central focus for their concert such as the songs from the Golden Age of Broadway or folk music favorites. This year, the theme was Best of the Fifties, a celebration of music, fashion, and dance from a decade when Rock-and-Roll ruled the times.  

“We decided to do something really different and exciting this semester,” Director Wendy Grice said. “The concert’s first half had some beautiful, traditional choral music such as The Seal Lullaby, The Drunken Sailor, Cantante Domino, Little Brown Church and The Lord is My Shepherd based on the twenty-third psalm. The theme for the concert’s second half was “The Best of the Fifties” with favorites from that decade. The choir wore period costumes and danced to most of the numbers, and we hired a professional combo with bass, guitar, and drums. This concert had something for everyone to enjoy.” 

 The songs in the second portion of the concert included Rock Around the Clock, Mister Sandman, a medley of I Only Have Eyes for You and The More I See You, Jailhouse Rock, and We Love the Fifties, which featured “Let the Good Times Roll,” “Sixteen Candles,” “Lipstick on Your Collar,” “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me,” and “Shake, Rattle, and Roll,” to finish off the trip down musical memory lane.  

The show also recognized senior members and their hard work throughout their college experience. The seniors also performed special solos throughout the concert. In the first half, Molly Lewis performed Corner of the Sky, one of her favorite Broadway songs. In the second half, Sarah Napier performed the classic hit Rockin’ Robin, and Madeline Sinnamon performed Patsy Cline’s beloved Walkin’ After Midnight. 

The songs that the choir sang this year were lots of fun, but they also showed just how the music of the Fifties left an impact on music and culture then and now. Music is an essential part of history and culture because it represents the past and influences the present and future.  

If you are interested in joining the choir next semester, contact Wendy Grice ([email protected]) for more information. Practices are from 4:00 to 5:15 every Tuesday and Thursday The theme of next semester is Victorian Holiday for the Sounds of the Season holiday concert. 

If you are planning a 50s-inspired costume or outfit for a party, special event, or just for fun, scroll through the Photo Gallery below to find inspiration.