** The Class of 2016 (the freshmen) have won the 78th annual Nykerk Cup. **


Hope College will host its 78th annual Nykerk Cup competition on Saturday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. at the Holland Civic Center, located at 150 W. Eighth St. The Event is sold out.

The event, one of a variety of activities scheduled during the college’s Family Weekend, will feature more than 200 members of the freshman and sophomore classes competing in song, plays and oration. The participating classes this year are the freshman Class of ’16 and the sophomore Class of ’15.

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.

The oration theme is “Reconciliation.”  The sophomore orator is Rachael Kabagabu of Okemos, whose coaches are Cara Green of Golden, Colo., and Zoann Wissner of Sebewaing.  The freshman orator is Samantha Cole of Erie, Colo., whose coaches are Alyssa Drew of Portage and Jordan Ippolito of Ocean City, N.J.

The sophomore play is “A Greater Hope: The Campaign for Hope College.”  The coaches are Natalia Granzotto of Grand Rapids and Hannah Mielke of Canton.  The morale coaches are Justin Makowski of Detroit; Sean Cratty of Rockford, Ill.; and Thomas Endean of Holland.

The freshman play is “Toy Story 4.”  The coaches are Ann Marie Paparelli of Grand Ledge and Erika Shima of Saline. The morale coaches are Daniel DeVinney of Grand Rapids; Dan Irvin of Macomb; and Aiden de Jong of Holland.

The freshman song is “How Will I Know,” arranged by Sara Wielenga of Lansing.  The coaches are Sara Wielenga, and Marcy Rudins of Glen Ellyn, Ill.  The morale coaches are Nick Johnson of Whitehall; Alan Padilla of Rockford; and Kian Hashemi-Rad of Edina, Minn.

The sophomore song is “Tarzan,” arranged by Mac Huff. The coaches are Alicia Curtis of West Bloomfield and Kathleen Tolentino of Pingree Grove, Ill.  The morale coaches are Jamin Wieringa of Zeeland; Wesley Rieth of Three Oaks; and Tyler Rumsey of Zeeland.

During the event’s intermission, the song sections will perform “Somebody to Love,” arranged by Roger Emerson.

The members of the Nykerk executive board this year are: Michelle Koster of Hudsonville, general chair; Erin Drews of Elkhart, Ind., chair-elect; Casey Baxter of Saline, senior secretary; Sydney Timmer of Cochabamba, Bolivia, junior secretary; Madalyn Muncy of Warren, senior publicity; Gaylyn Foxworthy of Metamora, junior publicity; Erica Iceberg of Ortonville, senior production; Kate Pickford of Bloomington, Minn., junior production; Amy Gagliardi of Midland, senior treasurer; Rebecca Budde of Holland, junior treasurer; Melody Hughes of Carol Stream, Ill., senior spotlight; and Meghan Stagl of Deerfield, Ill., junior spotlight.

The weekend will feature a variety of other performances and presentations in addition to the Nykerk Cup competition.

The De Pree Art Center is featuring an exhibition of work by Hope alumni through Sunday, Nov. 18.  The gallery is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission is free.

Hope College musicians will perform through the monthly “Brown Bag Concert” series at the Holland Area Arts Council on Friday, Nov. 2, at noon.  Admission is free.

The college’s biology seminar series will feature the address “Genomic signatures of bacterial lifestyle in diverse ecosystems” by Dr. Stuart Jones of the Department of Biological Sciences of the University of Notre Dame on Friday, Nov. 2, at 3 p.m. in room 1019 of the A. Paul Schaap Science Center.  Admission is free.

A concert featuring outstanding first-year recipients of merit-based music scholarships will take place on Friday, Nov. 2, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.  Admission is free.

The three-day Family Weekend, running Friday-Sunday, Nov. 2-4, will also feature activities geared toward parents of current students specifically, including a variety of open classes and discussion sessions focused on various aspects of college life.  Additional information about the weekend is available online at:


The De Pree Art Center is located at 160 E. 12th St., on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.  Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.  The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets.  The Holland Area Arts Council is located west of Columbia Avenue at 150 E. Eighth St.  The Holland Civic Center is located at 150 W. Eighth St., on Eighth St. west of Pine Avenue.  The A. Paul Schaap Science Center is located at 35 E. 12th St., at 12th Street and College Avenue.