CLARKSVILLE, Mo. – For her first solo concert, Donna Grote is pulling songs from a catalog that dates back as far as 90 years.
The Pike County songstress will perform "Music Through the Decades" at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, at the Apple Shed Theatre on Highway 79 in Clarksville. Admission is $10 for adults. Those 18 and younger get in free. Tickets will be available at the door.
The concert is sponsored by Raintree Arts Council, a non-profit, multi-disciplinary arts agency serving Pike and Lincoln counties that receives partial funding from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.
"I loved the idea of doing a show that could cover such a variety of songs and genres," said Grote, who turns 58 on Aug. 21. "Some of the old songs are the most fun to sing. I’m starting in the 30s and going right through today. You will hear jazz, country, disco, ballads and a few other surprises."
Grote’s middle name is Lark, so she’s been a songbird as long as she can remember. Her parents, Richard and Donna Biggs, encouraged an interest in music — something for which she is very grateful.
"From buying that first flute in the fourth grade, hours and hours of practicing, to the $75 upright piano they bought me so I could teach myself to play, they were there," she said. "And in all the musical endeavors that followed in my life."
The vocal side began to shine in seventh grade under the instruction of former Bowling Green music educator Jack Bibb, and continued through high school under Bob Johnson. "That is what really gave me the love of music and singing," she said.
There are too many great songs for Grote to pick a favorite, but she admits to loving ballads and promises to sing some of them at the Aug. 25 show. As for artists, Grote chooses Celine Dion as one she admires.
"Her talent is phenomenal," she said.
Grote has displayed her own talent at many area functions, but this concert is the start of many more opportunities. She’s already a member of The Changelings, the theater troupe that was organized last year to bring stage productions back to the Apple Shed.
"I’ve had a lot of help getting the show ready," she said. "I’m really excited to see it all come together. I hope the audience is entertained and has fun, and hears some of their favorites."