High School students to play with ABBA tribute

By Jacob Roushia

DeKALB – DeKalb students will join the orchestra of The ABBA Show at the Egyptian Theatre. Four students from DeKalb Public High School will be a part of the orchestra performing the songs “Honey Honey,” “If it Wasn’t For the Night” and “Slipping Through My Fingers,” along with the band at 7:30 p.m on Wednesday at the Egyptian Theatre, at 135 N. Second St.

Reilly Farrell will be playing the violin and has experience performing solo and with a group. Betsy Benisek, who will be playing the viola and plans to be a future student at Northern Illinois University, will be a part of the performance.

Jordan Weiss volunteers at the NIU Community Gardens in her free time and will be playing the violin as well. Devin Snow, a member of the DeKalb High School Key Club and a cello player, will be joining the orchestra.

 Sheila K. Felder, student orchestra director for DeKalb High School, is not new to something like this occurring with her students. “I have been teaching a long time and have had students perform at a number of professional events outside of school, including sporting events and theater productions,” Felder said.

 The orchestra for The ABBA Show will also include the NIU Youth Sinfonia and The Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, according to Andy Nagle, the producer of The ABBA Show. 

The students have practiced with the orchestra to prepare for the event, according to Felder. They also have practiced on their own and are well prepared for the event. All four students have performed in an orchestra or musical group before and are looking forward to adding this to their list of performances. 

The band portraying ABBA was seeking out local talent for the event and found four candidates in DeKalb High School’s Music Department, according to Nagle. 

The ABBA Show is a tribute band to the original group ABBA. ABBA was originally a Swedish band that performed pop songs and their band name was an acronym of the original band member’s names, Anni-Frid, Bjorn, Benny and Agnetha. Their song “Dancing Queen” was a huge success, within the song’s first 18 weeks it hit number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the United States. 

The performance will include costume changes, dancing and will even teach the audience members some dance moves, which aligns with the band’s routine according to the band’s website.  

The cast of The ABBA Show includes Marie-Claire Marshall as vocalist Anni-Frid Lynstad, Andy Marshall as guitarist Bjorn Ulvaeus, Robert Gonzalez as keyboardist Benny Andersson, Julianne Ruck as vocalist Agnetha Faltskog, Micheal Gonzalez as bassist Rutger Gunnarsson and Gustavo Pereza as drummer Ola Brunkert, according to the band’s website. 

Tickets can be found on the Egyptian Theatre’s website and The ABBA Show’s website. As of Oct. 30, the $20 to $25 tickets are sold out, the cheapest tickets available are $35.