Since opening in August 2006, Reds on the River has partnered with Rockford Public Schools on numerous occasions, including co-op work opportunities, numerous fundraisers, benefits for the Rockford Education Foundation, and the Community Unity program with the sports boosters and Youth Initiative Community Service Club. One particular favorite for both Rockford High School students and Reds is hosting the Rockford Chamber singers, led by high school music director David Duiven. For the past three years, Rockford’s top choir students have performed holiday music at Reds in December, in exchange for Reds’ donation to the Choir Boosters to help offset some of their musical expenditures. “The partnership has been tremendous,” noted Reds Executive Chef Glenn Forgie. “The students perform in quartets and meander about the dining room, singing carols. They jazz up their concert attire with fun holiday scarves and hats and really have fun with it. Our guests love the festive spirit they create, and they love the fact that we are showcasing our students’ talent.” The music has become so popular that Reds has expanded the schedule and invited other area schools to perform. The lineup includes: • Thursday, Dec. 2: Northview High School • Tuesday, Dec. 7: Rockford High School Chamber Quartets • Thursday, Dec. 9: Northview High School • Tuesday, Dec. 14: Rockford High School Chamber Quartets • Thursday, Dec. 16: East Grand, Rapids Bella Voce • Tuesday, Dec. 21: Northview High School • Thursday, Dec. 23: Forest Hills Eastern Quartet Holiday carols are peformed from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each evening.
As they prepare to defend their state water polo title on November 12, thirteen Rockford Rams took time out to receive Academic All State honors from the Michigan Water Polo Association (MWPA). Eight of the honorees are juniors: Cody Brown, Nick Dulak, Mac Finnie, Allyn Kinney, Alex Savage, Matt Vermeer, Josh Waldvogel and Bryan Wasberg. Five are sophomores: Mike Arend, Trenten Babcock, Grant Beach, Corey Fase, and Nick Willison. “We are proud of our student-athletes at Rockford High School,” said Athletic Director Tim Erickson. “Notice the word ‘student’ precedes the word ‘athlete.’ That is our philosophy: student first. Coach McWatters and the water polo team provide a perfect example of this philosophy.” MWPA Academic All State athletes must have a 3.75 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) after completing at least a full year of high school. All 13 boys meet that benchmark; several of them with a GPA higher than 4.0. “We are very proud of the student participation rate in our Rockford High School athletic program,” noted Principal Dan Zang. “More important than the scoreboard, conference standings, and pursuit of state championships, however, is our students’ performance in the classroom. We are fortunate to have student-athletes who truly understand that classroom performance is more important than what happens in the playing arena. Having our coaches appreciate and value this perspective is vitally important as well.” Coach Dave McWatters agreed, “Half of our team is Academic All State! This achievement represents our greatest hope for these young men: that their experience as part of Rockford water polo will enrich their lives long after they graduate. These young men and others are able to respond to the demands of the sport and also achieve academic excellence. That will serve them well for years to come.”