By Margie Wuebker
MINSTER -- Music will fill the Minster High School gym Sunday night as three local bands stage the Kurt Bergman Memorial Concert. It is their tribute to a popular senior who died last month.
"We had a smaller concert planned but those plans changed after Kurt's death," says junior Tony Schmiesing, one of the organizers. "We decided to rent the gym and make it a night to remember."
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with Dawning Outlook kicking off the entertainment at 6:45. The group, comprised of eighth-graders Drew Hogenkamp, Caleb Ahrns and Jake Floyd, will be making its public debut. Some original tunes will be included in their set.
The band Delimit will step into the spotlight around 7:30 p.m. Members Matt Sommer, Justin Gusching and Chet Giganti are Minster graduates currently attending college. They specialize in cover songs -- those written and recorded by other bands.
Never Ending Conflict, an up and coming band featuring Schmiesing, Dusty Ellis and Cory Michael, begins around 9 or 9:30 p.m. The repertoire features primarily rock tunes the young men have written. The evening will come to a climax when Delimit joins Schmiesing, Ellis and Michael for a finale "Kurt touched each of the bands in one way or another," Schmiesing says. "We formed about a year ago, and he was our sound technician."
Michael, a senior, nods in agreement, pointing out how much he valued Bergman's constructive criticism.
"Kurt certainly knew and loved music," he adds. "He helped us, and he did it in a nice way."
Schmiesing believes the music will appeal to fans of all ages from students to parents and even grandparents. He smiles at reports that Alice Moorman, Bergman's grandmother, will be on hand to make sure the over-50 fans don't get rowdy.
The concert has generated a lot of interest thus far in the Minster school district, with the word quickly spreading to neighboring schools. Organizers are hoping for a large crowd.
There is a $5 admission charge payable at the door, and collection jars will be set up for those wishing to make additional donations. Additionally, a limited number of commemorative T-shirts and wrist bands will be sold for $12 and $5 respectively. All proceeds will benefit a scholarship fund being established in Bergman's name.
"Jake Floyd, the singer for Dawning Outlook, is Kurt's cousin," Schmiesing says. "He came up with the idea of having T-shirts. After all, souvenir shirts are part of the concert scene."
The phrase "Keep On Keepin' On" adorns the front of the black and white T-shirts, something Schmiesing says students associate with Bergman. The back bears the names of the bands performing at the Kurt Bergman Memorial Concert along with the date.
The 18-year-old Bergman, who committed suicide, was known for his interest and love of music. He had served as percussion section leader for the school's symphonic and marching band and was drummer for the Minster Wildcats' pep band. He also owned J & K Djay Service and reportedly planned to study music at the University of Findlay next fall.