by Susi Basse
EUREKA SPRINGS, AL – Hancock Middle School’s Spring Choir Concert was the hottest show in town last night, when Ms. Podkowski’s Madrigals Ensemble absolutely crushed a cover of Bon Jovi’s 1986 rock anthem “Livin’ On a Prayer.”
The concert got off to a slow start, with a less than subpar rendition of A-ha’s “Take On Me”, as the sopranos were clearly struggling for the high notes and the basses were off-tempo. Many patrons surreptitiously left the damp auditorium to buy a $1 brownie at concessions, while others were bored enough to fiddle with the pre-downloaded compass app on their phones.
But all was forgiven when pubescent children started chanting guttural noises to mimic the opening guitar.
“God, it was just like Bon Jovi,” says David Moore, father of seventh grade alto Kaela. “I was looking up cleaning supplies for my new George Foreman grill on my phone during the Pitch Perfect medley, but ‘Livin’ On a Prayer’ was a siren song that pulled me back into the loving arms of 1986.”
Patrons were “really not expecting much” and “hoped it would be over in time to catch the latest episode of This is Us”. But with every step and touch, the crowd got increasingly wilder and requested that the eighth grader running the show turn up the speakers. Over the commotion of the audience thoroughly losing their minds, Ms. Podkowski urged her students and the piano accompanist to continue performing as she wiped tears of joy from her eyes.
The crowd was already on their feet before the ensemble sang the chorus the first time. Mrs. Sharon Brown, a sixth grade history teacher, had to be escorted out of the auditorium for attempting to crowd surf. In a statement, she excused her action on account of losing complete control of her own body during the “totally sweet” cover. She also added that every student of hers in the choir would receive ten extra credit points for their flawless homage to the eighties rock band.
Ms. Podkowski, aware of her audience, made sure to hold the final chord for as long as possible before a student passed out on stage. In addition to uproarious applause, the audience proceeded to chant, “ROCK ‘N’ ROLL NEVER DIES,” as the kids hit their final pose.
“I honestly thought Bon Jovi was on stage. Imagine my surprise,” Moore said, breaking down in tears and hugging his daughter who proceeded to groan and say, “Dad you’re soooooo frickin’ embarrassing!”
“I don’t even know who or what Bon Jovi even is,” whispered a student to another as they triumphantly took their bows in front of a sweaty, thoroughly rocked out crowd.