Join Ryan, a junior music major, as he takes you behind the scenes of OC's music programs.
Every year on Valentine’s Day weekend, OC produces a dinner theater production featuring 10 vocalists (5 men and 5 women) who sing songs based on a certain theme.
Last year, the theme was “An Enchanted Evening with Rogers and Hammerstein” which was a VERY popular show, with sold out crowds for all three performances. The songs were, obviously, love songs from the musicals of R&H, organized to follow the stages of romance, from “I’m In Love with A Wonderful Guy” to “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair” and “What a Lovely Day for a Wedding!”
This year will feature songs by Leonard Bernstein, territory that I’m not as familiar with, but still classic music from the composer who brought us “West Side Story.” The cast brings back old faces from previous years, and also introduces freshmen to its history of talented performers.
The cast this year:
Hannah Faye Foster
The show features a new director this year; OC’s choreographer for recent musicals and cabarets has stepped up and taken the role of director for this year’s cabaret…Barbara Berard (whom we affectionately call BB)!
And of course music director and accompanist to the show is none other than Eric Grigg!
The dinner before the show will be served by OC chorale members. The reason we do the catering every year is because the tour costs a lot of money, and by having each member earn 2 “concession credits,” they can save the school money by doing work themselves instead of having the school pay for waiters and waitresses (and we get a free, non-cafeteria meal out of it too!).
For 18 dollars, guests can enjoy a meal served by students in the chorale and then watch a great show by talented performers.
Or for 7 dollars, they can skip the meal and just go see the show!
Here is a video showing a few of the cast members performing some numbers from the dress rehearsal tonight.
Many times, we find ourselves at a loss for words to describe a feeling, an urgency, or an experience. This is the situation that I find myself in today. I have spent the last hour putting together the video for this first post of the semester, and with so much wonderful footage, I trimmed it down to what I have on here today. But after being reminded of all that has taken place the last two days at the Christian College Choral Festival hosted here at OC, I sit here at my keyboard pondering where to begin describing the…emotion…the passion…the inspiration…that this experience has left me with. I have always loved music—been passionate about it—but after this weekend, I feel like I have fallen in love with it all over again! We all have our CD’s, IPods, radios, and recorded music players that can pull up our favorite song in an instant. But, sometimes, it is a blessed thing to be reminded that nothing can equal a live performance by talented musicians who are driven by a passion for their art.
Oklahoma Christian University hosted this year’s Christian College Choral Festival, with choirs from Harding, Lipscomb, Freed-Hardeman, Rochester College, Crowley’s Ridge College, and of course, OC. We had a special guest on our campus who worked with this mass choir on five selections to be performed on Saturday night (last night). The first “half” of Saturday’s concert featured performances of two songs from each choir; the second “half” was the mass choir songs. Our special guest, Z. Randall Stroope, is an internationally renowned composer/conductor…one of the most important choral conductors of our time. It was a great privilege to have him come in and work with us!
He composed one of the selections that the mass choir sang: a beautiful work called “All My Heart This Night Rejoices”...by far the most beautiful acapella song I have ever heard.
Our officers helped run the program, with cool yellow T-shirts that helped them stand out in the crowd. Logan didn’t need the T-shirt.
The mass choir
Tonight was the first costume run of the show! We worked from 6 till 11:30 in Hardeman Auditorium. All of us are COMPLETELY exhausted.
Here are pictures of our principles in their costumes (or one of their costumes as most of the cast has to change through 2 or 3 or 5 costumes throughout the show!)!
Show opens in 2 more nights!
Brett Vanderzee as “Mr. Graydon” and Brett’s fiance Laura Bowles as “Mrs. Meers”
Courtney Tarpley as “Muzzy”
Hannah Faye Foster as “Miss Dorothy”
Ryan Gonzales as “Ching Ho” and Brent Pederson as “Bun Foo”
Kristi Krempges as “Millie” and Brian Wilcox as “Jimmy”
Our pit orchestra is made up of both students as well as professional musicians. On Saturday, we started rehearsing with the addition of students playing in the orchestra.
Tonight was our first tech run. From 7 to 11, we worked through all the different lighting and set changes. It is a very tedious process, especially with “Millie”! We didn’t even get to finish the show tonight.
Here is an excerpt from the show, from a number called “Speed Test.” This is from Saturday afternoon, our first run-through with the addition of instruments from the orchestra.
So a LOT has been going on since rehearsals for “Thoroughly Modern Millie” started. Basically, we have been running the show over and over to solidify the blocking and set changes (which there are a LOT of in this show!).
This week we are going to move away from what happens with the actors and focus on the lighting, orchestra, sound, and all the other backstage stuff that is necessary to make our show a big success! This week is show week. My family is coming on Saturday!