For St. Vincent de Paul High School's choir teacher, Diane Strohmeyer
-- "Mrs.Stroh" -- this school year started with a jolt, when she
learned that her
choir had been tapped to perform next spring at the dedication of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C..
"It's always a gallop getting them up to speed.Every year I worry and fret and every year the choir really comes through," said Strohmeyer
, who with 25 years teaching choir at several Sonoma County schools on her
resume, has been conducting 8:15 a.m. rehearsals each school day at St. Vincent's for the past six years.
"I don't think it's really hit them yet, but it's hit me. We're going to Washington," Strohmeyer
says with a look of disbelief.
Nearly 59 years after the end of World War II, the National World War II Memorial, set at the east end of the Capitol Reflecting Pool between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, will be dedicated on May 29.
A tough taskmaster, Strohmeyer
tolerates very little nonsense, but appreciates a good laugh, ignoring one football player who delights in pulling up his shirt to tie it like Carmen Miranda's or tucking his sweatshirt into his jeans to make the girls laugh.
Through numerous practice sessions, as songs end, Strohmeyer
implores, "Keep standing!""Hands at your sides, please!"
For a moment it seems that Ferris, the choir and Strohmeyer
are in a mild state of shock.
"Jack Ferris really has the hardest part in the whole show and whether he hits it or not, you must maintain stage presence," Strohmeyer
tells the choir, adding that she, for one, had utmost faith in Ferris' abilities.
...We're hoping that fund-raising and donations will allow us to skip collecting that last $200 pay-ment," said choir director Diane Strohmeyer.