posted November 12, 2008

Nykerk Competition Rescheduled to Nov. 14

The 74th annual Nykerk Cup competition at Hope College has been rescheduled to Friday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. at Central Wesleyan Church.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

The Nykerk Cup competition is a major annual fall tradition at Hope that features members of the freshman and sophomore classes competing in song, plays and orations.

The event was originally scheduled to be held on Saturday, Nov. 8, in conjunction with the college's Parents' Weekend, but was postponed due to the noro-like virus that prompted the college to be shut down from the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 7, through the early morning of Wednesday, Nov. 12.  The competition is being held at Central Wesleyan Church because the traditional Civic Center venue was unavailable for rescheduling on dates that fit with the college calendar.

The competition, first held on March 16, 1936, is named in honor of the originator of the program, John Nykerk, a professor, college dean and founder of the Hope College department of music. The event is continuously staged before a large audience, and features more than 200 members of the freshman and sophomore classes.  The participating classes this year are the freshman Class of '12 and the sophomore Class of '11.

The freshman song will be "Spoonful of Sugar," from "Mary Poppins." The coaches are Jena Iverson of Bloomington, Minn. (motions coach), and Stefanie Brenner of Eau Claire (directing coach). The freshman-song morale coaches are Samuel Pettigrew of Fox River Grove, Ill., and Stephen Hobson of Flushing.

The freshman play will be "The Little Rascals," written and coached by BethAnn Tieche of St. Charles, Ill., and Holly Johnson of Zeeland. Morale coaches for the freshman play section are Zachary Anderson of Sparta, Orland Dami of Grayling and Michael Irvin of Libertyville, Ill.

The freshman orator is Jordan Walters of Austin, Texas, speaking on the theme "Reaching Beyond."  Her coaches are Robin Baker of Hamilton Heights, Ind., and Nicole Potter of Ada.

The sophomore song will be "Hairspray." The coaches are Meghan Wahl of Defiance, Ohio (motions coach), and Jennifer Fait of San Diego, Calif. (directing coach). The sophomore-song morale coaches are Christopher M. Sikkema of Rochester, Minn., Benjamin Oegema of Lawton and Graham Carlson of LaGrange, Ill.

The sophomore play is "The Office: From Scranton to Holland," written and coached by Allison Fisher of Wilmington, Ill., and Shanna Mack of Allegan. Morale coaches are Daniel Gruben of Wheaton, Ill., Matthew Minkus of Zeeland and Ricky Kelley of Burton.

The sophomore orator is Alexa Westley of Kalamazoo, who will be speaking on the theme "Reaching Beyond." Her coaches are Ayannah Abiade of Spring Hill, Tenn., and Barbra Rubio of Holland.

The members of the Nykerk executive committee this year are Lisa Borton of Hudson, general chair; Andi Springett of Bangor, chair-elect; Kimberly Cook of Clarkston, secretary; Kariayne Cozzie of Evergreen Park, Ill., senior publicity; Sara Nielson of St. Louis, Mo., junior publicity; Anna Gagliardi of Midland, senior treasurer; Allyson Velderman of Hamilton, junior treasurer; Torey Allen of Williamston, senior production; and Bethany Wagner of North Muskegon, junior production.

Entrances A and I will be used for the event, and the doors will open at 6 p.m.  Central Wesleyan Church is located at 446 W. 40th St., near the intersection of 40th Street and Ottawa Avenue.