Surprises in store for Anoka High’s second Symphonic Rock

Symphonic Rock, a rousing concert to raise funds for kids and families in need, is back at Anoka High School with an all new show.

Symphonic Rock returns for a second year to Anoka High School for two performances, April 14 and April 15. The show features such musicians as high school staff, students and surprise guests. This concert is guaranteed to rock. Expect a sound and light show with lazers and fog. Photo submitted

The event was first held last year and was so successful, the artists are back to replicate an exuberant classic rock happening.

Expect lasers, fog, strobe lights and music that will knock your socks off in these performances.

The show will feature Anoka’s rock band, Staff Infection (staff members make up the band), the Anoka High concert choir and orchestra with special guest artists Superintendent Dennis Carlson, tech chief Patrick Plant and School Boardmember John Hoffman. Staff members Michelle Hayes and Joe Osowski will also perform.

As a heads up, the Saturday night show is nearly sold out. Good seats are still available for Sunday though.

Last year the concerts raised $18,000, which has ballooned to $30,000 over a two-year period. Proceeds go to Anoka’s Caring and Sharing Fund, which provides money and opportunities for local kids and families in need.

This year the goal is to hit the $50,000 (total) mark, said Michael Halstenson, event organizer and music teacher at Anoka High.

Why a second year of Symphonic Rock? When Matthew McNabb, lighting/special effects designer for the event, asked Halstenson and others a tongue-in-cheek question, “Why wouldn’t you do it again? Most of you are getting so old, this can’t last forever,” the rockers took note.

“So we checked our pulses and decided we have another Symphonic Rock in us,” Halstenson said in his humorous manner. “The biggest thing we wanted to do is give our audience an all new show with arrangements we’ve never done before.”

But performers are being tight-lipped about the concert song list.

Audience members, however, can expect to hear covers from such artists’ music as Journey, Moody Blues, Billy Joel, Elton John, Neil Diamond, The Eagles and Paul McCartney.

“One of the great things about this concert is that even though parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors are here to support a performer on the stage, they really are reliving great moments from their past through some of their favorite music,” Halstenson said.

“That’s the magic of Symphonic Rock.”


Symphonic Rock II will be performed April 14, 7:30 p.m. and April 15, 2 p.m. at Anoka High School, 3939 Seventh Ave. N. Tickets are $10. For more information call 763-506-6439.

Elyse Kaner is at [email protected]

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